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King Crimson - Earthbound CD (album) cover

EARTHBOUND

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

2.46 | 294 ratings

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Guillermo
Prog Reviewer
2 stars An Official Bootleg album released in 1972.

In 1985 the singer of the band in which I was playing then, after knowing that I liked King Crimson`s USA live album, told me: "The live version of "Schizoid Man" from their "Earthbound" album is better!. In 1991, one German friend from one of my brothers, while being in my city on Holidays, asked me: "Is it true that you have the "Earthbound" album?". I said to him, "No, I don`t have it". He then said to me: "But your brother told me that you have it!" (my brother knew that I have the "USA " album, but as he never has liked King Crimson he didn`t remember the name of that live album, so he thought that it was called "Earthbound"). I said to him: "No. The only live album that I have from King Crimson is called "USA" . He was a bit disappointed but as he never have listened to "USA" too, he recorded it in a cassette before returning to his country. (The "USA" album was also a "rarity" in 1991, because it wasn`t available on C.D. then).

I have to say that in 1979-80 I found in some record shops several very expensive L.P. copies imported from England from this "Earthbound" album. I was a bit curious then to buy it but the prices were so high than I never bought it then, and another reason was that the back cover said that it was recorded using a cassette tape recorder, so I really expected a bad quality recording. I also didn`t know then why this album wasn`t released in the U.S. Now that I have it on C.D. I know the reason: maybe this album shouldn`t have been released. Why Fripp released a cheap live recording from his band? Why he didn`t use a more professional recording equipment to record this line-up in concert? I don`t know. Maybe he had some budget restricitions then.

This is really a "Schizophrenic" album, because some of the tracks are not very representative of the original musical style of the band. "Schizoid Man", "A Sailor`s Tale" and "Groon", which were released on previous studio albums ("Groon" was first released as the B-side of the "Cat Food" single in 1970, until being included in the remastered C.D. of the "In the Wake of Poseidon" album) , obviously sound in the original musical style of the band. The live improvised tracks, "Peoria" and "Earthbound", while sounding good and interesting in some parts, sound more like played by another band in a Jazz-Rock-Blues-Funky style. The musicians in this line-up are very good and they played interesting things, in my opinion. I don`t think that Boz Burrell was a bad singer / bass player. Ian Wallace and Mel Collins are also very good musicians, and both particularly shine in some moments. Fripp`s guitar playing is also very good, sometimes a bit noisy, but good. Wallace plays a very good dums solo on "Groon", and Collins plays a lot of very good solos on his sax in most songs

The live version of "Schizoid Man" is very good, more close to the original studio version in some parts due to Collins`sax playing. Wallace also plays the song more in the style of Michael Giles, the original drummer of the band. I like this live version, but I also like the live version which was released in their "USA" album.

The worst thing in this album is the recording, which sounds as a Bootleg, as many reviewers wrote. The performances are not bad, and this album has some interesting things. This is a Heavy live album from this band, not bad, but not of enough quality in the recordings to be sold now in the record shops in the same prices as better live recordings fom this band and others. Now I now why Fripp didn`t want this album to be released on C.D. It is more for Collectors / Dedicated Fans only.

After being for several years "a rarity and a mystery", now I have this album. Now I can see why I didn`t buy it in 1979-80. I was right. The recordings are of bad quality, as expected.

Two members of this line-up are now dead: Boz Burrell and Ian Wallace died a few years ago. RIP.

Guillermo | 2/5 |

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