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King Crimson - USA CD (album) cover

USA

King Crimson

 

Eclectic Prog

4.01 | 342 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Tarcisio Moura
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Oh, old times, good times! When I was 15 or 16 I didnīt have enough money to buy all the records I wanted, but I remember I could always rely on a friend that was a DJ from a local radio station to hear some new sounds. And I remeber that he received USA around the time it was released. I duly recorded this album on a cassette and played it all the time in 1975 and 76. But itīs been more than 30 years since I last heard of it and I was more than glad to buy the new, remastered edition of this live album, especially when I found out there were two extra tracks included. I also loved the booklet, made of newspapers clippings of the band at the time and some real nice photos.

The new CD version is a real gem since the muddy sound of the original vinyl record was evident even for a 16 year old in an old cassette player! The playing is superb, which is not surprising since it was King Crimsonīs best remembered line up (bar their first album, of course): Robert Fripp on guitar, mellotron and devices, John Wetton on bass and vocals, Bill Bruford on drums and various percussions and David Cross on violin and keyboards. I agree with most reviewers that say those live versions are better than their studio counterparts. The band was at their peak around the time and deliver thier performance with such tightness and precision you have to hear to believe it. Even if not a totally īliveī (Eddie Jobson did some overdubbing on a couple of tracks),.it is still amazing how they played such difficult stuff on stage with so much ease.

Side A of the old vinyl was always my favorite: terrific playing of such killer songs like Larkīs Tongues In Aspic Part II, Lament and Exiles. Side two has its merits too, with excellent renditions of Easy Money and 21st Century Schizoid Man (it was amazing to hear Fripp playing the original saxophone parts on his guitar in a note perfect fashion!). The two new tracks are a nice addition: Freacture was not one of my fave songs, but it is awesome to hear how they play this rather abstrct piece so good in a live enviroment. Starless is another classic that I always wanted to hear live and now I see why King Crinson was so great. Those guys really had a special chemistry among them.

As live albums go, there are several songs Iīd like to have here instead of one or two (the new track, Asbury Park, is more a jam than a real song and therefore is one of them), but they could not satisfy everyone.

I heard there were more live albums of this line up released over the years, but I still think that this the ONE every fan must have. A document of an era. And what a band! The way they balanced the complex and the simple, the old and new, the high technique and the passionate expression is so unique, it is no surprise that they influenced so many bands that came after them.

Final rating: 4,5 stars. Highly recommended!

Tarcisio Moura | 4/5 |

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