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King Crimson - USA CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.02 | 458 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars King Crimson - USA (1975) (original vinyl, without bonus-tracks)

The brutal power of the Crimsons..

Sometimes I trade some vinyls with my brother, who's also a big King Crimson fan. USA is the first live album I've listened to of this favorite of mine. I must admit I prefer the first four albums over the metal-Crimson period, but this live album was a good opportunity for a second opinion.

On this live album KC has a very rough sound, most songs sound heavier then on the albums. Especially 21th Century Schizoid Man is almost Garage like heavy. The vocals of John Wetton seemed to have grown a lot over the years on stage. I can enjoy the vocals much more on the live versions of the songs, such as Lament, Exiles and Easy Money. Fripp's guitar playing is also way more extrovert on this album. I've never heard him playing such fast and fierce solo's as on Asbury Park. An amazing, professional yet rockin' jam dominated by Wetton's distorted bass and Fripp's great solo-guitar-style. The Man is one in a million. Bill Bruford's drums are good, though he has never been a favorite drummer of mine. The sound of the drums is also better then on most studio albums. The use of mellotron is good, though I can hear the troubles this instrument must have given on stage. It's slightly out of pitch at time, but warm as ever. The violins of Cross good, but not exceptional in subtlety.

The track-listing of this record is very good. Expecting songs like I talk to the Wind and In the Wake of Poseidon is useless, since the band has changed a lot over the years. The material presented is from Larks and Starless, with the exception of 21th Century Schizoid Man. The choice of material is good, simply because the songs fit together.

Conclusion. If you're a fan of the metal-Crimson period you might be very interested in buying this live album. It shows an exceptional band playing exceptional compositions and some improvisations along the way. There's only one problem here. New cd packages and editions with bonus tracks might make the original album, which I own on vinyl, an in-logical choice. The Collectible KC vol 2 is mentioned as a better alternative for people who buy cd's. For vinyl junkies like me this is still an excellent addition. Four stars.

friso | 4/5 |


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