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King Crimson

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
Sailor’s Tale

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In The Court of the Crimson King – King Crimson

1969, 9/10 While the seeds of progressive rock were sown before In The Court of the Crimson King, with bands … Continue Reading In The Court of the Crimson King – King Crimson

In The Wake of Poseidon – King Crimson

1970, 7.5/10 King Crimson fractured during the making on their second album; Greg Lake left to form Emerson, Lake and Palmer … Continue Reading In The Wake of Poseidon – King Crimson

Lizard – King Crimson

1970, 5/10 Apart from Robert Fripp and lyricist Peter Sinfield, Lizard features an entirely different lineup from the band that … Continue Reading Lizard – King Crimson

Islands – King Crimson

1971, 6/10 Continuing with the high musician turnover in King Crimson in the early 1970s, Islands features an entirely new … Continue Reading Islands – King Crimson

Larks’ Tongues in Aspic – King Crimson

1973, 8.5/10 After the tour for Islands, Fripp effectively rebooted King Crimson, dismissing the remaining members. Peter Sinfield, who had … Continue Reading Larks’ Tongues in Aspic – King Crimson

Starless and Bible Black – King Crimson

1974, 8/10 King Crimson’s second album with John Wetton on lead vocals is a patchwork affair,  with a mixture of … Continue Reading Starless and Bible Black – King Crimson

Red – King Crimson

1974, 10/10 David Cross was ejected from King Crimson after Starless and Bible Black, leaving the group as a three … Continue Reading Red – King Crimson

Discipline – King Crimson

1981, 8.5/10 Seven years after breaking up his band for good in the wake of Red, Fripp reconvened King Crimson … Continue Reading Discipline – King Crimson

Beat – King Crimson

1982, 6.5/10 For the first time in their career, King Crimson sported the same lineup for two consecutive albums. Correspondingly, … Continue Reading Beat – King Crimson

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