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John Wetton

King's Road: 1972-1980

Review by G. W. Hill
This is a compilation set from John Wetton. It includes some songs from his UK days, one tune from his time with King Crimson and a number of pieces from his Caught in the Crossfire album. It's a nice cross section of sounds, really. I should say that I am reviewing the original vinyl edition. There are some extra songs on the CD of this. It's also worth noting that a couple tunes come from UK's Night After Night album and one from King Crimson's Lark's Tongues in Aspic set. Since I reviewed those in the past, I've used the track reviews from those albums here for the sake of consistency.
Track by Track Review
Nothing To Lose
This is a song from Wetton's UK days. It's was originally on their Danger Money album. It has a cool sound and energy. The vocal hook is strong, and I've always liked this tune.
In The Dead Of Night

Now, I've been in love with this UK song since the first time I heard it. It's a killer prog rocker from the start all the way through. This originally appeared on the self-titled debut from that band. The instrumental work in the break mid-track is pretty amazing really. The whole song, though, has such a great texture and sound to it that it is among the best material here.

Baby Come Back
Here's a track from Wetton's solo career. This is much more of an AOR rocker. It's a strong cut that drives with hooks and a bit of a crunchy edge.
Caught In The Crossfire
Another Wetton solo tune, there is a definite jazzy vibe to this. It has a late 70s groove to it. It's a strong song, if not entirely proggy. I like it, though.
Night After Night
After a dramatic prog introduction, this settles into a more straightforward rock style that feels like the middle ground between Wetton's latter era King Crimson and the pop/arena rock of his post UK band Asia. This is catchy, and does have some solid prog moments. The instrumental break is especially cool.
Turn On The Radio
This is a high energy pop rocker that's solid. Again, this isn't the proggiest thing here. It's another from Wetton's Caught in the Crossfire album.
Rendezvous 6:02
Here's another that comes from the UK Danger Money album. I love this thing. It's such an evocative and powerful piece of music.
Book Of Saturday
This is a gentle and pretty song that’s essentially a ballad with elements of jazz and classical music serving as the icing on the musical cake. 
Paper Talk
There is a bit of a hard rocking edge to this. It's actually more proggy than a lot of the rest of the Wetton solo stuff. It's dramatic and quite powerful, too.
As Long As You Want Me Here
The intro here is based in a slightly odd keyboard sound. Then the band launches into a syncopated segment that one could really consider about as definite a UK sound as anything. They use this as the verse, lending a very anti-pop feel to the cut. Yet the chorus resolution is very catchy and mainstream. This is one of the better songs on the album.
Cold Is The Night
A slow moving and mellower number, this is classy stuff. It's on the proggier side of the Wetton solo material. The chorus is more powered up and effective.

 

 
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