On 10th of October 1969, the music world saw one of the most revolutionizing records of all time: the debut of King Crimson’s legacy, In the Court of the Crimson King.
One can not help but think how a newly formed group with very young musicians had the ability to produce such a pinnacle point in the genre which they very clearly defined themselves.
The album was recorded over a three month period and though it is only 44 minutes, the songs touch upon many big genres, from rock to jazz to symphonic music. The album reached No. 5 on the UK Albums Chart and No. 28 on the US Billboard 200, where it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America. Apart from the inventiveness of the record, another reason for their instant fame was their performance at the Rolling Stones free concert at Hyde Park, London, in July 1969, before an estimated 250-500,000 people.
The cover art for the album was by Barry Godber(1946-1970) who was a computer programmer. After his sudden death, caused by a heart attack, the original painting was acquired by Robert Fripp, who still owns it. About the cover, Fripp stated in an interview: “Peter brought this painting in and the band loved it. I recently recovered the original from [managing label E.G. Records’s] offices because they kept it exposed to bright light, at the risk of ruining it, so I ended up removing it. The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man, and on the inside, it’s the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add? It reflects the music.”
After 51 years, this album still gives goosebumps to all who dare to stand before the court of the Crimson King.