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!

The album that started it all, you can't go wrong, one of the most influential albums ever.

2 Red

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.

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.

4 out the 5 songs are so well written and arranged it's hard to imagine how they could be bettered. A 'dark' album with lyrics reflecting subjects like fear, loss and depression. Bruford's drumming is brilliant, Fripp's guitar work is both intricate and surprisingly simple, Wetton's bass playing is powerful and his vocals clear and expressive. Additional instruments (violin, oboe, saxophone and cornet) all fit the music beautifully. The improvised piece, The improvised piece, Providence, not as strong as the rest of the album.

3 Larks' Tongues In Aspic

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.

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.

It's a hard album to get to know, but for a good reason: it's not like anything you know, and it's fantastic. Every song here is great, and their combination is perfect. If you don't like it, listen to it again, and again, and again - Eventually you'll love it.

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

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.

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).

A truly underrated album. Some of the most experimental material in their entire discography, and who can go wrong with a 23 minute long masterpiece that is the song Lizard.

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.

You can enjoy an amazing story listening to sailor's tale closely. All the tunes sync perfectly to recreate a sailor's journey through a storm. All this without any words!
Formentera Lady is a beautiful song. Islands offers something new on every listen. The other tracks also have something unique in them. This album seems very underrated to me, given the variety it offers.

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.

Utterly underrated album

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

It's in my top 5. Amazing album!

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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