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King Crimson


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London, England, United Kingdom (1968 – 1974, 1981 – 1984, 1994 – 2009, 2013 – present)

King Crimson are a progressive rock group from London, England, United Kingdom formed in 1968 by guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles. Though originally an all-British musical group, later members have included a number of Americans, most notably Adrian Belew, and Tony Levin. The name “King Crimson” was coined by Peter Sinfield as a synonym for Beelzebub, prince of demons.

King Crimson’s debut album was In the Court of the Crimson King. The first major success of the new genre of progressive rock, many bands that would come to dominate ‘prog’ in the 1970s first sought to emulate In the Court of the Crimson King, including Genesis, The Alan Parsons Project, and later Rush.

The line-up of King Crimson has at times changed drastically from album to album. Original lead singer and bassist Greg Lake left the group - as did lyricist Peter Sinfield - and went on to fame with Emerson, Lake & Palmer in 1970, replaced by Gordon Haskell, Boz Burrell, and, briefly, Jon Anderson of Yes. Also from Yes came drummer Bill Bruford, who joined King Crimson in 1972 and became one of the more enduring members. For the next three years, Bruford and Fripp were joined by future Asia frontman John Wetton. With comparatively few additional musicians, these mid-1970s albums and performances showed a more raw and stylistically focused - though still improvisational - King Crimson. In 1974 the band split temporarily.

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  • MisterJunior

    That's right, I use 2.0 for the Discipline era stuff because even though the lineups had changed previously, King Crimson had kept to a schedule of releasing roughly an album per year up until the breakup of the Wetton/Bruford/Fripp lineup, so because of the extended break I use 2.0 to signify the two distinct eras. But it is really more accurate to use 2.0 for the second lineup, 3.0 for the third, etc.

    16 Dec 9:51pm Reply
  • niQboy

    vv Yeah, Discipline was technically the 4th lineup. Personally I consider the Larks' - Red period King Crimson 2.0 because it was the first complete line-up change with Bruford, Wetton and Cross.

    15 Dec 1:21pm Reply
  • Sad_florenthine

    If Richard Wagner were alive, he'd work with King Crimson!

    15 Dec 5:15am Reply
  • MisterJunior

    Yeah, I call the Discipline -> Three of a Perfect Pair band King Crimson 2.0, although I realize it's inaccurate since the lineup changed a lot even prior to the return in 1981.

    14 Dec 5:51am Reply
  • nicolasbj

    what is "King Crimson 2.0"? the band with Belew?

    14 Dec 2:35am Reply
  • MisterJunior

    You're not alone in feeling that way, but the later stuff is great in its own way. Also, stuff like THRAK, The ConstruKction of Light and The Power to Believe is more similar to the stuff of the 70s than King Crimson 2.0 is.

    13 Dec 11:49pm Reply
  • jgganeto

    Starless is one of the most deep dark and sad songs I ever heard... Just lovely!!!

    13 Dec 7:01am Reply
  • jgganeto

    awesome prog band.... although I might say all that awesomeness ended (at least for me) with 74's album RED

    13 Dec 6:57am Reply
  • alfeizar-

    Just lay down in the dark and listen to Starless without moving a muscle... it's like a fucking trip

    13 Dec 5:03am Reply
  • niQboy

    checking it out now, thanks!

    11 Dec 8:02pm Reply
  • nicolasbj

    10 Dec 10:59pm Reply
  • nicolasbj

    v sound like the ProjeKcts.

    10 Dec 10:52pm Reply
  • niQboy

    Does anyone know where this improv is from? King Crimson - Seizure Fripperino goes mental on the guitar

    10 Dec 11:05am Reply
  • PlacidBurrito

    How have I only just listened to Red? Brilliance

    7 Dec 7:44pm Reply
  • niQboy

    Agreed! I think it also demonstrates how diverse songwriters they are, I was really surprised to find such a mellow track like Eyes Wide Open.

    7 Dec 4:17pm Reply
  • MisterJunior

    Same here. It doesn't really expand Crimson's sound into any particularly new directions but it gives us 3.0 at the height of its powers making awesome harder-edged material. I love the hell out of "The Power to Believe II" in particular.

    7 Dec 5:18am Reply
  • nicolasbj

    TPTB is underrated. I love it

    7 Dec 1:44am Reply
  • OcellatedGod

    Islands > Discipline > Red > Larks' Tongues > Itchycock > Starless&BB > Lizard > Poseidon > Thrak > TPTB > Construkction > ToaPP > Beat... something like that for now.

    6 Dec 10:49pm Reply
  • OcellatedGod

    Islands is probably my favorite KC album right now, I love the strings and the dark atmosphere of it. Also it reminds me of rainy NY where I bought the vinyl.

    6 Dec 9:08pm Reply
  • Dogger_Dog

    Wow, I don't think I could live any longer as a human being if I didn't have "Prelude Song of the Gulls" + "Islands" (title track). IMO, together they are Fripp's most beautiful creations.

    5 Dec 12:16am Reply
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