Best King Crimson Songs

GoDfist

The Top Ten

1 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

One of the best from them!

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

Emotive, spiritually uplifting, haunting and chilling, sheer genius!

V 21 Comments
2 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.

Starless is one of those songs I wish was longer than 12 minutes. It is soothing, sensual, madness, and soothing to end. The killer build up that takes up the middle third is amazing. Glad this is number 1

Starless is the perfection of instrumental technique: starts with the melodic haunt as Epitaph, progrides to the heavyness of the posterior King Crimson's works that started with 21th Century Schizoid Man, has a omnious chorus of The Court of the Crimson King and the masterpiece of the last 2 minutes, ending with an outro sufficient to create shivers down the spine. - ImMakingPudding

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.

V 30 Comments
3 21st Century Schizoid Man

Simply fabulous.

Epic

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

V 5 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!

The song that got me in to king crimson, absolutely fantastic beautiful haunting vocals and amazing musicians, a near 10 minute song that feels about 2.

V 15 CommentsUListen to Sample
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

Underrated much? Easily the best quiet song off self-titled since Moonchild is a little too draggy.

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.

V 4 Comments
7 One More Red Nightmare

The interlude is so beautifully constructed in its complexity. Full of great rhythmic ideas throughout the song

Bruford's fills in the second half are brilliant!

8 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.

9 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

10 Lizard

THE BEST! Only song that could be better than this is "Starless"

Check out "pornhub" for full album

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.

V 4 Comments

The Contenders

11 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

12 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.

One of the most beautiful songs I've ever heard

V 4 Comments
13 Fallen Angel

Just their best!

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

14 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!

15 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.

16 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

Oh God, this song is underrated! My favourite from their debut. - IronSabbathPriest

V 10 Comments
17 Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part Two)

Way better than the aimless Part 1. I don't know what everyone's smoking when they listen to Part 1 to think it's better than this cut.

In my opinion it's better than part one

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

18 Pictures of a City

This is a great Greg Lake KC song that is very jazzy and reminiscent of 21st Century Schizoid Man. Should at least be within the top 20.

19 Exiles

This song is absolutely beautiful in every way. I don't know why but I always compare it to Starless but I actually much prefer it. Fripp's guitar solo gives me chills and the Melotron is so haunting but the song always has a hopefulness about it. Few King crimson songs are actually uplifting and happy and this along with Islands are my two favorites that fit that description. The flute, the violin, everything just works perfectly in this song and it's so sad how people just look over this one.

A highlight of King Crimsons's songwriting prowess. Every sound works together, painting a perfectly soul-tearing landscape. The delicate melody of the guitar solo sometimes still brings tears to my eyes after all these years.

The best song on one of their best albums. Definitely overlooked.

20 Formentera Lady

Under appreciated

Shamefully overlapped definitely one of the 10 best songs.

Epic!, this is a master piece
You can hear the siren's sing
Feel the the ocean's salt

21 Frame by Frame

Great guitar riff. Classic Fripp!

I have to bandaged my left hand from playing Flipp's line.

22 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

23 The Night Watch

All Crimson's songs are great but this rank at 24... should be higher, perfect story, perfect music, perfect lyrics

Beautiful song, Should be higher on the list.

Beautifully constructed medieval-sounding lyrics and my favorite guitar solo (so far, at least) from king crimson. The only problem is how short it is. Lasting only 4 minutes, you just don't want it to end. If they had combined this with fracture or at least added some of Crimsons great instrumental work than hands down this would be my favorite song by them.

This is probably the most beautiful song in existance.

V 1 Comment
24 The Great Deceiver

Energetic, foreboding, amazing, so many adjectives describe a song that is criminally 32 spots away from where it should be (aka number 1)

Actually one of the most impressive KC riffs ever - damn fast, catchy, well-constructed

Underrated song, one of the best KC melodies.

25 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!

26 Cat Food

No use to complain, if you're caught out in the rain; Your mother's quite insane; Cat food cat food cat food, AGAIN! Classic!

