A Beginner’s Guide to the epic music of King Crimson

Source: Treble.

An interesting question: How, in 2019, do you introduce King Crimson? After all, the seminal and arguably foundational progressive rock band (more on that later) is 50 years old now, just recently added to Spotify for another generation of fans to dig into and is—oh yeah—one of the most cited/influential bands in the world. Chances are if you are on this site you’ve heard of the group already and likely own some albums; even more likely is that you’ve heard a group that cites them. Kurt Cobain famously listed Red (more on that one later, too) in his published journals as one of his favorite albums of all time while Tool have cited King Crimson as the most influential reason for their shift from the heavier end of grunge toward progressive metal. Everyone under the sun loves the group, from progressive rock peers Yes and Genesis (the Mellotron you hear on “Watcher of the Skies” is the exact same one you hear on In the Court of the Crimson King, by the way) to math rock groups like Battles and The Jesus Lizard. Which is wonderful as a fan of music but particularly daunting as a writer.