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King Crimson — Epitaph
Album: In The Court Of The Crimson King
Avg rating:
8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1439









Released: 1969
Length: 8:20
Plays (last 30 days): 3
The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
When silence drowns the screams

Confusion will be my epitaph
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying

Between the iron gates of fate
The seeds of time were sown
And watered by the deeds of those
Who know and who are known
Knowledge is a deadly friend
If no one sets the rules
The fate of all mankind I see
Is in the hands of fools

The wall on which the prophets wrote
Is cracking at the seams
Upon the instruments of death
The sunlight brightly gleams
When every man is torn apart
With nightmares and with dreams
Will no one lay the laurel wreath
When silence drowns the screams

Confusion will be my epitaph
As I crawl a cracked and broken path
If we make it we can all sit back and laugh
But I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Crying
Crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Yes, I fear tomorrow I'll be crying
Crying
Comments (349)add comment
Incredible LP, so much so that I recently bought myself a new copy to replace the one I wore out finally. 
English prog rock at its very worst - and that's saying something. 
Mellotrontastic!
Timeless. 
Saw King Crimson live at the original Massey Hall in Toronto in the early 70's. Incredible performance in a fabulous setting. While friends were listening to Donny Osmond, I was a confirmed KC fan. Thanks Radio Paradise for taking me back..
When I was 10, 11 & 12 years old, I frequently found myself facing that unforgettable cover illustration mounted on the walls flanking the escalators descending into subterranean tube stations in London where I lived back then.

There was no lettering - just that shocking facial image. 

I started listening to their albums 6+ years later....
This is a great song. The Greg Lake Vocals are wonderful.
 helgigermany wrote:
I know the lyrics 50 years later. This music  lives deep in my soul. 
 

Confusion is my epitaph, that lyric is in my head a lot!!
I know the lyrics 50 years later. This music  lives deep in my soul. 
 justin4kick wrote:


It might be the mellotron. An  instrument used by the MB and KC and so many more at the time.

 
Wonder if the T-shirt offer is still good? ;-)
One of the best prog songs ever with incredibly actual lyrics. 
 justin4kick wrote:


It might be the mellotron. An  instrument used by the MB and KC and so many more at the time.

 
Yep
 iam_overlord wrote:
Sounds a little like the Moody Blues. Is this just a coincidence or is there something I don't know?
 

It might be the mellotron. An  instrument used by the MB and KC and so many more at the time.

Greg Lake was 22 when this was done.  Miss him and all he gave to us.  
 pollyh wrote:
Ah, Greg Lake. Such a good time for music.
 
Really miss him....
Timeless. Epic. Godlike.
Only on RP. Go figure. This is an absolutely fabulous album. 
excellent, more of this.
 xnavy wrote:
I was PSDing and found KC. The brakes went on - When most people were listening Led Zep and The Who - My friends and I was sitting around with a pipe full of hash and listening to KC - THANK YOU

 
Yep, I was just thinking about hash and KC. 
To me 7 - Quite Likeable
More prog like this one, please!
I was PSDing and found KC. The brakes went on - When most people were listening Led Zep and The Who - My friends and I was sitting around with a pipe full of hash and listening to KC - THANK YOU
{#Music}{#Hearteyes}
i bought 2 albums for the cover alone without knowing anything about the music inside
in 1969 this album
and 1971 Naturally by JJ Cale 
For office tigers like me there is music like this to give us a glance into a gloomy unknown world. Or must I really fear that tomorrow I'll be crying? Naaah, life isn't bad at all. Cheers!
Prog.  {#Propeller}

{#Hearteyes}
 dirtbagpook wrote:
I wore out my brother's copy of this LP and then the cassette tape I made of it. My other brother still has the original LP. The artwork stops you in tracks. Prog rock at it's best!

 
One of only a couple LPs I had to get a second copy because I wore out the first one.
Left Cloud Cult for this on the PSD. No that's what I call a great trade. Thanks Bill!
 hayduke2 wrote:
Very cool seque' (? segway, you know) from Joseph Arthur, intelligent background music for an exceptional spring day
 
Indeed... except for the Joseph Arthur part.
How prophetic that they had Obama and Putin in mind as they penned these lyrics.

