King Crimson - Stairless & Bible Black

King Crimson - Stairless & Bible Black

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For a band that favoured the presentation and honing of material in live performance prior to studio recording, it was inevitable that with the increasing portability of quality recording machines, the concert performance would, in effect, become the basis of the subsequent studio recordings. With 'Starless and Bible Black' King Crimson, reduced to a quartet following the departure of percussionist Jamie Muir, took that step. Half of the album was sourced from live gigs - much of it from a concert at the Amsterdam Concertegebouw in November 1973. (The complete concert was subsequently issued as 'The Nightwatch' album and fully detailed on 2014's 'Starless' boxed set.)

While some of the material was developed or overdubbed in the studio, other tracks were presented exactly as per the concert setting with the audience applause removed. With the band's burgeoning live reputation, increased tour schedule and commitment to improvisation, the use of the live material led to the album being the most accurate representation to date of the lineup's uniquely powerful live sets.