Exposé Online banner

King Crimson — Heroes
(DGM KCEP1001, 2017, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2017-07-07

Heroes Cover art

When word came out earlier this year that King Crimson would be reconvening for another tour with the expanded lineup which has been touring since 2014, they also announced that there would be an EP released. As it turns out, the EP was not new studio material, but this set of four tracks recorded on the 2016 European tour. First up is a version of David Bowie’s “Heroes,” the first time King Crimson has ever recorded a cover tune (barring their take on Holst’s “Mars” from the early days). Of course, Robert Fripp provided the lead guitar on Bowie’s original, so it’s not that far removed from the family. Jakko Jakszyk provides the lead vocals, and does a credible job of not imitating the original. Mel Collins adds a sax part that provides a slight old-time rock-and-roll feel, though doesn’t ruin the mood and interfaces with Jakszyk’s rhythm guitar nicely. If you listen closely, you can make out the multiple drum parts (Pat Mastelotto and Gavin Harrison), and third drummer Jeremy Stacey plays keyboards. All in all, it’s a good listen and a worthy tribute for the 40th anniversary of the recording of the original. The other live tracks included are an extended rendition of “Easy Money,” an excerpt from “Starless,” and the new instrumental “The Hell Hounds of Krim.” “Easy Money” works well, with Jakszyk’s voice handling the sarcastic lyrics admirably, and the expanded lineup really taken advantage of, featuring oddball percussion from Mastelotto, beautiful Mellotron strings (Stacey I think), insane sax noises from Collins, funky bass from Tony Levin, and a slow-building solo from Fripp. Jakszyk's wordless vocalizing at the end is a slight detraction, but it's great to hear this classic updated. The “Starless” extract is the melodic opening part of the song, fading out just before the ominous bass line would appear to lead into the heavier half. As such, it’s nice but a bit frustrating for a listener who knows the rest of it. “Hell Hounds” is a brief drum trio where Mastelotto, Harrison, and Stacey work off of each other with interlocking parts. It’s been a staple of the live shows for this version of Crimson. The CD finishes off with a “radio edit” of the title track, basically the same as the opener shortened to 3:49. All in all, the EP is a bit of an oddity in the band’s catalog, but well worth it both for fans and newbies who can use the Bowie cover as an entree into the extensive back catalog.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, King Crimson, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, David Bowie, Gavin Harrison

Latest news

2018-05-14
Glenn Branca RIP – Experimental guitarist and composer Glenn Branca has died at the age of 69. He was known for compositions featuring large ensembles of guitars, and for the use of feedback. He founded his band Theoretical Girls in the mid-70s as an art-punk answer to what he saw as the increasing commercialization of punk music. His compositions were highly influential, with such figures as David Bowie, Thurston Moore, and John Lurie among his fans. » Read more

2018-04-05
OBEY Convention XI Set for May 24-28 in Halifax – As the 2018 festival season rapidly approaches, we’d like you to be aware of a real treasure of diverse and creative music that’s going to take place in Halifax, Nova Scotia, next month. The OBEY Convention is on its 11th outing, and features a wide range of artists from around the world. From avant-industrial noise to experimental takes on Classical Chinese music, from chamber jazz to doom metal, from ambient soundscapes to Canadian First Nations drumming, you’d be hard pressed to find a festival with more variety in sound anywhere in the world. » Read more

2018-04-04
Close to the Rain Festival in Bergen Announces Lineup – Now in its second year, the Close to the Rain Festival of progressive music is scheduled to take place in Bergen, Norway, on June 7 - 9. They've got an amazing slate of bands lined up, including such powerhouses as Anekdoten, Major Parkinson, Arabs in Aspic, Tusmørke, and many more. » Read more

2018-03-01
Seaprog 2018 Artist Announcements Raise Festival's Profile – Seattle's Seaprog festival has been going since 2013, and the 2018 edition features a slate of artists that's sure to bring more attention to the event. Cheer-Accident, Bubblemath, and Free Salamander Exhibit are in the first round announcement of performers. In keeping with their tradition of focusing on regional artists, they will also present a number of artists from Washington and Oregon. [Edit: Just added: Inner Ear Brigade] » Read more

2018-02-26
Adelbert von Deyen RIP – Word reaches us that German electronic musician Adelbert von Deyen has died. His recorded legacy reaches back to 1978, when Sky Records released Sternzeit. Von Deyen, who was born October 25, 1953 in Süderbrarup, was also known as a painter and graphic artist. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Lubimov, Trostianki, Rybakov - Misterioso – As part of ECM's continuing new music series, enter a semi-classical trio who embrace the quietudes of modern compositional expression with a keen sense of space and beauty by focusing on modern...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues