In the Court of the Crimson King is the debut studio album by the British progressive rock group King Crimson. The album reached number five on the British charts, and is certified gold in the United States.
The album is generally viewed as one of the strongest of the progressive rock genre, where King Crimson largely stripped away the blues-based foundations of rock music and mixed together jazz and classical symphonic elements. In his 1997 book Rocking the Classics, critic and musicologist Edward Macan notes that In the Court of the Crimson King "may be the most influential progressive rock album ever released". The Who's Pete Townshend was quoted as calling the album "an uncanny masterpiece". In the Q & Mojo Classic Special Edition Pink Floyd & The Story of Prog Rock, the album came fourth in its list of "40 Cosmic Rock Albums". The album was named as one of Classic Rock magazine's "50 Albums That Built Prog Rock".
The album was remastered and re-released on vinyl and CD several times during the 1980s and 1990s. All of these versions were based on tape copies that were several generations removed from the originals. The original first-generation stereo master tapes were thought to be lost, but were finally located in a storage vault in 2003. This led to a much improved remastered CD version (see below) in time for the album's 40th anniversary.
Still holds up as a classic of progressive rock. Cutting edge at the time.
Like Pete Townsend, I too consider it a masterpiece. A paean to utter depression.
Which was okay as long as you truly believed you weren't going to live to see the age of 30.
Let's see. It was 1969 & I must've been doing something.
But I forget now exactly what.
Of course it was the 60s & if you remember anything about that decade...you weren't there...
Social commentary. History now.
But since history repeats--or at least people within the context of history do--consider it an important lesson.
Learned or unlearned?
Yes & no...
The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams,
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
As silence drowns the screams
Between the iron gates of fate,
The seeds of time were sown,
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known;
Knowledge is a deadly friend
When no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools
Confusion will be my epitaph
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh,
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying,
Yes I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
--song written by Robert Fripp, Michael Rex Giles, Greg Lake, Ian McDonald & Peter John Sinfield
The Court of the Crimson King
The rusted chains of prison moons
Are shattered by the sun.
I walk a road, horizons change
The tournament's begun.
The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the court of the crimson king.
The keeper of the city keys
Put shutters on the dreams.
I wait outside the pilgrim's door
With insufficient schemes.
The black queen chants
the funeral march,
The cracked brass bells will ring;
To summon back the fire witch
To the court of the crimson king.
The gardener plants an evergreen
Whilst trampling on a flower.
I chase the wind of a prism ship
To taste the sweet and sour.
The pattern juggler lifts his hand;
The orchestra begin.
As slowly turns the grinding wheel
In the court of the crimson king.
On soft gray mornings widows cry
The wise men share a joke;
I run to grasp divining signs
To satisfy the hoax.
The yellow jester does not play
But gentle pulls the strings
And smiles as the puppets dance
In the court of the crimson king.
King Crimson - In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969)
Re Uploading September 18, 2012
Track Listing "Original Album"
01 00:00 "21st Century Schizoid Man"
02 07:16 "I Talk to the Wind"
03 13:22 "Epitaph"
Including "March for No Reason" and "Tomorrow and Tomorrow"
04 21:52 "Moonchild"
05 34:00 "The Court of the Crimson King"
Including "The Return of the Fire Witch" and "The Dance of the Puppets"
All Music Review (Rating: 5/5, Album Pick)
RateYourMusic (Rating: 4.30/5)
This painting of the 21st Century Schizoid Man appears on the cover of the 1969 record album "Court of the Crimson King" by the British progressive rock group King Crimson. The cover is as strange, haunting and powerful as anything else to do with the group. It was painted by Barry Godber who was an artist and a computer programmer. This was the only album cover he painted. Barry died in February 1970 at the age of 24. The cover was as much a definitive statement , and a classic, as the album.