In The Court Of The Crimson King by King Crimson released on Island Records in 1969, value first pressing £600; 1970 second pressing £70

SINCE its release this album has attained classic status as one of the most influential progressive rock albums of all time, second only to Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon. An early debut of the band was supporting The Rolling Stones in their free concert in Hyde Park in July 1969 before an audience of 500,000 which no doubt helped the album become very successful; it was certified gold after only six months and charted on both sides of the Atlantic. The original members of the band broke up almost immediately after the release of the Crimson King with the exception of Robert Fripp. Ian McDonald left and founded the band Foreigner, Michael Giles became a sought after session drummer, vocalist and bass player Greg Lake became part of Emerson, Lake and Palmer. However, Peter Sinfield stayed until January 1972; all members would go on to have success outside of King Crimson. Robert Fripp, who is not only a wonderful inventive guitarist, remains as founder member and keystone of the band to this day. Fripp also has success as a record producer and music composer to many other rock bands, too numerous to mention here.

The entire album is a fantasy story involving the Crimson King. The name of the character was chosen because it was given to any monarch who reigned when there was a great deal of bloodshed and civil unrest. Inspired by this album, author Stephen King named the primary villain in the Dark Tower series the Crimson King. The sleeve design is by Barry Godber (1946-1970) a computer programmer who hand painted the album cover. The original painting is now owned by Robert Fripp who said: "The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man referring to track one. If you cover the smiling face on the inside of the cover, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. We have two faces, happy and sad, both reflecting the music."

Formed in 1968, the band has undergone a line up of more than 20 different musicians. They have a large cult following and still perform today with Fripp as the spokesman and driving force of the band. Originally released without the title or band name on the cover it became instantly recognisable. Who could ever forget a face like this?