Formed in 1960, King Crimson arrived from nowhere to take the underground music scene by storm. After supporting The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park in front of 650,000 people, they recorded their startling debut, In The Court Of The Crimson King, and in the process created the template for what would become known as progressive rock. Just as suddenly as they arrived, they imploded on the cusp of global success.

Although guitarist Robert Fripp went on to forge a distinctive path across five decades, while occupying a place far from the mainstream, King Crimson’s name has neverthless become synonymous with his dynamic and unconventional approach to making music.

As the only person to have been a constant factor over the group’s fifty years, Fripp once said that King Crimson was „a way of doing things“. It hasn’t always been easy but now in the twenty-first century, King Crimson is increasingly recognised to be one of the most influental and innovative groups of its generation.

With his own extensive research conducted over a twenty-year period, featuring interviews with the key players and session musicians who have played and recorded with the band, Sid Smith’s detailed track-by-track evaluation provides a deep insight into the changing roster of personnel and stories behind the making of thirteen studio albums recorded and released between 1969 and 2003.

Along with additional interviews and material from the band’s friends, engineers, managers, record producers and fans, the group’s 1960’s origins all the way through to their 2019 rehearsals ahead of a tour celebrating the band’s 50th anniversary is captured in Sid Smith’s compelling account of life in the court of King Crimson.

Sid Smith is a British writer whose reviews and feature articles have appeared in numerous in-print and online publications including BBC Music, Classic Rock, Prog, Uncut, and Record Collector. With appearances on radio and TV, he also lectures on writing about music and has written hundreds of liner notes for new and archive music releases for both major and independent record labels.

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