Please recommend King Crimson albums…

Which King Crimson albums (CDs) have more of the mellow stuff (eg I talk to the wind, Epitaph, etc) and less of the nasty sounding stuff.   20th Century Schitzoid man is fine (just not daily). Their jazzy stuff is fine also. 

Thanks for your time.


Longtime Crim fan, since they changed the band lineup (except for Fripp) alot in the early days, this question is challenging. Wondering if what appealed about the Court album is Greg Lake's vocals, they never had another vocalist of that caliber after he left to join ELP.

I'd say Lizard fits the bill (except for the first song Cirkus) - Mel Collins sax and flute are all over this album and a guest vocal by Jon Anderson on a song. Been listening to this regularly for 50 years!

2nd choice would be Islands, definatly mellower but not as adventurous as most of their stuff.

Have fun exploring, Fripp was always pushing the envelope so mellow was not strong in their DNA.

I would agree that the first 4 albums sound like the most likely ones which you'll enjoy. The first two with Greg Lake are likely the most up your alley but you already know those. 

Check out “In The Wake of The Poseidon”, their 1970 follow up album to “In The Court of The Crimson King”.  From their 80’s incarnation with vocalist / guitarist Adrian Belew,  I like “Three of A Perfect Pair”. It has a more electronic sound compared to their 70’s recordings. 

There are many live albums (Live in Toronto, Radical Action, etc.) which are at least worth browsing through to see if any of it agrees with you. Much incredible muscianship is on display but they don't do mellow for very long at a stretch so that may be a bridge too far perhaps. One man's nasty is another man's nirvana.

Since you are okay with the jazzy King Crimson I would suggest Islands. Get the Steven Wilson re mix.



Beginning your KC journey, start with the 1st 4 albums(CD).


Happy Listening!


If you do get the first 2KC cds, get the 40th Anniversary Series for each. Lots of extra music, various recordings and a bonus dvd. Well worth the extra cost plus a very good recording.

One of my all time favorite bands!

I love them in all their various incarnations.

My favorite albums happen to be the ones that @berner99 is referring to as "nasty stuff": Larks’ Tongues in Aspic, Starless and Bible Black, and Red. I love angular sounding music, as well as the more obviously beautiful sounding stuff, too.

Others have already said, their first 4 albums are the call. The title track from the album "Islands" is quite mellow, and has maybe their most beautiful melodies of all their albums.

I happen not to think any of their stuff is ’nasty sounding’, though. There is a certain beauty to those dark, intense, dissonant sounding pieces. It’s just a beauty that is not obvious, and may take a bit of ’work’ to understand and appreciate.

But then, I love post 1950’s atonal classical music, which can make even the most angular ’nasty’ King Crimson stuff sound like it’s very mellow and melodic 😉

Might I go out on a limb here, and recommend the Italian prog* band, PFM? Especially their first 2 albums, Storia di un Minuto, and Per un Amico.

They are much in the vein of the more mellow, beautiful, and melodic King Crimson pieces. But they are not a ripping them off, they are doing their own thing.

*Italian prog on the whole, is very close to the quality of the Brits. Sadly, it is now somewhat unknown to people getting into prog at a later time.

Rock Progressivo Italiano