King Crimson are a progressive rock band. Formed in London in 1968 (but featuring a transatlantic lineup since 1981), they’re widely recognised as a foundational progressive rock group despite the band’s own resistance to the label. The band has incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during its history (including jazz and folk music, classical and experimental music, psychedelic rock, hard rock and heavy metal,New Wave, gamelan, electronica and drum and bass).
The band’s line-up has persistently altered throughout their existence, with eighteen musicians and three lyricists passing through the ranks. The only musician to appear in every line-up of the band has been founding guitarist Robert Fripp, although others’ tenures have sometimes extended for decades. Due to the number of musicians involved in King Crimson over the years (and the band’s emphasis on creativity and on recruiting high-level players) the band is at the hub of a network of other bands and projects, and has been influential to many contemporary musical artists. The band has a large following, despite garnering little radio or music video airplay.