King Crimson - I Talk to the Wind (1969) (HD)
King Crimson is a rock band founded in Dorset, England in 1969. Although often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band has incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during its history (including jazz and folk music, classical and experimental music, psychedelic rock, hard rock and heavy metal, new wave, gamelan, electronica and drum and bass). The band has been influential on many contemporary musical artists, and has gained a large cult following despite garnering little radio or music video airplay.
The band's lineup (centred on guitarist Robert Fripp) has persistently altered throughout its existence, with eighteen musicians and two lyricists passing through the ranks. A greater degree of stability was achieved later on in its history, with current frontman Adrian Belew having been a consistent member since 1981. Though originating in England, the band has had a mixture of English and American personnel since 1981.
The debut lineup of the band was influential, but short-lived, lasting for just over one year. Between 1970 and 1971, King Crimson was an unstable band, with many personnel changes and disjunctions between studio and live sound as the band explored elements of jazz, funk and classical chamber music. By 1972 the band had a more stable lineup and developed an improvisational sound mingling hard rock, contemporary classical music, free jazz and jazz-fusion before breaking up in 1974. The band re-formed with a new line-up in 1981 for three years (this time influenced by New Wave and gamelan music) before breaking up again for around a decade. Since reforming for the second time (in 1994), King Crimson has blended aspects of their 1980s and 1970s sound with influences from more recent musical genres such as industrial rock and grunge. The band's efforts to blend additional elements into their music have continued into the 21st century, with more recent developments including drum and bass-styled rhythm loops and extensive use of MIDI and guitar synthesis.
The first incarnation of King Crimson was formed on 30 November 1968 and first rehearsed on 13 January 1969. The band name was coined by lyricist Peter Sinfield as a synonym for Beelzebub, prince of demons. According to Fripp, Beelzebub would be an anglicised form of the Arabic phrase "B'il Sabab", meaning "the man with an aim" -- although it literally means "with a cause".
At this point, Ian McDonald was King Crimson's main composer, albeit with significant contributions from Lake and Fripp, while Sinfield not only wrote all the lyrics but designed and operated the band's revolutionary stage lighting, and was therefore credited with "sounds and visions". McDonald suggested the new band purchase a Mellotron (the first example of the band's persistent involvement with music technology) and they began using it to create an orchestral rock sound, inspired by The Moody Blues. King Crimson made their live debut on 9 April 1969, and made a breakthrough by playing the free concert in Hyde Park, London, staged by The Rolling Stones in July 1969 before 650,000 people.
The first King Crimson album, In the Court of the Crimson King, was released in October 1969 on Island Records. Fripp would later describe it as "an instant smash" and "New York's acid album of 1970" (notwithstanding Fripp and Giles' claim that the band never used psychedelic drugs). The album received public compliments from Pete Townshend, The Who's guitarist, who called the album "an uncanny masterpiece." The sound of In the Court of the Crimson King has also been described as setting the "aural antecedent" for alternative rock and grunge, whilst the softer tracks are described as having an "ethereal" and "almost sacred" feel.
King Crimson rock Band Dorset England foundational progressive rock group jazz folk music classical experimental music psychedelic rock hard rock heavy metal new wave gamelan electronica drum and bass Robert Fripp Adrian Belew Tony Le