Best King Crimson Songs


The Top Ten

1 Starless

This song seems to summarise King Crimson's career: the last song on the fantastic 1974 album "Red", it features a conventional verse format with haunting mellotron that is reminicant of "Epitaph", yet with jazz influences and a sax solo part. About a third of the way through, there is one of the most thrilling crecendoes in contemporary music, it lasts at least 5 minutes and is a mesmeric ride. The ending is pure power: "21st century" style sax jam and an amazing return to the beginning material. Definitely their best work.

Utterly transcendent. I often find myself unable to stop listening to this song - what a remarkable composition. Sheer beauty in the graceful verse and the dissonance as well. The bass lick that begins the large instrumental section is pure genius. Really struggle to find the words to describe this work of art - I adore King Crimson, but for me everything they did pales in comparison to this. One of the greatest songs ever written.

When I first listened to Starless, I didn't get past the first couple of minutes -- I just thought it wasn't my kind of music. Then I listened to it again and got to the instrumental part. Then I listened to it again. And again. And again. I listened to it for days and days, playing little games, and now I can't stop listening. Please send help -- Starless has taken over my life, and I like it!

And no matter how much I how break it down, it remains consistent - UncommonLoon


V 25 Comments
2 Epitaph

Possibly the most hauntingly apocalyptic song ever to intrude on the human psyche. There is an ethereal quality to the keyboards that has never been duplicated. The truth of the lyrics, the booming roll of Bruford's drums... Awe-inspiring and terrifying! - IgnoreThis

TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT it was Michael Giles who played the amazing drums on this track. Bill Bruford didn't join the band until 1972. Sorry about the incorrect info. Both drummers deserve their respective credit for their accomplished careers. - IgnoreThis

What should I say- every time I hear this first sounds I got chills over my all body. Beutiful. The rest of the song is getting better and better from minutes to minutes. Great progressive song, one of my top ten songs ever.

CONFUSION! This song is unparalleled. An absolute masterpiece by King Crimson.

V 18 Comments
3 21st Century Schizoid Man

Craziest prog-rock song I've heard, the instrumentation is unbelievable and this in 1969 would be one of the heaviest things out there.. Lyrics are so weird but so memorable... Great song overall - fidelcanojr

Seems like I can vote twice, awesome, once again, this song is unbelievable, one you listen to it you'll understand how epic it is - fidelcanojr

This is just a brilliant song. So much soul was clearly fed into this track. The sax solo, the bizarre lyrics, the pulsating guitar riff, the disorientating drums. Everything about this song just screams brilliance.

Probably the first and one of the best prog rock songs ever made. Simply amazing! - PatrickRoncoski

V 3 Comments
4 The Court of the Crimson King

This song is not like any other songs in recent history. It is so gloomy and impressively represents the band's name which is The Crimson King who apparently is lord Satan. All in all, KC is the most underrated group of its time and skill in making this form of European jazzy music.

Couldn't stop listening to it after the first time... Its brilliant. Especially the part with the awesome "aah" -ing...

This song is seriously unlike any song ever. It's absolutely fantastic. Best King Crimson song, brilliant lyrics, music, and Greg Lake sings it perfectly. Love it!

Best crimson song ever spectacular mellotron nice vocals

V 15 Comments
5 Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part One)

This one is a thrilling journey! So inventive, and yet coherent and by moments strangely moving! Those improvised percussions are just awesome!

The most unique song. Ever. The definition of true music is larks. It's that simple.

This is basically the mother of all post-rock.

All of larks kicks ass!

V 1 Comment
6 I Talk to the Wind

Perhaps the best song king crimson ever composed... Please listen to it guys... Its gonna blow your minds!

This is really a GREAT song! But it takes some great listening. This one goes deep.

I'm not the biggest KC fan but I really love the debut and Red and I couldn't agree more with the list. I actually can't decide which one of these in the top 5 is the best as they are all amazingly great.

Not at all prog, but a nice pop song. I never crave this song.

V 3 Comments
7 Lizard

In my humble opinion this is one of the most impressive prog songs ever. The part I especially like is the pure, jazzy awesomeness of the second half.

Prog rock MASTERPIECE. Jon Anderson kicking off the beginning with perfection which then goes into something like 'A Devils Triangle' which sort of fades into an 'Islands' type sound and THEN gets very jazzy before a verse of spoken word. A 'Pictures Of a City' sound proceeds to kick you in the face and leaves you with a beautiful outro.