27 Elephant Talk

Simply awesome...

This song makes me want to play the chapman stick

A great way to start the Discipline album. - IronSabbathPriest

I just love this song so much.

V 1 Comment
28 Indiscipline

so good!

I love this song. Discipline is never an end in itself, only a mean to an end.

No idea why this wasn't on the list already...

This should rank much higher than it is

V 2 Comments
29 Matte Kudasai

That guitar is wonderful

30 Cadence and Cascade

How is this not higher? Such a brilliant underrated song from an incredibly underrated album!

One of the most beautiful songs ever.

Very pretty song

31 Three of a Perfect Pair

Practicing guitar on this song can burn off your calories.

Great song. Should be much higher on the list.

How is this masterpiece this low?

32 One Time

Talking about time, this should be endless.

No King Crimson song matches "One Time"

33 Book of Saturday

I just adore this song, it's my favorite one! I loved it from the first time I heard it and immediately I felt it. Awesome song

For me One of the best! Easy, clean but hits in deep

I like it's calm tune...

34 Level Five

Amazing track.

Sheer epicness all the way through.

35 Discipline
36 Happy with What You Have to Be Happy With

Please listen to it! It deserves far more attention! - yyschieweck

Amazing song!

UListen to Sample
37 Walking On Air

The very atmospheric bluesy delicate ballad "Walking on air" has an incredible combination of extremely bottom bass, ethereal floating keyboards, gentle guitars and drums: the lead vocals are impressive too; this track is like a flower that blooms on a concrete surface.

38 Sailor's Tale

The first two minutes is the finest in the fashion of Soft Machine, and then Robert Fripp introduces the guitar to gently reminds you of the mastery that is Crimson. And then in the fourth minute, the full power of King Crimson kicks you straight in the crotch... And then a gentle denouement of Pink Floyd's "Echoes"...

The atmosphere of this tune is amazing...

UListen to Sample
39 Dangerous Curves
40 Thela Hun Ginjeet

I dunno why this song wasn't on the list... Should be on top 5

Exotic, anegdotic, partially enigmatic. I love the sound.

Song is pure heat, walking down the big city I don't know, buying cigarets, cooles feeling of danger and everyday fighting on this street I finelly know

41 The Devil's Triangle

My reaction:
1.17: I hear something
2.19: Oh it's getting started
3.47: Oh the climax is coming
3.50: Quiet again
3.59: Whoa it's coming back
5.33: This is apocalyptic
6.57: That was a loud climax
7.27: Is it over? But there's 5 minutes left!
7.32: What's that noise
7.50: Yesss it's not over!
7.52: Oh my god it's more epic than ever!
9.09: What's happening? That sounds like Big Top.
9.36: This is really random
10.48: The Court of the Crimson King?! What are you doing here?
11.11: So dreamy

After: My god. - SammySpore

42 The Power to Believe

Power to believe is honestly one of their best albums. Not to disrespect any of their older stuff, I just really like this album for some reason. I love their older stuff.

43 Elektrik

I like this instrumental. I used to think there was a xylophone involved but there wasn't. - IronSabbathPriest

44 Lament
45 Ladies of the Road

Great song, always has been my favorite.

Awesome jazzy track off of islands, their most underrated album. confused why this isn't on the list already

UListen to Sample
46 Model Man

My #1 underrated

47 Heartbeat

King Crimson does pop music. And the results are surprisingly awesome.

Okay that's nearly easy listening and not really KIng Crimson. But totally magic.

48 Sleepless
49 Neurotica
50 Coda: I Have a Dream

Problems of the world. - SammySpore

8Load More
PSearch List

Related Lists

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

2,000 votes
68 listings
7 years, 356 days old

Top Remixes (15)

1. Starless
2. 21st Century Schizoid Man
3. Fracture
floflo79
1. 21st Century Schizoid Man
2. Starless
3. Epitaph
fidelcanojr
1. Epitaph
2. The Sheltering Sky
3. Starless
IronSabbathPriest

WRemix
View All 15

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.
P