USA was a phenomenal live album. Up there with Gabriel’s Plays Live and Dire Straits Alchemy in my 1980’s teenage musical explorations.
David Byrne and Les Claypool were taking notes
Remain in Light (which featured Belew on guitar) was the previous year. I’d have said the influence went both ways.
Really looking forward to seeing this; when I was at school, classmates used to bring albums in, basically showing off, wandering around holding a copy of The Beatles (White Album) to show how cool they were. I was used to hearing The Stones, The Beatles, Jethro Tull and suchlike on the radio, but we didn’t have much money and my folks just weren’t into popular music. One day a classmate brought in an album with a cover that just knocked me sideways, it was unlike anything I’d ever seen before, so I asked if I could borrow it. When I played it at home, predictably my mum hated it, but the very first time I heard ‘21st Century Schizoid Man’ it changed my perspective about what music could be forever. That was in 1969, the year it was released, it took me fifty years to finally get to see KC on their 50th Anniversary tour at The Royal Albert Hall in London, and it was a breathtaking performance. Tripp has said that the current incarnation of the band is the one he’s wanted all the way through, and on that performance, I’ll say it’s the best version of all.
I’ve seen them twice in the past 10 years or so (all time is merging now). First time was amazing. You weren’t allowed in if you arrived in the middle of their first song–had to wait for the musical break. The second time was Not Very Good. Long boring prog rock ballads. My kid, who was about 17 at the time, actually fell asleep and I nearly did as well. I’ve passed on their live performances since then. Still love Belew and Levin. Fripp, not so much.
I love reading contemporary reviews of older music, largely to see what they got right and wrong (in popular opinion, historical influence, etc). This one (Stereo Review) they got right: “this is a musical happening and the musical shock waves will continue to widen…” Ayup. Just remember not to pass around acid rock lightly!
Looking forward to this. Every time I think of King Crimson, I tend to think Children of Men.
Also, that Bob Boilen would wake up every day to that picture on the album cover…
That sequence set to “Court of the Crimson King” is one of the greatest song-to-cinema match-ups I can think of. Just an epic mood amplifier for both the movie and the music.
Children of Men in general was a freakin’ achievement. That epic no-cut slow motion car chase sequence in particular is for the ages.
I’m not sure which scene is longer - that one with the car on fire and the motorcycle chase, or the one in the projects. Both are positively BRILLIANT.
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