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King Crimson - USA CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.02 | 458 ratings

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Symphonic Team
4 stars USA is an archive live document of the early King Crimson live set and as such has become quite legendary. Far superior to the quality of Earthbound, the only other live document of the Crims, it still lacks the quality of subsequnt releases. The first time I heard most of this was on the box set compilation 21st Century Guide: Volume One (1969-1974) and I liked what I heard so sought this out. The lineup is one of the best for the ever changing band; Bill Bruford on percussion, David Cross on violin, keyboards, Robert Fripp on guitar, mellotron, John Wetton on bass, vocals and Eddie Jobson plays violin on Larks' Tongues in Aspic.

There are a huge plethora of live albums thanks to the band releasing a back log of live CDs. However USA is certainly chock full of great classics beginning with Larks' Tongues in Aspic part II which has become as mandatory as a certain song that ends this album. Lament follows as a transition to the next classic, Exiles. Asbury Park is a rather pedestrian version, not too different than others I have heard. Easy money is always welcome and we end with a staggering manic version of quintessential Crimson with 21st century schizoid man. The version is as good as I have heard at 7:32 in length.

Overall this live album is a taster of the great live sound. There is precious little improvisation which is a key feature of the band in the live arena. The extra tracks for Cd are lengthy, Fracture and Starless, and certainly worth a listen. Overall I recommend this album but there are greater live albums such as The Great Deceiver and the incredible Epitath volumes 1 to 4.

AtomicCrimsonRush | 4/5 |


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