Saturday, June 21, 2014

CD Review: John Wetton And Richard Palmer-James Team Up For "Jack-Knife" and "Monkey Business"

Progressive rock fans will finally be rewarded for their patience as Cherry Red Records is releasing the long, out-of-print solo albums from King Crimson/Asia frontman John Wetton. The new double-disc set features the 1979 album "Jack-Knife" (originally titled "I Wish You Would") which has not be issued on CD in over 20 years and the re-issue of the outtake album "Monkey Business." Both albums have been remastered and feature the guitar work of Richard Palmer-James (Supertramp). This release shows two friends enjoying each other's company in the studio feeding off their individual talents.

The nine-song album "Jack-Knife" mixes Wetton/Palmer-James originals with cover songs done in the vein of King Crimson. Beginning with "Wish You Would," the two wastes no time soloing through the entire song, not even needing words to make the song outstanding. They get their rock/funk groove going on "You Can't Judge A Book By Looking At The Cover," before spacing out on The Who's "Eyesight To The Blind." They turn on their progressive rock charm on the pop/rock appeal of "Walk On Heaven's Ground," then finishing up with the six-minute blues of "Adoration."

King Crimson fans will truly enjoy the second disc, "Monkey Business 1972-1997" as it features many outtakes of the Crimson era when Wetton and Palmer-James were the primary songwriters of many of their classic songs. One minute snippets of "Easy Money" and "Starless" give peeks at the early stages of these epic masterpieces. Also sprinkled throughout the disc are amazing live versions of "The Night Watch" and "Book Of Saturday," but it's the songs like "Cologne 1977" and "The Laughing Lake 1977" that make you appreciate the talents of these two amazing musicians.

To find out more about this "must have" new release by John Wetton and Richard Palmer-James, please visit cherryred.co.uk.

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