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USA (40th Anniversary Edition) CD + DVD Import
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Audio DVD, Limited Edition, Import, October 29, 2013
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DVD: Hi-Res stereo versions of the three different album mixes: expanded 30th anniversary edition, Ronan Chris Murphy mix & previously unreleased Robert Fripp/David Singleton mix. Uniquely, of the releases in this series, USA is presented in Hi-Resolution stereo only not 5.1 Surround.
Robert Fripp: Guitar and Mellotron / David Cross: Violin and Keyboards /John Wetton: Bass and Voice / Bill Bruford: Percussives
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
I worried that Fripp's long laboring over this CD would result in a radically different mix than the original. But other than the expected clean up work, the mix is very, very close to the old vinyl mix. I think some punch was taken out of Bruford's drums (Fripp always hated how Bill's syncopated style overlapped his guitar parts), but not enough to detract.
For fans of the original USA, there are now 2 additional tracks - Fracture and Starless. Taken as a whole, USA now includes the finest songs from this version of Crimson (absent Red). However, the version of Fracture is lamentably disjointed in the middle section and overall not as crisp as the version on Starless and Bible Black. And Starless doesn't quite have the power and presence at its climax that the Red version has. Nonetheless, they are great songs and it's wonderful to hear live versions of them.
If you like Crimson, this is a no brainer. If you like Progressive Rock, and haven't heard this version of Crimson, grab this album, but be prepared. This is hard core stuff - dark, ominous, loud. Turn it up!
A latter-day revival of interest in this mold-breaking music from a new generation of fans has led to other live-performance releases in recent years from the Fripp archives, including the mammoth 4-CD collection `The Great Deceiver' and the seminal `The Night Watch' recorded at Amsterdam Concertgebouw.
Now as part of Bob Fripp's rolling program of updated releases from the Crimson archives, we have this 2013 `40th Anniversary edition' of the original `USA'.
The CD/DVD package is in line with the other 40th anniversary series, ergo `Larks' Tongues', `Starless & Bible Black' and `Red' plus the first four albums, and the 1980s-Crim line-up's `Discipline'. You get a classy box-sleeve containing a quality gatefold disk-container, with the blue-labelled CD on one side and the red-labelled DVD on the other in robust plastic inserts. The usual finely-produced 16-page booklet details all the music and lyrics, and includes intelligent and thoughtful essays from Bob Fripp and Sid Smith on the band's development during the period. All are themed on the 1975 album artwork: front cover based the Statue of Liberty's torch-bearing right hand and rear cover showing a Kirlian photograph (very trendy in 1975) of the auric radiation from a human hand.
The music is classic Wetton-Cross era Crim.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Wow!! Were these guys are good. Light years ahead of their time. Best described as progressive rock, many instrumental interludes and songs. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Rockin' Fuge
King Crimson...the edition that included John Wetton, Bill Bruford, and...sometimes...David Cross and Jamie Muir, alongside founder Robert Fripp... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mike
Nice packaging for a classic KC live CD as are all the 40th Anniversary Editions.Published 15 months ago by Hubs88
A brilliant new mix of the last album of the greatest Prog band of them all. Taken from their last tour of the USA, this album contains excellent performances by all concerned,... Read morePublished 17 months ago by Mark D. Burgh
I've been a King Crimson fan for years, For me, the jury is still out on this Live recording. The performance does have its moments, great players.Published 18 months ago by S W ABRAMCZYK JR