In 1969, the world of rock ‘n’ roll was shattered by the heavy, progressive sound of King Crimson. Following a legendary gig in Hyde Park where the band blew away the Rolling Stones, King Crimson toured the U.S. before imploding due to personality clashes and artistic differences. The band re-formed and played until 1975, when it entered another period of dormancy. In 1981, founding guitarist Robert Fripp reconvened the band, using bassist Tony Levin as the foundation for further attempts at moving rock into the future. The noirish, dystopian sound of the eighties lineup was a perfect match for the darkness of the Reagan/Thatcher era.
Beyond King Crimson, you’ve almost certainly heard Tony Levin’s playing, even if you don’t know it. He is the bass player for all of Peter Gabriel‘s solo albums and appears on Alice Cooper’s first three records. He’s played with David Bowie, John Lennon, Pink Floyd, Paul Simon, and has appeared on hundreds of other landmark LPs over the years.