Exposé Online banner

John Wetton — Live via Satellite
(Primary Purpose PP005CD, 2002/2015, 2CD)

by Paul Hightower, Published 2017-04-02

Live via Satellite Cover art

With his untimely passing in 2017 there’s been renewed interest in all facets of English musician John Wetton’s career, including his work as a solo artist. From his first solo album (1981’s Caught in the Crossfire), Wetton showed an ever-growing affinity for the life of a singer songwriter. His songs took on a more personal and introspective point of view, so it’s no wonder that he sounds comfortable performing before small audiences on the two dates captured on this two-disk set. Disc one was a 1998 performance at Sweden’s Grona Lund amusement park while disc two was recorded in XM Radio’s Washington DC studios in 2002. The set lists for both shows is similar, spanning Wetton’s time in King Crimson, UK, Asia, and his solo releases. Almost every song is performed as a solo vocal with accompaniment provided by Wetton’s “trusty” Yairi acoustic guitar. On a few songs — “30 Years” most notably — he is also backed by recorded synths, and “Rendezvous 6:02” is delivered sans guitar against a taped piano backing. The recordings are pristine and Wetton sounds good throughout, but don’t expect Pete Townshend-like acoustic fireworks. He’s a competent player, but I can guarantee most of you have heard better. The rock and roll lifestyle and subsequent health challenges had already taken their toll on his distinctive voice before these recordings, although here too he acquits himself well. The more difficult moments in songs like “Starless” are delivered with confidence and control, if not finesse. Because of the redundancies in the set lists — plus some rough edges in the performances — I’d place this in the “for fans and completists only” category. Still, Wetton deserves to be remembered and it’s good to see the more recent aspects of his legacy being made available to the public.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases, 2002 recordings

Related artist(s): John Wetton

Latest news

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more

2021-02-10
Chick Corea RIP – The sad news has reached us that Chick Corea has Returned to Forever, so to speak. The innovative keyboardist and composer died on February 9 at the age of 79. With a career that spanned from the 60s until shortly before his death, Corea touched many listeners with the incredible variety of music he produced in his lifetime. » Read more

2021-01-18
Asia Minor Third Album on the Way – On January 29, AMS records will be releasing the long-awaited third album by classic Turkish-French band Asia Minor. Released last year in Japan, this will be the widespread debut of Points of Libration. The album features original members Setrak Bakirel (vocals, guitar) and Eril Tekeli (flute, guitar). » Read more

2020-12-09
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Tatsuya Yoshida & Ron Anderson - A Is for Accident – This duo of Yoshida on drums and vocals and Anderson on guitar and vocals, is rather in the style of Ruins, the group which Yoshida a led, along with various bassists, and occasional guitarists....  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover

Heatwarmer new album out



Print issues