Complete List Of King Crimson Band Members

King Crimson Band Members

Feature Photo: Hunter Desportes, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

King Crimson was formed in London in 1968. Known for their complex compositions and pioneering use of improvisation, the band has undergone numerous lineup changes throughout its history, with guitarist Robert Fripp being the only constant member. King Crimson has released thirteen studio albums, beginning with their influential debut In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), which is often cited as one of the first and most important progressive rock albums. The band has seen periods of inactivity and reformation, with their latest lineup continuing to perform live and release new music. Despite their frequent changes in personnel, King Crimson has maintained a reputation for musical innovation and has left a lasting impact on the genre.

Robert Fripp

Robert Fripp is the founding member and guitarist of King Crimson, having formed the band in 1968. He has been the only constant member throughout the band’s various incarnations. Fripp’s innovative guitar work and compositional skills have been central to King Crimson’s sound. He has played on every King Crimson album, from In the Court of the Crimson King (1969) to the most recent release. Outside of King Crimson, Fripp has worked with a wide range of artists, including David Bowie, Brian Eno, and Peter Gabriel, and has released several solo albums.

Greg Lake

Greg Lake was the original bassist and lead vocalist for King Crimson, joining the band in 1968. He played on their debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), contributing significantly to its sound with his powerful vocals and bass lines. Lake left the band in 1970 to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer, where he achieved significant success. He is remembered for his contributions to the early sound of King Crimson.

Michael Giles

Michael Giles was the original drummer and percussionist for King Crimson, joining in 1968. He played on In the Court of the Crimson King (1969), where his innovative drumming was a key element of the band’s early sound. Giles left the band shortly after the release of their debut album but continued to work with Robert Fripp on the album McDonald and Giles (1970). He also pursued a career as a session musician.

Ian McDonald

Ian McDonald was a founding member of King Crimson, playing saxophone, flute, keyboards, and mellotron. He joined the band in 1968 and played on In the Court of the Crimson King (1969). McDonald’s multi-instrumental talents were crucial to the band’s early sound. He left King Crimson in 1969 and later co-founded the rock band Foreigner. McDonald has also worked as a session musician and producer.

Peter Sinfield

Peter Sinfield was the lyricist and occasional synthesizer player for King Crimson from their formation in 1968 until 1972. He wrote the lyrics for the band’s first four albums, including In the Court of the Crimson King (1969). Sinfield’s poetic and often surreal lyrics were a defining feature of King Crimson’s early work. After leaving the band, he pursued a solo career and worked as a lyricist for other artists, including Emerson, Lake & Palmer.

Mel Collins

Mel Collins first joined King Crimson in 1970, playing saxophones and flute. He played on several albums, including Lizard (1970) and Islands (1971). Collins left the band in 1972 but rejoined in 2013, contributing to the band’s later tours and recordings. Outside of King Crimson, Collins has worked with a wide range of artists, including Camel, The Alan Parsons Project, and Dire Straits.

Boz Burrell

Boz Burrell joined King Crimson in 1971 as the bassist and lead vocalist. He played on the albums Islands (1971) and Earthbound (1972). After leaving King Crimson in 1972, Burrell found success as the bassist for the rock band Bad Company. He remained with Bad Company until his death in 2006.

Bill Bruford

Bill Bruford joined King Crimson in 1972 as the drummer and percussionist. He played on several albums, including Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974), and Red (1974). Bruford left the band in 1974 but rejoined for the 1981-1984 and 1994-1997 incarnations. Outside of King Crimson, Bruford was the original drummer for Yes and has led his own jazz band, Earthworks.

John Wetton

John Wetton joined King Crimson in 1972 as the bassist and lead vocalist. He played on Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974), and Red (1974). Wetton’s powerful voice and bass playing were central to the band’s sound during this period. After leaving King Crimson in 1974, he played with several bands, including UK and Asia, achieving significant success with the latter.

David Cross

David Cross joined King Crimson in 1972 as the violinist and keyboardist. He played on Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), Starless and Bible Black (1974), and Red (1974). Cross’s violin added a unique dimension to the band’s sound. After leaving King Crimson in 1974, he pursued a solo career and worked with various other musicians and bands.

Peter Giles

Peter Giles joined King Crimson in 1970, contributing bass on the album In the Wake of Poseidon. His precise bass playing added depth to the band’s early sound. Before joining King Crimson, Giles was a member of Giles, Giles and Fripp, a precursor to King Crimson, which he formed with his brother Michael Giles and Robert Fripp. After his time with King Crimson, Peter Giles continued to work in music, though he did not rejoin the band in later years.

Gordon Haskell

Gordon Haskell was briefly a member of King Crimson in 1970, playing bass and providing lead vocals on the album Lizard. He also contributed vocals to the track “Cadence and Cascade” on In the Wake of Poseidon. Haskell’s smooth vocal style and bass playing were integral to the band’s evolving sound during this period. After leaving King Crimson, Haskell pursued a solo career and achieved success with his album Harry’s Bar in 2001. Haskell passed away in 2020.

