Blog Roddus

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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

King Crimson - Earthbound (UK 1972)

Off The Shelf.

Quite possibly one of the worst recorded live albums to ever see an official release, sounding like it was recorded at the bottom of the sea and approaching Bootleg quality. I wouldn't have it any other way. 
I originally fell in love with an old second hand vinyl copy that I acquired sometime back in the early 90's after I had discovered King Crimson through their "Larks Tongue in Aspic" album. This copy is the 30th Anniversary HDCD version and frankly it doesn't sound any better technically than what I remember of the vinyl version. But I wouldn't have it any other way. The music is fully audible through the distortion and presents us with a group of numbers from several concerts around the same time that show a band of considerable power and musicality. The 11 minute version of "21st Century Man" is just astonishing  and with the excellent guitar of Fripp and the totally brilliant Sax playing of Mel Collins(Who almost dominates this album), well, Progressive rock doesn't get any better than this, the ending had me almost leaping out of my seat to thrash along with it'. The second track is an slower jam with a great groove and some outstanding sax which lets rip into some free sounding jazz before Fripp ends the piece with his guitar.The sound quality gives the sax work a undescribable ambience that I just love and the overall record an atmosphere of some far out rock from some far off age(which it is). The Jazzy funky jam rock continues unabated on the next two tracks before we get to the 15 minute finale of "Groon" which kicks off with some more extended sax pyrotechnics from Collins before the piece mutates into some pretty serious weirdness.
This is one of my all time favourite live albums. Rating 5/5.


Maarten Daams said...

I am a serious KC collector and this is one of my favorites.

Roddus said...

Cool Martin, Not many would agree with us.