The Great Deceiver reissue gets a major thumbs-up in the latest edition of Mojo. Reviewer John Bungey makes it clear that this era Crimson was his favourite, arguing they had more in common with The Grateful Dead and the Art Ensemble of Chicago than Yes or ELP on account of their improvisatory skills.
The full page spread also features a short interview with Bill Bruford, who takes up the theme in response to John Bungey’s query as to whether that version of Crimson was burnt-out?
“It was artificially stopped by Robert Fripp, for all the right reasons. He perceived, rightly, that it would have become more ‘popular’ had we proceeded, and bounf itself into the same nexus of ‘love’ that swallows all the major bands of the day – the implicit contract being that “I will continue to love you as long as you go around the stadiums endlessly repeating yourself.” It’s the repetitions in rock that will get you in the end. So look out Coldplay or Keane. Robert’s decision was monumentally astute and courageous, and he’s not given nearly enough credit for it when King Crimson, a beast for which I feel remarkable affection, is thoughtlessly lumped in with all the other progressive rock groups of the day. The Moody Blues or ELP were not about to produce Discipline in 1980. And that record could only have been made by the group stopping in 1974. Smart decision – plus we were burnt-out!”