King Crimson – In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)

Artist Credit
Tony Arnold Remastering
Dik Equipment Manager, Equipment Technician
Robert Fripp Composer, Guitar, Keyboards, Remastering
Michael Giles Composer, Drums, Percussion, Vocals
Barry Godber Cover Art, Cover Design
Simon Heyworth Remastering
King Crimson Primary Artist, Producer
Greg Lake Bass, Composer, Guitar (Bass), Vocals
Ian McDonald Composer, Flute, Keyboards, Mellotron, Reeds, Vibraphone, Vocals, Woodwind
Hugh O’Donnell Design
Tony Page Assistant Engineer, Engineer
Peter Sinfield Composer, Illustrations, Lyricist, Spoken Word
Robbin Thompson Engineer
Robin Thompson Engineer

The group’s definitive album, and one of the most daring debut albums ever recorded by anybody. At the time, it blew all of the progressive/psychedelic competition (the Moody Blues, the Nice, etc.) out of the running, although it was almost too good for the band’s own good — it took King Crimson nearly four years to come up with a record as strong or concise. Ian McDonald’s Mellotron is the dominant instrument, along with his saxes and Fripp’s guitar, making this a somewhat different-sounding record from everything else they ever did. And even though that Mellotron sound is muted and toned down compared to their concert work of the era (e.g., Epitaph), it is still fierce and overpowering, on an album highlighted by strong songwriting (most of it filled with dark and doom-laden visions), the strongest singing of Greg Lake’s entire career, and Fripp’s guitar playing that strangely mixed elegant classical, Hendrix-like rock explosions, and jazz noodling. Lineup changes commenced immediately upon the album’s release, and Fripp would ultimately be the only survivor on later King Crimson records.

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