My Prog Heroes - Mick Box On King Crimson

“King Crimson have always been one of my favourite progressive rock groups."

“It’s because they incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation, drawing from jazz, classical and experimental music to psychedelic and hard rock.

“Their debut album, In The Court Of The Crimson King, is a landmark in prog in my eyes. When I first heard the title track live, in a club in the Hampstead area of London, it was mind blowing. They also used strobe lights brilliantly that night, to accentuate the instrumental passages on 21st Century Schizoid Man, and further enhance the experience.”

“What amazed me about the band in those early days was the way they combined really good songwriting with the sort of musical depth and diversity that nobody else could match. When you listen to a track like In The Court Of The Crimson King, it still astounds. If anyone else were try to do something similar, it would almost certainly fall apart. As a musician, I’m just I awe with what Crimson did.”

“At that time there was no-one quite doing prog rock like them, and they stood out from the crowd. Their sound was very innovative, and really pushed the boundaries of rock as we knew it back then.”

“Over the years, the band went through so many changes, both in terms of musicians and also styles. It says a lot for the way Robert Fripp held everything together that they were always right on the cutting edge.”

“But for me, it’s this first album which is the one that I always return to. More than 4. years old, it has a freshness and a fascination which you rarely find with young bands.”

“Anyone who wants an object lesson in how to make timeless prog rock should check out that debut. Seriously, there’s no better blueprint.”

Buyer's Guide: King Crimson

Malcolm Dome

Malcolm Dome had an illustrious and celebrated career which stretched back to working for Record Mirror magazine in the late 70s and Metal Fury in the early 80s before joining Kerrang! at its launch in 1981. His first book, Encyclopedia Metallica (opens in new tab), published in 1981, may have been the inspiration for the name of a certain band formed that same year. Dome is also credited with inventing the term "thrash metal" while writing about the Anthrax song Metal Thrashing Mad in 1984. With the launch of Classic Rock magazine in 1998 he became involved with that title, sister magazine Metal Hammer, and was a contributor to Prog magazine since its inception in 2009.