What's your favourite King Crimson album?

Poll to follow shortly. Studio and live releases included, compilations not. Discussions encouraged.

Holy sh!t! I didn’t realize there were that many live albums released between Three of a Perfect Pair and Thrak!

There are a lot more live albums than are listed here. The number of King Crimson Collectors’ Club releases alone is into the 40s.

Mine will not be a popular choice, but I consider Lizard not only the best Crimso album, but one of the three greatest albums ever made by anyone.

Interesting! I don’t hate it, not by a long road, but I don’t consider it their strongest work. I do remember playing the second side until I near wore it out… What is it makes you so passionate about that one?

I was enjoying Lark’s Tongues and Islands, starless and Bible Black and In the Court of the Crimson King well enough but then Discipline came along and those other albums practically ceased to exist. Discipline was revolutionary.

Admittedly, I only own seven of the albums listed (ItCotCK, Poseidon, Larks’, Starless, Red, Discipline and Power to Believe), but of those, Discipline is, for me, the easiest to just put on and enjoy whenever.

Larks’ Tongues in Aspic is probably the best, but I voted for Discipline.

Discipline, with Lark’s Tongues a close second. I was first exposed to Crimso as the opening act for Steve Miller at Winterland. It may be cliche, but KC blew everyone away that night. After they finished, many of us were in shock. One of the most powerful performances I have ever seen.

King Crimson is so erratic that this was a difficult vote.

I picked Discipline because I think that’s the Crimson album with the most consistently strong material. But there are several Crimson albums with multiple tracks that I like better than anything on Discipline.

The problem is, as good as much of their debut album was, I CAN’T overlook the ten minutes of pointless noise that follow the pretty 2 minute beginning of “Moonchild.”

Side Two of Starless and Bible Black was as awful as Side One was awesome.

Crimson’s best stuff is brilliant… but the bad stuff reeks, and it tends to go on for a very long time.

I suspect most voters will be split into one of the two camps: either the early traditionally prog albums, or the later - how can I put it - more atonal ones.

I’m in the first camp, but the choice is very hard. Court Of The Crimson King is majestic, particularly the production. The drums have a unparalleled, deep rich sound. My favourite track is the title track of their second album, but it has a weedier sound than its predecessor. I also love parts of Islands.

I think that the track Court of the Crimson King is one of the most haunting songs ever written.

Mind you I have always been a Fantasy fan.

Had to go with Red on this one. Especially for “Starless.” Great stuff.

More than I can say. But briefly…

The colors–those incredible, meticulously detailed arrangements incorporating trombone, oboe/English horn, cornet, and Mel Collins’s multiple saxophones and flute, yet with very little in the way of traditional “horn section” writing, plus the Mellotron, the VCS3, Fripp’s unique guitar sounds (including a rare use of acoustic in a Crimso context, very unusually handled) and that celestial electric piano vs. Keith Tippett’s scattershot grand, the weirdly miked drum kit, Haskell’s strange “non-singer” voice…no other album sounds even remotely like this one.

The dynamics–the barely audible tinkling of the electric piano that opens the album as if emerging from a cosmic void, delicate as a spider’s footfalls, joined by the voice whisper-chanting a creation myth, slowly coming into solid focus as the reverb recedes, and then the SLAM of the drums and the see-saw riff…or the build up and release to the incredible symphonic “reels of dreams unrolled” at the climax of “Prince Rupert’s Lament,” the chaotic texture of “The Last Skirmish” suddenly stopping dead for a moment of stunned silence, resuming briefly with even greater intensity, and then finally falling off a cliff into the muted boom of “Prince Rupert’s Lament”…

The playing–fabulous, endlessly fascinating improvisations from members of London’s free jazz community (Tippett, Evans, Charig), McCullough’s busy snare work, Collins’s fluid woodwinds, Fripp’s unique picking on “Cirkus” and typically grinding electric work, the expert deployment of the Mellotron…

Of course, the songs…weird, surrealistic, magnificently constructed, deeply moving, frightening, funny, full of elusive and elaborately symbolic lyrics (check out Sinfield’s commentaries if you’ve got a few weeks free to plow through it all).

This album is part of my blood.

I meant “Prince Rupert Awakes” there.

Red, especially Bruford on “One More Red Nightmare”.

I think Lark’s Tongues would be my desert island disc. Genius from end to end. **In the Court of **and Starless have great great moments but far too much of the slow contemplative stuff that I’m sure seemed like a good idea at the time but just comes across as dull and featureless now.

This is a tough one because the various albums are so different. It’s hard for me not to pick In the Court of the Crimson King or Larks’ Tongues in Aspic… the former was my first exposure to the group, in high school, and it just seemed to occupy a stratum above just about everything else I had heard up to that point… the latter was what really turned me into a rabid King Crimson fiend, in college; it seemed to be just what I had been waiting for without knowing it. But in the end, I have to go with Lizard. It’s the Frippiest of all the “original” ('69-'75) Crimson albums. Also, I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for it just because it’s not one of the obvious choices, and with Crimson, I think that’s a good thing.

I also kind of wish I could vote for Islands… to me, it doesn’t quite measure up to the ones described above, but it does have its own special appeal, particularly the drifting, peaceful, trancelike feel of “Formentera Lady”/“A Sailor’s Tale” and the title cut… there’s no other album on which they achieved that particular vibe quite so well.

Well, I would have to respectfully disagree. I think “Fracture” is one of Crimson’s most powerful achievements.

I’m going to have to think about this.

I saw them record “Live in Central Park”. It was at the Wollman skating arena during The Schaffer Music Festival. Tickets were 3 dollars back then. When they closed with Red they had two huge red filtered spotlights pointing out to the aud, and as the song progresed the spots got brighter till all you could see was red. What a great effect for a great song. I believe they broke up shortly after this show

Agreed.