King Crimson – Earthbound (1972)
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About the Album
Earthbound is a live album by the band King Crimson, released in 1972 as a budget record shortly after the line-up that recorded it had broken up. It contains the band’s first official live release of their signature song “21st Century Schizoid Man”, and an extended live version of their 1970 non-LP B-side “Groon”. It also contains two improvised tracks with scat vocals from Boz Burrell.
The album’s sound quality is very poor, because of its being recorded onto cassette tape (a low-fidelity recording medium, even by 1972 standards) by live sound engineer Hunter MacDonald. The liner notes to the original LP cover and recent CD reissues of the album state that it was “captured live on an Ampex stereo cassette fed from a Kelsey Morris custom built mixer… in the rain from the back of a Volkswagen truck.”Atlantic Records, King Crimson’s original North American distributor, declined release of Earthbound because of its poor sound engineering. Because of its cassette origins, the sound could not be significantly improved on later CD reissues of the album.
An expanded CD-DVD version of the album was set for release on 13 November 2017. The CD is expanded to twelve tracks, whereas the DVD features hi-res audio of the album along with additional audio material.