24 March 2001
Putting together The Power To Believe, like any album involved a lot of sifting through the streams of ideas in search for nuggets of gold. A Virtuous Circle went through many variations and this epic, previously unreleased take gives one a good idea of the process. With the probable exception of Gunn, who essentially anchors the piece, each player can heard introducing themes, feels, accents, motifs, sounds and ideas. Not too many of them take. Ade’s jagged guitar figure, which would feature in the improvised sections when the band toured this material, is briefly heard and then abandoned. Fripp trials the DX7-style Rhodes patch he favoured but to no great conclusion. Then, at 11.20, Ade hits a sustained note which gradually begins to ascend the scale. At around 11.55, it catches Robert’s attention and he quickly joins in on the lower octave. From here the track really builds in intensity and begins to sound decisive. The moment is over fairly quickly but the job is done - it’s something notable that would move the writing process forward a little further. Let’s hear it for small, incremental changes!