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John Wetton era King Crimson

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by matrok, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. matrok


    Jan 10, 2005
    Ferndale, Michigan
    The best line up of Crimson in my opinion. Wetton's playing is great and singing is even better.

  2. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    I find it interesting that Wetton never subsequently wound up in a musical situation that required him to play bass the way he did when he was in KC. He's always played in quality, professional bands, no denying that...but it seems like none of his post-Crimson bands required him to be the sort of bassist he was during those few years in the early 70s.

    I do love that line up, though not sure I'd go so far as calling it the "best" KC line up...though they're certainly tied for first place with whatever line up(s) might be a contender! But I'll say this: Wetton-era KC definitely had the best lyrics of any KC line up! Richard Palmer-James had a knack for words that made for some imaginative & vivid imagery without forcing the listener to only have a single specific interpretation.
  3. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I'm pretty fond of all the incarnations of King Crimson, but the Wetton era is my favorite too. I loved his playing and singing in the band.
  4. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    Most people's favorite. Red is a classic bass recording.
  5. FranF

    FranF Supporting Member

    Jul 25, 2004
    Northeastern PA
    Red is remarkable.... My fave era and LP.
  6. SpasticFingers


    Mar 2, 2010
    The same can also be said of Greg Lake, none of his post Crimson bass work measured up to his performance with the first incarnation of that band.
  7. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    This is also my fav line-up of Crimson. One of the completely unique things about this line-up was the improvs that they would do live. It wasn't jazz improvs. It wasn't blues jams. It wasn't Grateful Dead improvs. It was something completely unique and avant-garde.

    Wetton also had the most monstrous tone ever. Just the hugest bass sound I've ever heard.
  8. This^
    This was the "Golden Age" of Crimson for me. I liked the earlier version with Lake and somewhat the later versions, but not the extent of the Wetton era. Wetton's playing was at his finest.
  9. nysbob


    Sep 14, 2003
    Cincinnati OH
    I saw them...they killed it. :cool:

    I liked Bruford in Yes (saw that version too) but he was like beast unchained in KC.
  10. Rickengeezer


    Feb 25, 2005
    Central Texas
    Endorsing Artist: Steve Clayton Accessories
    I agree, and his tone was the first thing that came to my mind in the recent thread that suggested that you can't get both treble and bass out of a Precision at the same time. Wetton certainly had no trouble doing so (although I think he made David Cross deaf in the process).
  11. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    Yeah, anyone who thinks a Precision can't cut through a mix like a Jazz should just listen to Wetton.
  12. Flabass


    Aug 11, 2008
    St. Petersburg
  13. 6stringpanda


    Aug 9, 2013
    Wetton is awesome-already posted elsewhere how awesome he was with Asia the last two tours I saw him in Connecticut.
  14. FretlessMainly


    Nov 17, 2010
    I wouldn't argue this point, but that first Crimson album was epic, so comparing anything to that is a losing proposition. Then again, listen to the live version of Pictures at an Exhibition or the Second Impression of Karn Evil 9 on BSS. That bass playing is equal to, if not better than the bass part over the solo section on 21st Century Schizoid Man.

    I think where ELP suffered was live. Lake was and is a very good guitar player, but he was (and is) a very original bass player, and he couldn't do both live. Unfortunately, he chose to play guitar for most of the live stuff, at least after '70 or so.

    Back to Wetton; dgmlive is now sold out of this: http://store.nexternal.com/dgm/king-crimson---the-road-to-red-box-set-p1372.aspx

    I already have a number of shows, but I'm hoping that they'll release another batch...Great stuff from all four lads in that time when prog was king.
  15. JxBass

    JxBass Supporting Member

    Aug 5, 2008
    I saw the lineup in the OP in Boston - Bruford was even wearing the same farmer jeans :) I'm a big Bruford fan and every bassist is at his best when playing with him, IMO.
  16. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    I would argue that the original incarnation of UK did require him to play like he did in Crimson and Bruford was in that lineup, too.
  17. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    There's some inventive and compelling bass playing on UK's eponymous debut album, no doubt...but it's all very rigidly defined and compartmentalized compared to Wetton's playing with KC. All the improvisation in UK tended to be the "top layer" only, extemporizing over scripted vamps, whereas KC had so many wondrous moments of free improvisation or just loose structures that gave Wetton a chance to actually engage and provoke the other members of the band. Not a lot of that sort of multi-way dialog in UK.
  18. Roscoe East

    Roscoe East

    Aug 22, 2011
    but speaking of UK, has anyone seen UKZ, the recently reformed/restructured UK band with Wetton and Jobson plus Marco Minnemann and Alex Machacek in place of Bruford and Holdsworth?
  19. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

    Jul 30, 2012
    I saw both the UK reunion tours they did recently, one with Minnemann and the second tour with Bozzio. Wetton played and sounded great in both, and they did a feel Crimson tunes like Starless.
  20. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Absolutely incredible. I saw that lineup minus Holdsworth, and seeing Wetton sing and play at the same time on "In the Dead of Night" was just mind-blowing.

    And yes, OP, that was the best King Crimson lineup. Followed by the reunion with Belew and Levin.

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