This song really takes me to another place, from the beginning with Joe Andersons part til the last circus alike part. All the jazzy improvisation in the middle comes from a beautiful melody and suddenly turns into really dark and weird music. I just love this song

Perfect song,

V 1 Comment
8 Islands

The best example of prog-meets-classical music you can find on King Crimson. Marvellous Pete Sinfield lyrics. Islands (the album) is one of the most underrated of KC's albums, perhaps because of an unbalanced line-up, but its complex harmonies and weird influences (ranging from Mahler to the Beatles) make it a very rewarding listen.

If "Islands", as an album, is all about the Odyssey, then this is the Penelope's song. But actually it's my song: best lyrics EVER in the history of the prog music.

Amazing band, Islands is a masterpiece. Play this before you go to sleep.

A masterpiece

V 4 Comments
9 One More Red Nightmare

Bruford's fills in the second half are brilliant!

10 In the Wake of Poseidon

The best progressive rock band after Jethro Tull and Pink Floyd! Enough said!

Goose bumps every time Poseidon appears. The sound is barely audible at auditory threshold, but can be perceived all over the body. Dynamic as it's used to be.

Epitaph 2.0 - izayaorihara

The Contenders

11 Red

To listen to Red is to view an important stepping stone for modern day progressive rock and metal. Driving, raw and incredibly composed - it's possibly the best song of KC's career.

Great song. Still has grit and power

12 Cirkus

My favorite all time song, from album Lizard.

One of the most magical songs ever made! Fell in love with it the first time I listened.

Mellotron and sax! Mel Collins is the man

Epic song!

13 Moonchild

Oh moonchild, the ugly duckling of their debut album. For sure is not their best, but it deserve more recognition - ChameleonKing

The best song that fills me with peace

It reminds me on the Moulin Rouge movie, and I don't know why... But I like this song

The beauty in this song made me emotional

V 10 Comments
14 Fallen Angel

Fallen Angel is probably my favorite king crimson song, with its amazing combination of classic soft rock followed by a transition to what I can only describe as metal.

Everything you wish a song to be

15 The Sheltering Sky

Such an underrated song. My favourite song on discipline. A looked over gem. Great instrumental track.

This is my summer sunset song.
It has something so majestic on it that grows thanks to that intractable guitar.
80's King Crimson can improvise too!

16 Dinosaur

King Crimson fuses prog, metal and even pop to make an excellent song

The solo in the middle when every thing is quite make me feel like watching the discovery of dinosaur with black and white screen or retro screen.This song's rhythm is also nice.

I wonder what kind of instrument was used for, well, dinosaur's sound. A bit elephantly roar. I appreciate lyrics, 'cause I kind of identify with the guy.

17 Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part Two)

Why is this not #1? This has always been my #1, oh well.

In my opinion it's better than part one

18 Fracture

The greatest example of how technically advanced music can show great emotion. This is probably Fripp's best guitar work, Wetton's best bass work and undoubtedly Bruford and Cross' best work. They all combine to create a psychotic masterpiece that does exactly everything the music requires; no more, no less. Considering it was all done live in one take with Fripp's guitar as the only "written" part makes this even more astonishing.

Best instrumental by the band, in my opinion. Shifts and changes genres and sounds all throughout the song. Definitely deserves top 10.

Probably my favourite song from Starless and Bible Black. - IronSabbathPriest

19 Frame by Frame

Great guitar riff. Classic Fripp!

V 1 Comment
20 Easy Money

Oh my god! Why is easy money so down in the list, one of my favourites. From the awesomest prog album ever, larks tonges in aspic

Oooh baday bow dow, ooh way now, ba the dow, awoo ooh - SammySpore

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Best Songs On King Crimson's In the Court of the Crimson King Best Songs from King Crimson's Starless and Bible Black Top 10 Songs on Demons & Wizards's Touched by the Crimson King Best Songs On King Crimson's Larks' Tongues In Aspic Best Songs On King Crimson's Discipline

List Stats

1,000 votes
66 listings
6 years, 141 days old

Top Remixes (16)

1. Starless
2. 21st Century Schizoid Man
3. Fracture
1. 21st Century Schizoid Man
2. Starless
3. Epitaph
1. Starless
2. Larks' Tongues in Aspic (Part One)
3. The Sheltering Sky

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