(Wait! Who else am I leaving out?) 
Spooky.
{#Cheers} .... nice bit of prog
Very cool seque' (? segway, you know) from Joseph Arthur, intelligent background music for an exceptional spring day
For me, this album took my musical journey in a totally different direction.
One I have never returned from.....................thankfully.



Ah, Greg Lake. Such a good time for music.
 pinem wrote:
Bought this album in the PX while doing basic training at Ft Dix, NJ, after being drafted in Dec of '69 via the lottery. It got me through a crappy time.

 
Awesome.
And thanks.
 
My favorite Sound
After listening to the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Strawberry Alarm Clock, the Mamas and Papas and the like,  this blew me away. I had never heard anybody make music like this. It still sounds good to me today. This lead me to Emerson Lake and Palmer, Yes and Genesis. There really was some good music in that era. that I think is under appreciated today.
 
Bought this album in the PX while doing basic training at Ft Dix, NJ, after being drafted in Dec of '69 via the lottery. It got me through a crappy time.
The fate of all mankind, I fear is in the hands of fools.
 winotron wrote:

Not really getting how this is not progressive rock.  To me, King Crimson pretty much exemplifies progressive rock.  

 
Some people just need to jump through hoops to try and deny that some great music is prog
 iam_overlord wrote:
Sounds a little like the Moody Blues. Is this just a coincidence or is there something I don't know?

 
It's that blessed Mellotron in the background and Greg Lake's earnest impassioned yearning keening singing that borrows heavily from the Moodies. 

 capandjudy wrote:

I will agree with that statement. This album blew me away in 1970 but I would not lump any of King Crimson's albums under the label of progressive rock.

  
Really? I know that stylistically King Crimson could be all over the place but this is firmly between the Moody Blues, Emerson Lake and Palmer and Yes. Check out Wikipedia's entry for King Crimson for all their changes in musical styles and personnel.
Sounds a little like the Moody Blues. Is this just a coincidence or is there something I don't know?
King Crimson is reforming as a seven piece band WITHOUT Adrian and will be touring 2014!!! https://www.dgmlive.com/news.htm?entry=4335
That entire album brings me a lot of memories. I wrote the lyrics of this song on the wall over the head of my bed... And I used to scare my gandma with the album cover. So silly... Grandma, I miss you.
I wore out my brother's copy of this LP and then the cassette tape I made of it. My other brother still has the original LP. The artwork stops you in tracks. Prog rock at it's best!
 lemmoth wrote:

Party Time!!!!! Yeah !!!!!! Happy Days !!!!!!!
So next song is clearly going to be Celebrate Good Times C'Mon.......

 
"Is That All there Is?" by Peggy Lee would be a good, happy, follow-up.
These lyrics are more important than the music! 
 Very good song from a very good LP.(Vinyl) 
King Crimson brings good memories of the 60s and 70s.
I've been hearing a lot of silence (or stonewalling) drowning out the screams lately......

Every time I listen to this song it becomes more relevant. 

Party Time!!!!! Yeah !!!!!! Happy Days !!!!!!!
So next song is clearly going to be Celebrate Good Times C'Mon.......


 nicknt wrote:
One of the 10 greatest songs ever. Astonishing sound (ahead of its times in 1969 !)
 
Agreed — the entire album is staggeringly good.  Also at the top of the class for album artwork.
 capandjudy wrote:

I will agree with that statement. This album blew me away in 1970 but I would not lump any of King Crimson's albums under the label of progressive rock.

 
Not really getting how this is not progressive rock.  To me, King Crimson pretty much exemplifies progressive rock.  
One of the 10 greatest songs ever. Astonishing sound (ahead of its times in 1969 !)
The fate of all mankind is in the hands of fools. 

That does not sound unreasonable or misguided. As true now as then. More? 
Still, the music is a bit...morose.  
Such a great cover too.
Another of those tunes that will prick up my ears on RP.  More Crimson please!
Sooooo good.
Greg Lake vocals + Mellotron = WIN
 martinc wrote:
A great album. Always wondered why this get a progressive rock label? Because it has a mellotron? Because it was different at the time?
 
