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USA (1975)

Post all your thoughts on King Crimson albums here.

USA (1975)

Postby vrooom on Sat Apr 17, 2004 11:36 am

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Your thoughts about this album to be posted here - so feel free to talk about your first listen, what you like about this album, what you don't like, etc.


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Postby Indyrod on Mon Apr 19, 2004 3:51 pm

This is a reprint of my original review located elsewhere on this site.

Review of USA Remaster

USA is kind of a KC Rare, a delight of epic proportions that never disappoints, but new arrangements on almost everything included. Being the Starless fanatic I am, this performance is totally different and hard to judge along classic performances like Mainz, and the original "Red". It just doesn't have quite the frantic middle section as the other versions, and Fripp seems very toned down, volume wise, which is surprising. Fracture, on the other hard, seems very subdued to me, almost a Funky Fracture and just simply an outstanding performance, probably one of my favorites. A definite highlight for me is Asbury Park. I've never heard this piece before, and it just blows the roof off the sucker. An outstanding heavy metal improv that begs for repeated listenings. Is that Crimson doing that? Damn right, move over headbangers, this one will grab you by the balls (sorry ladies), and remind you a little of a Hendrix jam, at least it did me. LTIA-2 is very good, but again, a little different than usual but sounds incredibly smooth, even with the overdubs and such. Exiles is as beautiful as ever, and continues to be one of Crims most soothing compositions. Lament, well, is Lament, nothing special, just an excellent performance again, with Wetton in good voice as usual. And yes, Easy Money is a very very interesting track. One of Fripp's most unusual excursions from the norm, with a kick-ass solo out of the blue, that fades into the sunset for no particular reason. I understand all the fuss now about this, and it would be nice to hear the definitive answer from Fripp himself, why, oh why, he fades that solo out like he did. Schizoid Man is wild and wooly and stands up to any previous live version, except the one and only "Earthbound". Altogether USA is a phenom amongst many phenoms in the KC arsenal. The audio is just superb, in fact as close to studio quality as any live KC I have heard yet. My personal favorite tracks, are definitely Asbury Park and Fracture, no doubt about it. However long it has been, since Crims have been waiting for this CD, the wait is over, and the wait was worth it. It's just flat out one of the best Live KC releases ever, and will spend a long time in my players, intoxicating my brain with these incredible sounds.
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Postby Lemmings on Tue May 04, 2004 2:06 am

I will post what I posted at Progressive Ears:

Great live album. Awesome sound quality & incredible drumming.
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Postby The Crimson Avenger on Tue May 04, 2004 3:41 am

Whatever your feelings about this era of Crimson, this disc is like a giant KC hyperdermic needle plunged into your sternum. Those who like it must feel insanely energized. Those who hate it must feel totally justified. For me, it is one hellacious roller coaster ride. The highs are high, and the lows are low. The sonics are In Your Face.

This CD must be Reckoned with.

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Postby Lemmings on Tue May 04, 2004 4:28 am

The Crimson Avenger wrote:Whatever your feelings about this era of Crimson, this disc is like a giant KC hyperdermic needle plunged into your sternum. Those who like it must feel insanely energized. Those who hate it must feel totally justified. For me, it is one hellacious roller coaster ride. The highs are high, and the lows are low. The sonics are In Your Face.

This CD must be Reckoned with.

-TCA


Hmm...I feel the same way...
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As good as it gets

Postby aWc on Tue May 18, 2004 9:19 pm

I think that if i had to pick a single live Crim album, this would be it.
USA is possibly the most devastating set of the most devastating incarnation of the band. "Asbury Park" rocks, screams, explodes. In 1974, John Wetton was a monster of a bass player with a unique buzzsaw tone and a wild imagination. The interplay between Wetton, Fripp and Bruford on AP is astonishing. And what about RF's fuzz/wha guitar tone: the man is pushing it to the limit. Maybe only Hendrix could make it scream like this too...

The segue into "Easy Money" is fantastic. Fripp's solo fades out?
Hey, he must know when to fade it out, right? I LIKE the fade out.
Makes you beg for more!

The original vinyl USA was already amazing, but the remaster, with the addition of "Fracture" and "Starless" AND the restored David Cross parts is to die for. I never really liked the Jobson overdubs.
Now we can hear Mellotron on "Lament" and "Asbury.." and it really makes the sound much fuller, more Crimson.
Overall, the sound quality is very, very good. Maybe my only reservation is "21csm". Not a bad version, but not quite up there with the best (anyways, the 'Earthbound' version rules).

Chances are, if you're a crimhead or even "just a fan", you already know how indispensable USA is. If you don't, than just run and buy it. Plus the cover is beautiful! The hand (on the back) will forever remind me of Fripp waving as he left the stage after a mind blowing "Schizoid Man" encore, in Montréal, on that final 1974 tour documented on USA.

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Postby Gilesfan on Fri Sep 10, 2004 7:47 am

Picked this one up on CD back when I got Earthbound. I won't compare them, as they cannot and should not be compared.

But anyway, as for USA on CD, adding "Fractured" and
"Starless" were great and necessary additions. And I still feel all of "Easy Money" should have been included. That fading out (as one any live recording) drives me crazy! :roll:

I still don't see why the Jobson overdubs were needed. I guess we'll never know why. :roll: I am sure anything David Cross played sounded just fine.

I think this album, when it was an LP, should have been a double album with more on it.

I still don't have The Great Deceiver , so I cannot make comparisons.


Overall, USA is great. :D
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Postby Whiskey Vengeance on Sun Nov 07, 2004 3:59 am

Does the remaster still have the studio overdubs?
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Postby octopus92 on Sun Nov 07, 2004 8:24 am

Sure, the overdubs are : violin in "Larks 2", piano in "Lament", viloin in "21SCM". That's all I've heard.
This version of "Larks 2" live is the simply the best I know (the final violin solo kicks ass :roll: , sure)...
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Postby vrooom on Sun Nov 07, 2004 10:46 am

Again, the re-issue of USA was a missed opportunity. "USA II" was originally touted as a two-disc affair. The first disc would have been the expanded re-issue as we know it and the second disc would have featured the same set again but WITHOUT Eddie "The Wanker" Jobson's overdubbed contributions.

I would have liked to hear this version of the concert, wouldn't you?


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