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King Crimson

Entry updated 12 June 2014. Tagged: Music.

UK group formed by and most associated with Robert Fripp. The band's first album In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) starts with the lengthy, hammerblow track "21st Century Schizoid Man" in which a vision of future Dystopian alienation is conveyed via choppy distorted vocals and a thunderous, repeating riff. The remainder of the album, and particularly the title track, is more Fantasy than sf, but of a high quality. Subsequent King Crimson 1970s albums set, for many fans, the gold standard for prog-rock; lengthy and musically complex compositions, unafraid of dissonance, frequently jazz-flavoured, and with fey, allusive and oblique lyrics. Few of these can be identified as sf with any certainty, although a long instrumental track about the Bermuda Triangle, "The Devil's Triangle" (on In the Wake of Poseidon, 1970) puts Gustav Holst's "Mars: the Bringer of War" through some bracing mutations, and the sonic world of Lizard (1970) refracts ordinary life through a sinuously reptilian lens. [AR]


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