King Crimson King Crimson




    • Red
    • Fallen Angel
    • One More Red Nightmare
    • Providence
    • Starless


    Released in 1974 after King Crimson had “ceased to exist”, Red remains a remarkably powerful document of a group quitting at the top of its game. The grinding crunch of Red appears to anticipate much of the heavy metal scene whilst the epic Starless brings together several strands of the group’s musical history.

    Including powerful contributions from Ian McDonald, Mel Collins, David Cross, Mark Charig and Robin Miller, Red form what is arguably the definitive statement of the ‘70s period Crimson. Bill Bruford recently described the album in just five words: Prescient, short and bass heavy.”

    Aside from Steven Wilson’s 5.1 mix, the DVDA features the original album in Hi-Res stereo and additional tracks (including the previously unreleased pre-overdub version of Red) as well as 30 minutes of footage from French TV officially available for the first time. Tracks include LTIA PtII, Lament, Improv, Night Watch and Starless.

    “Listening to it now, I can’t believe I was ever daft enough to denounce anything this good: so much for the certainties of youth” Paul McGee, Word

    “the one that inspired everyone from Nirvana to Tool, a heavy mutha of a record of a record, and one that was much overlooked at the time of its release.” Tommy Udo, Classic Rock presents Prog.

    “the King Crimson that recorded Red was ostensibly a power trio, playing a dark, compacted music of crunching intensity.” Mike Barnes, Mojo

    from Robert Fripp's sleevenotes

    The influence of Red has been primarily in the US. Until then, Crimson influence reached Europe, including the Eastern bloc, South America & Japan, as well as North America. But something about Red resonated in the United States in a way & to an extent that wasn’t matched elsewhere.

    Much as I have often wished, this time has not left me. It remains the time it was, continuing as it was, resonating still; waiting for the experience/s to be digested & the moment redeemed.

    These were young Englishmen doing the best they could.

    Now, I watch a grandson bearing my name & his co-working players writing the rulebook as they lived it. No one gave it to them. They were too young to know what to do; but old enough to be held accountable as adults. They were old enough to know how to behave, and too young to do so. Their band models came more from the jazz world than entertainment & popular music; their primary passion in Crimson, the music; and for me, where Music came from.

    Robert Fripp
    April 24th. 2009;
    Bredonborough, Worcestershire,

    The impact of Red...
    A life-long King Crimson fan, 40th Anniversary Editions producer, Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson, offers his thoughts on Red.

    “For me the record is dominated by the opening and closing tracks. I think you can almost argue that these two tracks are the record. I remember the first time I heard this music was on the Young Person’s Guide To King Crimson and one whole side of that record was Red and Starless. I remember thinking this must be the best album in the world, and then buying the album and being kind of disappointed a little bit about the rest of it. I’ve grown to like it very much, and the other three tracks are terrific too, but I think these two tracks are landmarks, real masterpieces.

    It’s the record where you can say King Crimson and progressive rock has finally shaken off any vestige of the Tolkien-esque aspects where the language is quite flowery.  You can still hear some of that on albums like Larks’ Tongues In Aspic on tracks such as Book of Saturday. Here, this is almost looking forwards to punk rock, flushing away the last remnants of the flower power, Sgt Peppers type music.

    It’s actually quite a nihilistic record. When Fripp changes the repeated note to the tritone or ‘devil’s interval’ in Starless it sounds wrong but it works so well. There’s more of that "fuck you" attitude. You can’t imagine anything further away from the prog rock manifesto. Can you imagine Yes playing something like that? No way! Even the Floyd, although there music was quite simple they would never have played anything that discordant and so relentlessly.

    What I hear on Red is the best representation of that line-up in the studio. They seem to have finally realised how to get most of that live energy onto tape. The thing that occurs to me the most about is that the more members this line-up lost, the heavier it got. This album is in effect a power trio record, very often it’s just guitar, bass and drums but the sound is just huge.”

    • Bill Bruford
    • Robert Fripp
      Guitar and Mellotron
    • John Wetton
      Bass and Voice

    Additional Contributions:

  • Marc Charig
  • Mel Collins
    Soprano Sax
  • David Cross
    Violin, Mellotron and Electric Piano
  • Ian McDonald
    alto sax
  • Robin Miller

    © 2009-2014 Robert Fripp