Best King Crimson Albums

The Top Ten
1 In the Court of the Crimson King

Best songwriting, remarkable musicianship, Sinfield's most consistent lyrics - Ian McDonald, the unsung hero of both the band and prog. Same he didn't stick around - McDonald & Giles album is great too.

21st Century Schizoid Man - An actual sign of early heavy metal!
I Talk to the Wind - A nice, calming track after the chaos of the opener.
Epitaph - A unique masterpiece with amazing strings.
Moonchild - More like a movie soundtrack than a song, but amazing!
The Court of the Crimson King - A closer that brings all songs together!

2 Red

I love all King Crimson Albums but for me this is the Signature King Crimson album, Maybe even The Signature Progressive rock record of the 70s. You have many catchy and emotional bits, you have experimental and Improvisational bits, You have some menacing and Heavy metal riffs... Everything you want in a 70s Prog Rock Record is present in this album. And there is nothing to say about the musicians in this record. Fripp, Bruford and Wetton are the best in their business.

Arguably the best since the debut, excellent songs and instrumental pieces, fantastic playing and strong Palmer-James lyrics. Mel Collins and Ian McDonald's guest performances are epic. Too bad they didn't continue with McDonald back in the band.

3 Larks' Tongues In Aspic

Every song on this album is brilliant. The stand-out track Larks' Thoungs.. being devided into two pieces at the beginning and the end of the album Unifies the entire project to one cohesive listen. This album unifies everything that makes the band great. Starting at deep lyrics to the dark raw progressive sound, not to mention the powerful instrumental passages, making this album one complete peace that deserves to be listened to.

The most progressive of their progressive albums - avant-garde madness! Jamie Muir is the unsung hero of this one and Bruford, Wetton, Cross and, of course, Fripp all on their A game here.

4 Discipline

Discipline, Beat and Three Of A Perfect Pair are, in my opinion, the absolute peak of Crimson. By far their strongest lineup and most inspired music. The albums are even presented in primary colors to stress their essentialness!

An interesting new sound to go with a very interesting lineup of Crimson. I do think it's good!

So much elephant talk about the others. This one is really underrated in my opinion.

5 Lizard

Highly underrated album. The four tracks on the first side are great jazz inspired pieces. But the real masterpiece takes up the entire 2nd side of the album, being the only song over 20 minutes by Crimson. It is one of those songs that its hard to name something they could have done better (well, maybe the second singing part is a little of key, but we'll let it slide).

Either this album or Red would be my second favorite KC - I go back and forth between the two. Like Larks' Tongues, this one is pretty out there and that's what makes it a must-hear.

6 Starless and Bible Black

Amazing that this was fashioned for the most part out of live improvisations. It may be the most representative of the live band for that reason. The songs are excellent and the instrumentals impressive as well.

Very creative album. Contains some skippable improvisations but there are some gems. Fracture is my favorite instrumental from their catalog and the nightwatch is BRILLIANT. Lament and The Great Deceiver are also super awesome.

This is a good punch of power that this lineup was legendary for. If this album doesn't sum up King Crimson in a nutshell, then no album does.

7 In the Wake of Poseidon

Much better album than most people give it credit for. The additions of Peter Giles and Keith Tippett as studio musicians made songs like "Cat Food" and the title track some of King Crimson's strongest!

The Devil's Triangle, Pictures of a City, and the title track are all excellent songs. The others aren't bad either.

Not quite as good as ITCOTCK, but its got some great standouts, mainly the title track, pictures of a city, and cat food.

8 Islands

My least favorite of the first seven albums. Some of the songs go on too long (Formantera Lady and the title track), Sinfield's lyrics are his least impressive (Ladies Of The Road is a particular embarrassment lyrically and The Letter is an overwrought melodrama - arguably Fripp's? original lyrics when the song was called Drop In might be marginally better - I) - it's easy to see why Fripp decided to split from Sinfield at this juncture. Palmer-James would do much better during his tenure with the band (though the lyrics to Easy Money are as execrable as Ladies). The obvious musical highlight of the album is Sailor's Tale while the other tracks vary in quality.

9 Thrak

Red, Larks, Court, and Starless are better but this should be much higher.

I'm a dinosaur somebody's been digging my bones.

10 Three of a Perfect Pair

Probably my favorite Crimson album and probably their best.

Not the best, but certainly not the worst.

Hugely underrated, one of their best.

The Contenders
11 The Power to Believe
12 Beat

People hate on this album, but I think it has some of the best ideas that the band ever explored. Neurotica, The Howler, Two Hands, Sartori in Tangier, Waiting man are all incredible tracks that deserve a listen.

13 The Construkction of Light

Amazing album. Filled with greats compositions, like Lark's tongues in aspic 4.. I don't understand why it isn't higher

Underrated. A little difficult to get into, but worth the listen

14 Absent Lovers

This is as good or even better than USA - all the songs within match or surpass their original recorded versions. I saw this tour and believe me it was spectacular.

King Crimson's best live album - and arguably one of the best live albums of all time.

15 USA
16 Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind
17 The Great Deceiver
18 Earthbound
19 The Night Watch
20 Vrooom Ep
21 Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With Ep
22 Live at the Orpheum
23 Live in Toronto
24 A Scarcity Of
25 B’boom: Live in Argentina
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