John Wetton + Robert Fripp, “Raised in Captivity” from Studio Recordings Anthology (2015)

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On a new, guest-packed Cherry Red compilation called Studio Recordings Anthology, John Wetton’s long-awaited reunion with former King Crimson bandmate Robert Fripp was bound to stand out.

Together, they begin on an appropriately spacy note, as “Raised in Captivity” seems to float weightlessly into a crunchy bassline by Wetton. Fripp then adds a series of grinding, brilliant blurts while Wetton and former Yes multi-instrumentalist Billy Sherwood settle into a more conventional arc — neatly approximating, really, the prog-pop of Asia, John Wetton’s charttopping 1980s band.

That is until Robert Fripp returns, playing a solo of unpredictable momentum that sounds, by turns, like a nervy shiver then a panicky sneer, and then like stray-cat music. As John Wetton repeats the soaring chorus, “Raised in Captivity” is finally subsumed once again by wave after dreamy wave of tape-looping Frippertronics.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: John Wetton goes in-depth on a trio of his most important musical stops – Asia, King Crimson and UK – while frankly discussing how drinking nearly ruined all of it.]

Elsewhere, Studio Recordings Anthology features star turns by the likes of Steve Hackett, Geoff Downes (one of John Wetton’s most productive musical collaborators, principally in Asia), Martin Barre, Ian McDonald (a fellow Crimson alum), Steve Lukather, and others. John Wetton worked with Robert Fripp in King Crimson between 1972-74, then co-founded UK in 1978 and Asia in 1982; he has also been a member of both Roxy Music and Uriah Heep.

“Raised in Captivity” was originally the title track to John Wetton’s sixth solo project, produced by Billy Sherwood and released on Frontiers Records in 2011. Geoff Downes’ Studio Recordings Anthology contribution, “Steffi’s Ring,” was also originally founds on Raised in Captivity.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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