I will agree with that statement. This album blew me away in 1970 but I would not lump any of King Crimson's albums under the label of progressive rock.
One of the better songs ever written.. Holds true today as it did back then, doesn't matter where you stand or what you stand for!!
A great album. Always wondered why this get a progressive rock label? Because it has a mellotron? Because it was different at the time?
Today ...
 polymath wrote:
"The fate of all mankind. I fear, is in the hands of fools" 
 
Exactly how I felt when I woke up on Nov. 7th.
 ScottishWillie wrote:

King Crimson the acceptable face of Prog Rock
 

 
Sounds about right.
Vietnam 'Conflict' at its apex.
My young brain was not worthy.......9

King Crimson the acceptable face of Prog Rock
 


 YES..until the brink is reached.  polymath wrote:
"The fate of all mankind. I fear, is in the hands of fools" 
 


Yesterday on PSD, today on the Main Channel. I know Bill is by my side. {#Biggrin}
 progrockette wrote:
Is that true? Really great if so - thanks!
 
Yep, it's true.  It was started by the guitarist of Bad Religion if I remember correctly.
 jmsmy wrote:
One of the only songs to have a record company named after it.
 

Is that true? Really great if so - thanks!
 Lrobby99 wrote:
The high pitched screeching gave me a headache.
 
So get off your cat's tail and enjoy the music.
The high pitched screeching gave me a headache.
"The fate of all mankind. I fear, is in the hands of fools" 
10. 'nuff said.
One of the only songs to have a record company named after it.
Phenomenal. I haven't heard this in at least 30 years. What a great album.
O yes. Good for the progger ears!
 stevetheshoe wrote:
I actually only listen to it on my original vinyl, still sounds fantastic.
That is except for hearing it here.
 

I Talk to the Wind is an absolutely phenomenal song off of that album - a total classic
Loved this as a teenager - it was so relevant then and maybe even more relevant today....{#Cry}
 lemmoth wrote:
That kind of interaction happens in my household as well, with my wife screaming out the lyrics of ELP or King Crimson and her adoration of Greg Lake worn on her sleeve ........ and me going "Huh, I don't get it"
 
I thought that this was Greg Lake on vocals, but despite being an ELP fan back in the day I'd not known he'd been with King Crimson. I don't blame your wife for her adoration of Greg Lake - he was a nice-looking boy, right enough, and had a fine voice and a brain to go with it. Keith Emerson was an ugly troll in comparison.


It is just amazing.I dont get to hear this song anywhere else but here and on my iphone. 
Is this the 2010 remaster/remix?
If so that Porcupine Tree reference is even more correct, as Steven Wilson and Robert Fripp did these R/Ms.

Information for all ya'll RP-ers: the first song comment for this tune was entered on December 5, 2001.  Ten years of comments spread over 9 pages.

Indicative of the power of this song?  I think so.
 ianmoff wrote:
I though this was magnificent when I first heard it 1969. I still think it's magnificent in 2010.

I was so hoping Greg was going to go into this at the end of Tarkus this year at High Voltage

My partner was wondering why I was stood there muttering 'Say it! Go on say it!'

{#Notworthy} 
 

That kind of interaction happens in my household as well, with my wife screaming out the lyrics of ELP or King Crimson and her adoration of Greg Lake worn on her sleeve ........ and me going "Huh, I don't get it"
Love the Crimson - and would love more from the Discipline, Beat, 3 of a Perfect Pair era too!

I actually only listen to it on my original vinyl, still sounds fantastic.
That is except for hearing it here.


 fredriley wrote:

Er, that's perhaps a little hyperbolic. Still, I understand what you mean - until I looked at the playlist I'd not have twigged this as a 40yo recording. Or King Crimson, for that matter. 6 from the Nottingham jury.
 
