Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Usa: 30th Anniversary Edition
Genres: Pop, Rock
Good then, even better now
Friendlycard | Norfolk, UK | 08/06/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
""USA" is my second-favourite King Crimson album, after the towering genius that is "Red", and ahead of "In the Court of the Crimson King".
One of the interesting features of this (excellently remastered, HDCD-encoded) CD is that two tracks have been added that were not included on the original album - and I can't begin to understand why they were both excluded in the first place.
"Fracture", though an excellent track, might have been omitted on grounds of its length (11.20), but it's quintessential Crimson of the Fripp-Wetton-Bruford-Cross era, and a very welcome inclusion here.
But not even length can explain the omission of "Starless" which, for my money, is simply the best thing the band ever did. One hears various takes on this - that it was written for, but left out of, the album "Starless and Bible Black"; that Robert Fripp wasn't that keen on it; and that the success of the song on the US tour resulted in its inclusion on "Red", the last album by this incarnation of KC.
Whatever, the version here is excellent, and significantly different from the studio version, not least because we have David Cross on violin, who contributes significantly to the track. It's a nice alternative to the studio version - in either form, "Starless" is pure genius, and on its own worth the price of this CD.
After a very brief (0.35) introductory track - "Walk on....no pussyfooting", an Eno-Fripp composition - the listener cannot help but be inspired by the opening crescendoes of "Larks' Tongues in Aspic, Part II". This is heavy rock at its best, and showcases the tightness and cohesion of the band.
"Lament" is a lower-key track with some decent vocals by John Wetton. Vocals weren't Wetton's major role in Crimson - he was primarily a superb bass player - but, after he moved on to supergroup Asia and then a successful solo career, his voice seemed to get better and better. (To hear him at his best, try the solo album "Battle Lines", or the first Asia album).
"Exiles" is another track that exemplifies Crimson's ability to blend the powerful with the lyrical.
"Asbury Park", the only track that hadn't previously been released in studio form, is essentially a jam but, unlike many other bands, Crimson's jams always possessed direction and structure, so this is an enjoyable, atmosphere-filled listen.
"Easy Money" seems to have been a fixture in the band's playlist, and is a great, audience-energising track.
Last, on the original album, came "21st Century Schizoid Man". Well, it had to be on the play-list as a fan-pleaser, but it's the weakest track here, in my view. It hails from an earlier incarnation of Crimson, so was not ideally suited to the Fripp-Wetton-Bruford-Cross line-up. It's not a great performance, and Wetton's vocals seem heavily distorted. I'm not sure why this version was included, since Robert Fripp's archives included a far better version from the tour, and which can be found on disc 2 of "The Great Deceiver, vol 1".
And that's where the album ended - originally. Now, though, we have the excellent "Fracture" and the towering "Starless". That track fittingly ends the album - not even Crimson could improve on that.
If you like your music heavy but at the same time inspired and original, then you'll enjoy "USA" - and should also invest in "Red"."
Amazing KC album...
Zeus Lizard | Bridgeport, CT | 10/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This was the first album I converted to MP3 directly from vinyl...It still sounds great even with a few pops here and there, but now that it has been remastered, I can retire my old version. Asbury Park it the epitome of the power of this "Sick Jam" era of KC. Worth every penny."
Talking Wall | Queen Creek, AZ | 05/31/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I actually saw this lineup in Denver at the Colosseum just weeks before that last gig in... was it Providence? Barry Fey pulled the plug on them for playing too long... nice. Poor ol' Bill was left up on the stage flailing away. It took a couple minutes for him to realize the rest of the band had left the stage and there was no PA. Terrible that. Obviously I'm an "old guy" too. I wore this out on vinyl and 8 track tape. This is intensely great music. This expanded version includes Fracture and Starless which were not on the original release all those years ago. USA Live is, as Mr Wetton once said, "very ballsy". This is one of the unheralded great rhythm section of that time. Bruford and Wetton are all over the place but hanging together measure after measure, tune after tune. They make Bogart and Appice (THE heralded rhythm section of that time) sound like child's play. USA Live wildly spontaneous stuff, closer to the spirit of jazz than rock-n-roll. I can't believe someone out here rated this with 2 stars. I'm sure there's a ZZ Top live album somewhere in his collection that he'll enjoy more.
This is a ripper! A mincer, A real "wallpaper shreddar". It kicks butt in a cerebral kind of way! Buy it!"