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King Crimson - USA CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.02 | 457 ratings

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3 stars While the sound quality may be very good and clear, and sonically powerful-especially Wetton's growling bass, USA is still not the finished product when it comes to King Crimson live with the line up that comprised Fripp/Bruford/Wetton/Cross. And now with the vast amount of archive releases through the King Crimson Collectors Club this is even more so redundant. The main overriding factor which knocks this album back is the fact that for many of the performances there is a fade out which brings this album a sense of live collection rather than the feel of a live show. This, the feeling of a live show, should be intrinsically central with a live album, at least as far as I'm concerned. Having the live tracks fade out, a pause, then fade back in to a new song was a major pain in the arse and it killed the essence of King Crimson live for me, on this album at least. And with the three albums that preceded USA I was certainly expecting a massive experience. Once we get over the intro, "Larks Tongues In Aspic" sounds towering. "Lamant too sounds equally impressive but by the time I got to the "Asbury Park" improv it was beginning to come across as slightly regimental, especially when considering the Live At Central Park or Live In Mainz recordings released by the KCCC in recent years, and they put USA in perspective, and rather than sound like a King Crimson album it has the tone of an (contractual obligatory) album put together by the record label. The band had exploded by the time of this albums release and Fripp himself has stated his displeasure with USA. Far from being a poor album USA does not cut the muster when at the time King Crimson were coming down from arguably their most successful period. USA is not the document of the band King Crimson from 1972-1974, but it is still a good live album. despite the reservations and criticisms.
Philo | 3/5 |


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