Akustika: Live in Amerika / Akustika II: Return to
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John Wetton was the lead singer of ASIA, UK and the Red era of KING CRIMSON, with an extensive solo catalogue. This 2 CD set includes a 2017 remaster of the acoustic album Akustika and a previously unreleased acoustic show from 2005. The booklet features specially written recollections of close friends and fans who attended the 2005 show with previously unseen photographs.
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I was skeptical of II when first reading the press notes on its release, but wow, what an addition to the Wetton canon. He had just gotten sober, according to the liner notes, and his voice in many parts sounds better in 2005 than it did on the first disc in '95. There are some crossover songs and a few that were simply better the first time, but II is a wholly different show, with lots of between song banter and a much more intimate, less-produced feel than Akustika I. If nothing else, get this for Starless alone.
We're all still smarting from John's passing earlier this year, but this was exactly the tonic I needed to help. Thanks to Lisa Wetton and his management/estate for making this available. I hope there are more anthology-like releases in the future.