The only band of its generation, and one of the very few of any period, to be continually influential and innovative throughout its career, King Crimson's musical adventure continues.
The current line-up of King Crimson is Robert Fripp (guitar), Adrian Belew (guitar, lead vocals), Trey Gunn (touch guitar) and Pat Mastelotto (drums), projecting forward the musical energy of Crimson's past which has influenced bands such as Nine Inch Nails and TOOL.
Through November and December, 2001, the band toured North America on the Level 5 tour in support of The Level 5 EP, which includes material from King Crimson's 2001 summer tour with TOOL. They entered the studio twice in the spring and summer of 2002, recording the soon to be released EP, Happy With What You Have To Be Happy With, and the forthcoming album, The Power To Believe, to be released in 2003.
Now in its fourth decade of existence, each line-up created, and still provides, a platform for propulsion, evolution and mutation into the next.
The first incarnation of King Crimson, according to founder member Robert Fripp, was conceived in 1968 and born on January 13th 1969 in the Fulham Palace Cafe, London (Fripp/Ian McDonald/Greg Lake/Michael Giles/Pete Sinfield). The band stole the show when supporting The Rolling Stones at Hyde Park in 1969 and went on to produce In The Court Of The Crimson King (1969) described by Pete Townshend as "an uncanny masterpiece" and became an iconic title in rock music history.
Although hailed as "the next Beatles", King Crimson spent the next 30 years evading, intriguing and consistently surprising fans with each new project and album, such as In The Wake of Poseidon (1970), Lizard (1970), Islands (1971), Earthbound (1972), Larks' Tongues in Aspic (1973) and the posthumous studio album Red (1974). Band members along the way included Jazz maestro Keith Tippet, Boz Burrell (Bad Company), Ian Wallace (Dylan/Don Henley), John Wetton (Family) and Bill Bruford (Yes/Genesis).
Following Red, Fripp declared "King Crimson is completely over for ever and ever", and began work on solo projects and collaborations with artists such as Brian Eno, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Daryll Hall, Blondie and later with David Sylvian. He then reappeared in a reinvented King Crimson alongside Belew (Zappa/Bowie/Talking Heads), Levin (Paul Simon/Lou Reed/John Lennon/Peter Gabriel) and Bruford in 1981. At this point, Fripp felt, "the bleak Crim view lightened" and musical boundaries and vocabulary widened. Albums which followed include Discipline (1981), Beat (1982) and Three Of A Perfect Pair (1984) all now part of the recently remastered series, along with Cirkus (1999), which celebrates the 30th anniversary of Crimson.
After tortuous but successful legal struggles with his management, Fripp set up his own record label, Discipline Global Mobile, through which King Crimson, now joined by Trey Gunn and Pat Mastelotto (Mister Mister), and the ProjeKcts (Crimson's "alter-ego" band) continue to produce albums and archive releases; from Vrooom (1994), BíBoom (1995), THRaKaTTak (1996), Heavy ConstruKction (2000) to Vrooom Vrooom (2001), which features live tracks from the band's performances in Broadway, New York and Mexico City 1995/6.
"King Crimson lives in different bodies at different times and the particular form which the group takes changes. When music appears, which only King Crimson can play then, sooner or later, King Crimson appears to play the music" Robert Fripp.