Originating from an unsuccessful 1968 album, The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp, guitarist Robert Fripp and drummer Michael Giles enlisted vocalist and bassist Greg Lake, multi-instrumentalist Ian McDonald, as well as lyricist Peter Sinfield. Like a lot of progressive rock, there’s little middle ground when forming an opinion; listeners will either be enchanted by their ambition and virtuosity, or be turned off by their lengthiness and pompousness. King Crimson often escaped the critical condemnation often handed out to their progressive rock contemporaries (although a review at the time wrote scathingly that if Wagner was able to join a rock band, he’d pick King Crimson), largely because of their ability to constantly change styles and remain experimental. Fripp, the only constant member of the group, has successfully charted a course through five decades of popular music, embracing metal and new wave without ever seeming either in step or out of step with the rest of the world.
Ten Favourite King Crimson Songs
21st Century Schizoid Man
Frame by Frame
In The Court of the Crimson King
Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Part Two
One More Red Nightmare