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King Crimson is a legendary progressive rock band with a storied history that spans over five decades
Formed in 1968, the band has undergone numerous lineup changes and musical evolutions, making it one of the most innovative and influential groups in the history of rock music. Here's a detailed history of King Crimson:
Formation and Early Years (1968-1970):
- King Crimson was formed in London in January 1968 by guitarist Robert Fripp. Fripp's vision for the band was to create a new, experimental and avant-garde sound within rock music.
- The original lineup consisted of Robert Fripp (guitar), Greg Lake (vocals, bass), Ian McDonald (saxophone, woodwinds, keyboards), Michael Giles (drums), and Peter Sinfield (lyricist, lighting, and stage design).
- Their debut album, "In the Court of the Crimson King" (1969), was a groundbreaking release, often considered one of the seminal records in the progressive rock genre. It featured complex compositions and a cover art that became iconic.
- The band's early music blended rock with jazz and classical influences, characterized by its intricate time signatures and surreal lyrics.
Lineup Changes and Musical Evolution (1970s):
- The band saw numerous lineup changes in the early 1970s, with Robert Fripp being the only constant member. Notable members during this period included John Wetton, Bill Bruford, and David Cross.
- The 1970 album "Lizard" marked a shift toward jazz and fusion influences. Each subsequent album had a distinct musical style, showcasing the band's commitment to innovation.
- "Larks' Tongues in Aspic" (1973) and "Red" (1974) are considered two of their most influential and heavy albums, featuring complex instrumentals and dark, aggressive themes.
Hiatus and Reformation (1980s):
- After the release of "Red" in 1974, King Crimson went on an extended hiatus, and Robert Fripp explored various musical projects.
- In 1981, Fripp reformed King Crimson with a new lineup that included Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, and Bill Bruford, embracing a more accessible and new wave-influenced sound.
- Albums like "Discipline" (1981) and "Beat" (1982) displayed a different, more streamlined King Crimson sound, with elements of world music and experimental rock.
Later Years and Further Evolution (1990s - 2000s):
- The 1990s saw more lineup changes, and King Crimson's music evolved yet again. Albums like "THRAK" (1995) showcased a double trio formation with two drummers, two guitarists, and two bassists.
- King Crimson's live performances during this era were known for their improvisational and extended jam sessions.
- In the 2000s, the band continued to tour and release live albums and compilations.
Recent Years (2010s):
- King Crimson continued to perform and tour in the 2010s, featuring a rotating lineup of accomplished musicians.
- They maintained their reputation for delivering exceptional live shows, often featuring material from various periods of the band's history.
- King Crimson has been a significant influence on the progressive rock genre and has inspired countless musicians and bands.
- They are known for pushing the boundaries of rock music, constantly evolving their sound and lineup.
- Their pioneering use of Mellotron, complex time signatures, and blending of genres has left a lasting impact on the world of music.
Throughout their history, King Crimson has maintained a reputation for innovation and musical excellence. They remain a beloved and influential force in the world of rock music, with a discography that spans numerous musical styles and continues to captivate audiences worldwide.