Andy McCulloch

Andy McCulloch joined King Crimson as the drummer in 1970, playing on the album Lizard. His dynamic drumming contributed to the band’s progressive and experimental approach on this album. After his tenure with King Crimson, McCulloch went on to play with other bands, including Fields and Greenslade, continuing his career in the progressive rock genre.

Ian Wallace

Ian Wallace was the drummer and percussionist for King Crimson from 1971 to 1972. He played on the albums Islands (1971) and Earthbound (1972). Wallace’s versatile drumming and backing vocals were key elements of the band’s sound during his time. After leaving King Crimson, Wallace had a prolific career as a session musician, playing with artists such as Bob Dylan and Don Henley. He passed away in 2007.

Raymond “Boz” Burrell

Raymond “Boz” Burrell joined King Crimson in 1971 as the bassist and lead vocalist. He played on the album Islands (1971) and the live album Earthbound (1972). Burrell’s contributions helped shape the band’s sound during this period. After leaving King Crimson, Burrell found significant success as the bassist for Bad Company. He remained with Bad Company until his death in 2006.

Jamie Muir

Jamie Muir joined King Crimson in 1972 as a percussionist and drummer. He played on the album Larks’ Tongues in Aspic (1973), where his experimental and eclectic percussion techniques added a unique dimension to the band’s music. Muir left the band shortly after the album’s release to pursue a more spiritual path and focus on visual art.

Adrian Belew

Adrian Belew joined King Crimson in 1981 as the guitarist and lead vocalist. He played on several albums, including Discipline (1981), Beat (1982), and Three of a Perfect Pair (1984). Belew’s innovative guitar playing and distinctive voice helped shape the band’s sound during the 1980s. He remained with King Crimson until 2009 and has also had a successful solo career, working with artists like David Bowie and Talking Heads.

Tony Levin

Tony Levin joined King Crimson in 1981 as the bassist and Chapman Stick player. He played on Discipline (1981), Beat (1982), Three of a Perfect Pair (1984), and several later albums. Levin’s use of the Chapman Stick and bass guitar added a new dimension to the band’s sound. Outside of King Crimson, Levin has played with Peter Gabriel, Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, and his own band, Stick Men.

Pat Mastelotto

Pat Mastelotto joined King Crimson in 1994 as a drummer and percussionist. He played on THRAK (1995), The ConstruKction of Light (2000), and The Power to Believe (2003). Mastelotto’s versatile drumming has been a key part of the band’s sound in its later years. He continues to play with King Crimson and has also worked with XTC, Mr. Mister, and Stick Men.

Trey Gunn

Trey Gunn joined King Crimson in 1994 as a Warr guitarist and Chapman Stick player. He played on THRAK (1995), The ConstruKction of Light (2000), and The Power to Believe (2003). Gunn’s innovative playing added a new dimension to the band’s sound. He left King Crimson in 2003 and has pursued a solo career, as well as collaborating with various other artists.

Gavin Harrison

Gavin Harrison joined King Crimson in 2008 as a drummer. He has played on the band’s live albums and continues to perform with them. Harrison is known for his work with the band Porcupine Tree and has also played with The Pineapple Thief, contributing his precise and intricate drumming style to these projects.

Bill Rieflin

Bill Rieflin was a multi-instrumentalist who played with King Crimson from 2013 to 2016 and then from 2017 until his death in 2020. He played keyboards, synthesizers, mellotron, drums, percussion, and provided backing vocals. Rieflin contributed to the albums Live at the Orpheum (2015), Radical Action to Unseat the Hold of Monkey Mind (2016), Live in Chicago (2017), and Meltdown: Live in Mexico City (2018). Outside of King Crimson, Rieflin had a distinguished career playing with bands such as Ministry, R.E.M., and Swans.

Jakko Jakszyk

Jakko Jakszyk joined King Crimson in 2013 as a guitarist, keyboardist, flutist, and lead vocalist. He contributed to all King Crimson releases from Live at the Orpheum (2015) onwards. Jakszyk’s versatility and vocal style helped shape the band’s modern sound. Before joining King Crimson, Jakszyk had a successful solo career and was a member of the band 21st Century Schizoid Band, which featured former King Crimson members.

Jeremy Stacey

Jeremy Stacey joined King Crimson in 2016 as a drummer and keyboardist. He provided backing vocals and contributed to all King Crimson releases from Heroes (2017) onwards. Stacey’s dynamic drumming and keyboard playing have been integral to the band’s recent performances. Outside of King Crimson, Stacey has an extensive career as a session musician, working with artists such as Noel Gallagher and Sheryl Crow.

Read More: Top 10 King Crimson Songs

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