King Crimson

King Crimson

If there is one group that embodies both the best and the worst aspects of progressive rock (from the standpoints of both its supporters and its detractors), it is King Crimson. During its first five years of existence, from 1969 through 1974, in a variety of different lineups, this band led by guitar/Mellotron virtuoso Robert Fripp broke lots of new ground in progressive rock, stretching both the language and structure of the music into realms of jazz and classical, all the while avoiding any of the pop or psychedelic sensibilities of the Moody Blues. Their albums are among the most enduring and respectable of progressive rock relics.

In April of 1981, Fripp formed a new group called Discipline with Bruford, bassist Tony Levin, and guitarist/singer Adrian Belew. By the time their album was released in October of that year, the group's name had been changed to King Crimson. This band, with a sound completely different from any of the other lineups to use that name, has ended up both enduring and successful. There have been lapses, interruptions, and a few lineup changes, but they have toured and recorded regularly over the years, including full-length video productions.