King Crimson

English progressive rock band

King Crimson were a progressive rock band. They formed in England in 1968. Their music is usually called progressive rock, but they also have jazz, gamelan, classical music, heavy metal and experimental music in their sound. Their music has influenced a lot of bands and styles of music. King Crimson are most well known for their first album, In the Court of the Crimson King, which helped create progressive rock. Only one person has been in the band since they started, guitarist Robert Fripp.

King Crimson
at the Dour Festival, 2003.
Background information
OriginLondon, England, United Kingdom
GenresProgressive rock, jazz fusion, experimental rock, avant-garde, hard rock, heavy metal, new wave
Years active1969–1974, 1981–1984, 1994–2009, 2013–2021 (hiatus)
LabelsIsland, Atlantic, E.G., Virgin, Warner Bros., Discipline, Caroline, Polydor
Past member(s)See: King Crimson membership





In 1967, drummer Michael Giles and his brother, Peter, a bass guitar player, started a band with Robert Fripp. They recorded one album called The Cheerful Insanity of Giles, Giles and Fripp. This album did not do very well, and a lot of critics wrote bad reviews of it. After this, Ian Mcdonald joined playing keyboards, reeds, and woodwind instruments. Ian McDonald's friend, Peter Sinfield, joined to write lyrics, and Greg Lake replaced Peter Giles on bass guitar. Then they bought a mellotron, which helped them sound more like classical music. They changed their name to King Crimson, and did their first show in Hyde Park, London in 1969. Their first CD, In the Court of the Crimson King, was a huge success. Their original style impressed fans and critics.



Micheal Giles and Ian Mcdonald left the band to do solo work. The three of them still in the band, Robert Fripp, Peter Sinfield, and Greg Lake, released the single Catfood/Groon. On the next album, woodwind player Mel Collins, singer Gordon Haskell, and Peter Giles all helped record a few songs with the band. King Crimson released their second album, In the Wake of Poseidon, in 1970. It was not very popular because it sounded too much like the first album.

Studio albums