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King Crimson - Earthbound CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

2.47 | 403 ratings

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4 stars The ugly duck of the KC pond? In some ways the answer is yes. The recording quality is poor, but the performance is great.

Surprisingly, by the time this line-up went on tour in early 1972, it was already decided that they will disband afterwards. Yet, they played with remarkable enthusiasm and almost in a visionary way. What came out as "Earthbound" is a selection of tracks performed in the US in Feb/March 1972. Interestingly, Fripp chose to publish largely improvised tracks, contrary to that the band had also performed pieces from their first four studio albums at the same venues. (Much of the complete performances had been made available under the umbrella of the King Crimson Collectors Club.)

The style is a combination of heavy Rock and Jazz, but not to be confused with Jazz-Rock as a genre. Fripp plays furious guitar often venturing into Jazz territory. This is beautifully complemented by Mel Collins on saxes. Boz, who was very fond of Jazz, but himself a rather mediocre musician is also at this best here. His scat vocals and heavy bass are probably the best that I know of. Add Ian Wallace with his mega-heavy chops on the skins and it is an experience I wouldn't want to be without.

The music itself is 5 stars for my taste. Sadly, it was recorded onto a Lo-Fi cassette player, technology at an elementary stage back in 1972, more of a novelty then. In recent years a 24-bit remaster with somewhat improved sound quality was released on CD.

Anon-E-Mouse | 4/5 |


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