Primary Instrument: Band/ensemble/orchestra
King Crimson is, as always, more a way of doing things. When there is nothing to be done, nothing is done: Crimson disappears. When there is music to be played, Crimson reappears. If all of life were this simple. Robert Fripp
King Crimson was conceived in November 1968 and born on January 13th 1969 in the Fulham Palace Cafe, London (Fripp/Ian McDonald/Greg Lake/Michael Giles/Pete Sinfield), coming to prominence after supporting The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park. Their ground-breaking debut In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969) described by Pete Townshend as an uncanny masterpiece, began a career that has spanned four decades and influenced many bands and individuals including Yes, Genesis, Tool, and Porcupine Tree.
Despite the original line-up imploding after an American tour King Crimson continued to produce constantly challenging and intriguing music on albums such as In The Wake of Poseidon (1970), Lizard (1970), Islands (1971), Earthbound (1972), Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973) and Red (1974).
Following Red, an exhausted Fripp declared King Crimson is completely over for ever and ever.
After a period outside the music industry, Robert Fripp returned to work on solo projects (including Frippertronics and his first solo album, Exposure in 1979) and collaborations with artists such as, Daryll Hall, Blondie, Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie.
In 1981, Fripp reconvened King Crimson along with Adrian Belew (Zappa/Bowie/Talking Heads), Tony Levin (Paul Simon/John Lennon/Peter Gabriel) and his old sparring partner, Bill Bruford.
The bleak Crim view lightened according to Fripp as their musical vocabulary widened and Crimson combined gamelan, funk and rock grooves that would threaten to tear out and flatten ear hairs within a mile. Albums which followed include Discipline (1981), Beat (1982) and Three Of A Perfect Pair (1984) and a stunning live album from their last ever performance in 1984, Absent Lovers (finally released in 1998).
Following a lengthy period outside the music industry mainstream - during which Fripp not only established Guitar Craft, engaged in a protracted but ultimately successful legal battle with his former mangers, and collaborated with David Sylvian—King Crimson re-emerged in 1994 with Trey Gunn (touch guitar) and Pat Mastelotto (drums).
Joining forces with Belew, Levin, Bruford and Fripp and dubbed the Double Trio, they recorded an ep VROOOM (1994) and THRAK (1995) and a suite of live improvs, THRaKaTTaK (1996). In 1997, the group subdivided into research and development units collectively known as the ProjeKcts, producing an exciting and inventive blend that mixed hard-core improv and electronica (King Crimson The ProjeKcts box set 1999).
With Tony Levin temporarily leaving to work with Seal and Peter Gabriel, and Bill Bruford returning full-time to his ongoing Earthworks jazz group, King Crimson entered the new millennium with The ConstruKction of Light (2000). In the same year the double duo of Belew, Fripp Gunn and Mastelotto produced a live set, Heavy ConstruKction, before returning to the studio to record the critically acclaimed, The Power To Believe (2003).
After a tour playing 21 countries with over 70 dates, Trey Gunn departed to pursue his own career in 2003. King Crimson's seventh lineup featured is Adrian Belew (guitar, lead vocals), Robert Fripp (guitar), Tony Levin (bass guitar & Chapman stick) and Pat Mastelotto (drums) and Gavin Harrison (drums). The group played a series of live dates before Fripp, once again, disbanded the group.
Source: Sid Smith
Discipline (40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2011/1981)
Starless and Bible Black (40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2011/1974)
In the Wake of Poseidon(40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2010/1970)
Islands (40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2010/1971)
In the Court of the Crimson King (40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2009/1969)
Red (40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2009/1975)
Lizard (40th Anniversary Series) (DGM Live, 2009/1970)
The Power to Believe (DGM Live, 2003)
Heavy ConstruKction (DGM Live, 2000)
The ConstruKction of Light (DGM Live, 2000)
Absent Lovers: Live in Montreal (DGM Live, 1998)
Epitaph (DGM Live, 1997)
The Night Watch (DGM Live, 1997)
Thrakattak (DGM Live, 1996)
Thrak (DGM Live, 1995)
B'Boom: Live in Argentina (DGM Live, 1995)
The Great Deceiver (1973-1974) (DGM Live, 1992)
Three of a Perfect Pair (DGM Live, 1983)
Beat (DGM Live, 1982)
USA (DGM Live, 1976)
Earthbound (DGM Live, 1972)
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