I'm having the best vinyl experience. No, it doesn't involve a kinky dungeon. What's wrong with you? It's about a record I bought Wednesday but haven't had a chance to hear until tonight. It's an album I remember not liking much as a kid. I texted my best friend a few minutes ago asking, why didn't we like this?
King Crimson was a band that made gold and followed it with slop. Inconsistent? Yeah, you could say so. There were two golden periods. The first was Fripp (founder, guitars, Mellotron), Wetton (bass, vocals), Bruford (drums, percussion, god-like talent) and they recorded the best Crimson album together, Red. The second best band recorded Discipline (Bruford again, no surprise).
On the turntable now with the volume up high enough to stop the snowstorm is USA, a live album with that first group. For reasons my friend nor I can remember, we didn't much care for this when we were kids, but it's so good. The band rocks hard, then moves through deep, quiet, emotional sections. The playing is exquisite. The recording is good. The E.G. Records vinyl is pristine though this is a used copy. Everything works. Maybe I was too young to appreciate this back then.
About the only letdown is that they cut off "Easy Money" on side two, likely for time. There's a YouTube video that really ought to be on the album, but alas.
I'll have more to say when I write my definitive essay about vinyl and turntables, but this experience, rediscovering a great album doesn't happen for me on streaming. I don't listen to streaming well. Usually it's on my laptop or phone. That compares poorly to a turntable, amplifier, and speakers filling the living room with me in the sweet spot and the volume knob up.
I'm not wearing any goddamn white earbuds. Screw that noise.
Fripp doesn't allow Crimson on streaming anyway, that beautiful son of a bitch.
So great to sit through the snow storm with an album to enjoy, study, and take away all my worries. About the only thing better is live music in a great hall.
U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! by King Crimson (a British band) because we need something to feel good about in this country while the imbeciles are in charge.