“I had transferred a 1/2" 8 track reel of this show, I had particular problem with the vocals on this show, but have managed to salvage them. What they had done was double up instruments on the 8 tracks, so I had to make copies of some of the tracks and isolate the sound source and EQ each one to get the best out of each instrument. There were only two reels of tape, and Waiting Man cuts in more than half way through, and the very end of a really good Sheltering Sky is missing. Neal and Jack and me is incomplete, and the very end of Heartbeat is missing, but don't get too despondent about these problems, as I think I managed to get a really good mix in the end, and what is here is of good performance quality.”
Alex is right about the performance. The band are in Dijon, touring with the Beat album, and are on amazing form. Adrian’s Belew’s solo on Thela cooks up a storm of swirling layers, whilst Fripp’s rhapsodic work on The Sheltering Sky sends shivers down places you didn’t even know could shiver! The fact that track is missing the final theme doesn’t detract or diminish from this rare moment. Frame by Frame also has a gorgeous pastoral sounding variation by Fripp just ahead of the last verse which brings quite a different feel to the track albeit briefly. There are points during Red where the tempo teeters on the brink of coming to a complete standstill as the drumming becomes extra spacious and abstracted, relying on Tony Levin to keep the pulse moving forward. Levin is also in a lyrical mood as he provides a lovely improv at the start of a wonderfully loose-limbed and fluid version of Elephant Talk.
Throughout the concert you’ll hear little variations on the parts which will make your head turn or bring a smile to your face. Although the set is familiar there’s a sense that the band are having fun with the music. Whilst it’s sad that there’s a few incomplete tracks here, and we suspect songs that are entirely missing from the gig (such as Satori and LTIA 2), there’s much to celebrate and enjoy here.