King Crimson King Crimson


In the Court of the Crimson King

In the Court of the Crimson King

    • 21st Century Schizoid Man
      including Mirrors
    • I Talk to the Wind
    • Epitaph
      including March for No Reason and Tomorrow and Tomorrow
    • Moonchild
      including The Dream and The Illusion
    • The Court of the Crimson King
      including The Return of the Fire Witch and The Dance of the Puppets


    It’s astonishing to think that when this record was released in 1969 King Crimson had been together for less than nine months.

    Aside from the impeccable musicianship, the record’s impact was helped enormously by Barry Godber’s cover painting. Commissioned by Crimson lyricist, Pete Sinfield, rarely has an album sleeve so accurately conveyed the shock-and-awe reaction which this extraordinary music produced in its listeners. Even the jewel-case format has done little to dilute its iconic power.

    Going into the album charts upon its release on both sides of the Atlantic, the first incarnation of Crimson imploded whilst on tour in America in December 1969.  Though short-lived, the music produced by this line-up continues to resonate 40 years later.

    In light of this, Pete Townshend’s declaration that the album was “an uncanny masterpiece” seems something of an understatement.

    In addition to the revelatory 5.1 surround sound mix, the 40th Anniversary editions of In The Court of the Crimson King also come with a brand new stereo mix by Robert Fripp and Steven Wilson, as well as numerous previously unreleased extras including alternate takes of I Talk To The Wind, the backing track for Epitaph (including a previously unheard guitar solo), and a powerful instrumental version of the first take of 21st Century Schizoid Man.

    Please go to the shop to check out the full tracklistings of all three 40th Anniversary Editions of Court.

    “brooding Wagnerian angst and whizz-bang virtuosity...daringly executed, lovingly updated in high-res, lossless sound”  John Bungey, The Times

    “music rich in ambition and atmosphere...the frenzied jazz-rock of 21st Century Schizoid Man...wouldn’t sound wildly out of place on a Queens of The Stone Age album” Paul McGee, The Word.

    “King Crimson’s debut is still eclectic and original enough to lay claim to being the first major statment of the progressive rock epoch.” Mike Barnes, Mojo.

    "The new version of In The Court of the Crimson King (is) restored from the best available studio master tapes...These DGM DC/DVDA editions are essential for longterm fans and newbies alike” Tommy Udo, Classic Rock presents Prog

    The 2009 Remix

    This, the Wilson-Fripp 2009 Definitive Edition Remix, was an unexpected yet inevitable outcome of Steven’s interest & initiative in moving the Crimson catalogue into 5.1.

    The original Wessex recording was on 8-track. This necessitated several sub-mixes; such as drums, bass guitar, piano & acoustic guitar on one stereo pair and all the mellotrons on another. These stereo sub-mixes were then mixed down to the original stereo master; the final master took another generation, to allow for cross-fades; and production masters went another generation. The original stereo master was lost for decades, found by Simon Heyworth in a pile of KC tapes from the Virgin tape store, and until recently was the best master available.

    On this release, Steven was able to transfer all the original analogue multi-tracks to digital, enabling us to work from the first generation tracks prior to sub-mixing.

    We have taken the original mix as our template. The only significant change to the original release is our edit of the improv following Moonchild. This was discussed at the time, has been discussed since, and is now done.

    Robert Fripp
    June 27th. 2009;
    Worcestershire, England.

    The legacy of In The Court of the Crimson King.

    A life-long King Crimson fan, 40th Anniversary Editions producer, Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson offers his thoughts on the debut album.

    “For me this is the birth of progressive rock. Yes there were other albums before that. You could say Sgt. Peppers or Moody Blues Days Of Future Passed have a claim to laying down a blueprint of progressive rock but ITCOTCK really is the first time you have such technical prowess allied to musical experiments, great songwriting, and a conceptual feeling all tied together in one record.

    I think musicianship is the key here. Bands like The Beatles and the Moody Blues attempted very ambitious psuedo-progressive albums before, but Crimson was the first time you had a band that were able to go that one step further in terms of their musicianship. They were young guys full of ideas and ambition and I really think you have to say that this is the true point at which progressive rock is born, and some would say never bettered.

    Some people snigger at the idea of progressive rock but for me when progressive rock was at its peak in the 69 - 74 period it was the most experimental, most credible, most ambitious music that has ever been made. The guys were reaching for the stars and very often got there."

    • Robert Fripp
    • Michael Giles
      Drums, Percussion, Backing Vocals
    • Greg Lake
      Bass Guitar, Vocals
    • Ian McDonald
      Saxophone, Flute, Clarinet, Vibes, Keyboards, Mellotron, Backing Vocals
    • Peter Sinfield
      Lyrics, Illumination

    © 2009-2014 Robert Fripp