The Great Deceiver (King Crimson album)

The Great Deceiver is a 4-CD box set by the band King Crimson, consisting of live recordings from 1973 and 1974, released on Virgin Records in 1992. In 2007, it was reissued on Fripp's Discipline Global Mobile label as two separate 2-CD sets, each featuring new artwork.

The Great Deceiver
King Crimson The Great Deceiver.jpg
Live album by
Released30 October 1992
GenreProgressive rock, experimental rock, heavy metal
ProducerRobert Fripp
King Crimson chronology
Three of a Perfect Pair
The Great Deceiver
Vol. 1 of 2007 double CD re-release
The original release was a four-CD box set. It was re-released in 2007 as two double-disc sets.
The original release was a four-CD box set. It was re-released in 2007 as two double-disc sets.
Professional ratings
Review scores
All About Jazz[2]
Baltimore Sun[3]
Entertainment WeeklyB[4]
Record Collector[5]

The box set features portions of concert recordings of the band from 1973 to 1974. All tracks are performed by the lineup of guitarist/keyboardist Robert Fripp, bassist/vocalist John Wetton, violinist/keyboardist David Cross and drummer Bill Bruford. Percussionist Jamie Muir left the band in early 1973, and hence is not featured on the set. The band's 30 June 1974 concert from Providence, Rhode Island is presented in its entirety on CDs 1 and 2; this was the second-to-last live concert ever performed by this incarnation of King Crimson.

King Crimson's "Walk On" music in 1973-74 was an excerpt of "The Heavenly Music Corporation," from the album (No Pussyfooting) by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. These "walk-ons" are reproduced here, and indexed as separate tracks.

Three recordings from this box set were previously available on other King Crimson albums, albeit in slightly altered forms. An abbreviated version of "We'll Let You Know" appears on the Starless and Bible Black album, released in 1974. Similarly, an abbreviated version of "Providence" was included on the Red album, also released in 1974. The live performance of "21st Century Schizoid Man" on CD Two was issued in 1975 as part of the album USA, featuring overdubbed violin from Eddie Jobson.

Many of the recordings on this album are band improvisations. "The Law of Maximum Distress" appears in two sections, as the tape ran out in the middle of the song. Much of the missing material seems to be used on "The Mincer" from Starless and Bible Black. As Robert Fripp notes in the CD jacket, "Most live recording follows the policy of two machines in use simultaneously to meet an eventuality such as this. We learn."

The liner notes to The Great Deceiver runs to 68 pages. These notes feature comments from Fripp, Wetton and Cross, annotated excerpts from Fripp's 1974 diary, reviews of the previous King Crimson box set, Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson (1991), and a complete listing of all concerts performed by the band in 1973 and 1974.

The track "Exiles" is credited to Fripp/Wetton/Palmer-James on this box set. The correct credit, as listed on Larks' Tongues in Aspic and confirmed by BMI's records, is Cross/Fripp/Palmer-James. Despite having no legal co-writing credit for the song, John Wetton has indicated in interviews that he wrote the bridge for "Exiles."[citation needed]

Track listingEdit

Disc 1: Things Are Not as They Seem...Edit

  1. "Walk On ... No Pussyfooting" (Robert Fripp, Brian Eno) – 0:52
  2. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" (Fripp) – 6:12
  3. "Lament" (Fripp, John Wetton, Richard Palmer-James) – 4:04
  4. "Exiles" (David Cross, Fripp, Palmer-James) – 7:00
  5. "Improv - A Voyage to the Centre of the Cosmos" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bill Bruford) – 14:41
  6. "Easy Money" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 7:14
  7. "Providence" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 9:47
  8. "Fracture" (Fripp) – 10:47
  9. "Starless" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James) – 11:56

Disc 2: Sleight of Hand (or Now You Don't See It Again) and...Edit

(Note: Only the first half of "The Night Watch" is taken from the Glasgow performance; the second half was taken from the Zurich show featured on CD Four. The liner notes indicate that there were technical problems with both recordings, and that the splice was done "to honour the spirit and sense of Glasgow's performance".)

  1. "21st Century Schizoid Man" (Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, Michael Giles, Peter Sinfield) – 7:32
  2. "Walk off from Providence ... No Pussyfooting" (Fripp, Eno) – 1:15
  3. "Sharks' Lungs in Lemsip" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 2:30
  4. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Jamie Muir) – 7:25
  5. "Book of Saturday" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 2:49
  6. "Easy Money" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 6:43
  7. "We'll Let You Know" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 4:54
  8. "The Night Watch" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 4:54
  9. "Improv - Tight Scrummy" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 8:27
  10. "Peace - A Theme" (Fripp) – 1:01
  11. "Cat Food" (Fripp, Sinfield, McDonald) – 4:14
  12. "Easy Money..." (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 2:19
  13. "...It is for You, but Not for Us" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 7:25

Disc 3: ...Acts of Deception (the Magic Circus, or Weasels Stole Our Fruit)Edit

  • Tracks 1-11 recorded at the Stanley Warner Theatre, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania United States, 29 April 1974.
  • Tracks 12-13 recorded at Pennsylvania State University, State College, Pennsylvania, United States, 29 June 1974.
  1. "Walk On ... No Pussyfooting" (Fripp, Eno) – 1:15
  2. "The Great Deceiver" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 3:32
  3. "Improv - Bartley Butsford" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 3:13
  4. "Exiles" (Cross, Fripp, Palmer-James) – 6:23
  5. "Improv - Daniel Dust" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 4:40
  6. "The Night Watch" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 4:18
  7. "Doctor Diamond" (Cross, Wetton, Fripp, Bruford, Palmer-James) – 4:52
  8. "Starless" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Palmer-James) – 11:36
  9. "Improv - Wilton Carpet" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 5:52
  10. "The Talking Drum" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir) – 5:29
  11. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part Two" (abbreviated) (Fripp) – 2:22
  12. "Applause and announcement" – 2:19
  13. "Improv - Is There Life Out There?" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 11:50

Disc 4: ...But Neither Are They OtherwiseEdit

  1. "Improv - The Golden Walnut" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 11:14
  2. "The Night Watch" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 4:22
  3. "Fracture" (Fripp) – 10:48
  4. "Improv - Clueless and Slightly Slack" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 8:36
  5. "Walk On ... No Pussyfooting" (Fripp, Eno) – 1:00
  6. "Improv - Some Pussyfooting" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 2:23
  7. "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part One" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir) – 7:41
  8. "Improv - The Law of Maximum Distress, Part One" (Bruford, Cross, Fripp, Wetton) – 6:31
  9. "Improv - The Law of Maximum Distress, Part Two" (Bruford, Cross, Fripp, Wetton) – 2:17
  10. "Easy Money" (Fripp, Wetton, Palmer-James) – 6:57
  11. "Improv - Some More Pussyfooting" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford) – 5:50
  12. "The Talking Drum" (Cross, Fripp, Wetton, Bruford, Muir) – 6:05


Executive producer: Robert Fripp. Mixing by Fripp, Tony Arnold and David Singleton.


  1. ^ Couture, François. "King Crimson: The Great Deceiver". Allmusic.
  2. ^ John Kelman (12 October 2006). "King Crimson: The Great Deceiver (Live 1973-1974)". All About Jazz. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  3. ^ Considine J.D. (29 November 1992). "Compact Collections". Baltimore Sun.
  4. ^ Dave DiMartino (22 January 1993). "The Great Deceiver: Live 1973-1974". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 1 August 2020.
  5. ^ Tim Jones. "KING CRIMSON - THE GREAT DECEIVER VOLUMES I & II". Record Collector. Retrieved 1 August 2020.