King Crimson: Giving in to Streaming

Emanuele Ardillo

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There are many groups in the music industry which deserve way more attention and recognition than they actually do.

One of these bands is King Crimson, an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968. Their music is also characterized by elements of jazz, classical and experimental music. Their musical style is very unique and has changed over the years. Initially the band was grounded in the rock of the 1960s, but stripped away its blues-based foundations and replaced them with influence from classical music. The band also draws from jazz music and English folk music.

One of the reasons this band was “forgotten”, was the band leader’s (Robert Fripp) stance on streaming services. Until this year, King Crimson did not publish any of its work on the internet. Fripp was a firm believer of physical media instead of digital, and this hindered their path to contemporary success. 

Fortunately now, King Crimson is available in most music streaming sites (iTunes, Spotify, YouTube, etc.), but before that, it was quite hard to listen to any of their masterful pieces of music. Publishing music digitally does not only benefit the listener, but also the artist. Making your music accessible means more exposure and a larger fanbase. Also, even before all of this, people were still pirating their music.

I firmly believe this was the right choice by Fripp, since now I can finally listen to their music. 

Some of my favorite songs which I think you should give a listen to are:

  • The Court of the Crimson King
  • 21st Century Schizoid Man
  • Epitaph
  • Starless
  • Moonchild
  • Red
  • I Talk to the Wind