Sunday, February 08, 2009


Digitized from the original vinyl, released in 1971 on Capitol Records.
Format: Mp3
Bit Rate: 256 kbps
Produced By: Bloodrock & John Palladino
Recorded At: Capitol Records Studios, Hollywood, California
Engineers:John Wilson, Cecil Jones
Cover Art: Lockart
It's A Sad World
Don't Eat The Children
Crazy 'Bout You Babe
Hangman's Dance
American Burn
Rock & Roll Candy Man
Magic Man
Jim Rutledge - Vocals
Lee Pickens - Lead Guitar
Nick Taylor - Guitar
Ed Grundy - Bass
Stevie Hill - Keyboards
Rick Cobb - Drums
By Yours Truly
U.S.A. was the last album with the original line-up. They'd finally gotten away from Terry Knight and with the help of John Palladino, produced this album by themselves.
This is an album with a voice and something to say. When listening to this record you have to keep in mind that it's 1971 and most of the country was pretty damn sick of the Viet-nam war and all that it entailed. It's A Sad World, the first cut, sadly still applies today, maybe more today than back in the 70's. That would indicate folks that we're going in the wrong direction!
The production on this record is strong and makes it easy to listen to even almost 40 years later (my god, how time does fly!). In amongst the socially relevant songs there are a couple excellent rockers that will get your feet movin' and over half the material on this album was written by the band itself along with a couple continued contributions by John Nitzenger. All good stuff
This band was unfairly maligned back in the day for a variety of reasons, none of which meant a damn back then or today. If you could see the entire artwork you'd see on the back cover the devil with his right arm wrapped around the Capitol building, Which is shown in a shadow/translucent outline (a shadow of it's former self?). That's the devil's left hand on the front cover shooting a large hole into a civilians head. A very graphic illustration that says tons about the message on the vinyl. I'm surprised looking at this now that it ever made it to the record bins of America back then. On The CD release, that is now out of print, the back cover is nonexistent, covered up by a grey background that just lists the tunes and credits. Obviously more offensive in recent times to the policitally correct asses than it was back then......that in itself says volumes about the state of the union.
Historically and musically this is an excellent album, best played at 9 on the volume dial for full effect.

UPDATE 2/9/09: found a pic of both front and back cover so I thought I'd share.

Another Amazing Adventure..., December 7, 2005
Mark Gatzke (Plant City, FL USA) - (Amazon Customer Review)
I remember the first time I listened to USA as a teenager, scratching my head over the subtle yet undeniable departure from the fierce bludgeoning of their first three albums. I liked it just the same, but didn't really appreciate its beauty until many years later. From that perspective, USA stands as the successful culmination of Bloodrock's first incarnation and as a harbinger of their transition from proto-metal to progressive/jazz rock. Given their perceived status as a poor man's Grand Funk (an unfair and perplexing notion considering the complexity of some of their songs was something GFR could only dream of), Bloodrock responded with an album that demonstrated what a little pressure and a lot of determination and skill could produce. The song writing continued to improve, and, with some additional material from the Ham brothers and John Nitzinger, laid the foundation for a collaborative effort that gleamed with energy and depth. Two favorites of mine, Hangman's Dance and Magic Man, illustrate the sometimes confusing dichotomy of their work. The former is a heavy handed tune that embodies what most people remember them for. The latter is an understated masterpiece that takes the listener on an exquisite mystical journey. It also serves as a vehicle for some of Steve Hill's most hauntingly beautiful keyboard work and an incredible guitar solo by Lee Pickens that still gives me shivers when I hear it. As the final album with Jim Rutledge and Lee Pickens, USA brings the first chapter of Bloodrock's story to a close in fine style, and gives an overdue middle finger to critics who never really got what they were about or gave them proper credit for what they did.
Un-freakin' believable rock from the 70's. Nothing compares to it !, March 28, 2008
Misha Bendavid (Austin, Texas United States) - (Amazon Customer Review)
Bloodrock's first four records received regular, almost daily, play in my bedroom in the early 70's. My girlfriend came to hate them, because she liked "happy" music. When I worked in FM radio, I wedged them in every time I thought the PD was asleep. Forget the gory hit single "D.O.A", these mofos could rock ! These guys are really jazz musicians; you can hear the incredible swing in their rhythms and drummer Rick Cobb knew how to throw offbeat fills in that made their songs really fun and gave them incredible groove. Indeed, their songs were darker than anything Sabbath or Blue Oyster Cult were dishing out, because you had the sense that they knew what they were talking about. But their clever writing style, relentless sonic punch; crisp, well timed guitar solos and genuinely spooky lyrics made this band one of a kind. How I wish musicians were half as ambitious, now.
READ THIS for more information on this album.


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Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 9:44:00 PM EST  
Blogger Tom Eckels said...

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Sunday, February 8, 2009 at 10:07:00 PM EST  

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