I didn't mean it to sound so corny, which it does. I think you got what I meant, because I can't believe this is from 1970, it sounds very current . . . in a non-commercial way.
 ScottishWillie wrote:
 james_of_tucson wrote:
It's a fine example of how something that sounded fantastic on vinyl on a good 1970 hi-fi doesn't stand up all that well to a digital mastering an a contemporary listen.  If I could change anything, I would reverse the perceived position of the drum kit with the vocals.  This is one of those records that I listened to enough to truly wear it out twice.
  I respectfully beg to differ. I think it’s the drumming that makes this track what it is.
 
My little tube amp is making those snares sound wicked...Evil witch wicked :)
 trissi wrote:

so true. this is over 40 years old and as timeless as time itself.
 
Er, that's perhaps a little hyperbolic. Still, I understand what you mean - until I looked at the playlist I'd not have twigged this as a 40yo recording. Or King Crimson, for that matter. 6 from the Nottingham jury.

 rcurrier wrote:
And now Pete Sinfield writes lyrics for Celine Dion.

Say it ain't so!  Ah well, I suppose we all must find a way to pay the bills.

His imagery on this album, and probably best illustrated in this song, are quite powerful.  Perhaps it's just me, but I don't think these lyrics have become dated like much of the other art-rock genre from this period.  Music still kicks it, too.

PS to dsd:  My kids liked this when they were little, too.  They're 30 now, and have iPod versions of these tunes and a few from Starless and Bible Black.
 marcu wrote:
11 - Awesome
 
so true. this is over 40 years old and as timeless as time itself.
Cool as sh!t to hear this at the end of the day.
Nice music, nice lyrics, everthing nice!
 dsd wrote:
I remember first playing this stuff for my youngest son.  We had a great laugh over the Pythonesque song titles ..."Including Return of the Fire Witch and Dance of the Puppets", but we both like the music.
 
Wow.  You guys rock

I remember first playing this stuff for my youngest son.  We had a great laugh over the Pythonesque song titles ..."Including Return of the Fire Witch and Dance of the Puppets", but we both like the music.
 james_of_tucson wrote:
It's a fine example of how something that sounded fantastic on vinyl on a good 1970 hi-fi doesn't stand up all that well to a digital mastering an a contemporary listen.  If I could change anything, I would reverse the perceived position of the drum kit with the vocals.  This is one of those records that I listened to enough to truly wear it out twice.
  I respectfully beg to differ. I think it’s the drumming that makes this track what it is.


Conjures images of a black light shining on velvet art.
11 - Awesome
It's a fine example of how something that sounded fantastic on vinyl on a good 1970 hi-fi doesn't stand up all that well to a digital mastering an a contemporary listen.  If I could change anything, I would reverse the perceived position of the drum kit with the vocals.  This is one of those records that I listened to enough to truly wear it out twice.

And now Pete Sinfield writes lyrics for Celine Dion.

I know everyone has to make a living, and I'm sure it pays a lot better, but I don't think I'd take that deal with the devil. In fact, the mere thought of it makes me resemble that album cover.

King Crimson is such a great fit for radio paradise.  More from "Red", maybe "Starless" would sweet.
The cover art makes a wonderful cameo in this short video

This is an absolute milestone song and album that defined progressive rock in it's day, and it has aged well!

A reference standard by which a lot of modern music can be judged.  An 11 for sure!

The gorgeous mellotron alone would be enough, much less the biting, insiteful lyrics, gorgeous guitar work and grandeur overall!

They don't make them much like this anymore.....

The album cover itself is a classic and one of the best ever IMHO!

Porcupine Tree is perhaps the more modern currently active group that comes closest.

We're still around so maybe the people whose hand's we are in alluded to are not quite as foolish as we feared?

Then again.....

There are a number of other good songs off this album that would be fun to hear also.
WOW, I haven't heard this for years. Thank you! Absolutely love King Crimson.
Aaaaaaahhhh!
attempting to build/populate my new website which IS NOT my forte`, and this is just what I need to hear! :)
 sdn wrote:
I love this.  Beautiful music, bitter cynical lyrics.  I could listen to music like this all day.
 
I quite often do {#Notworthy}
And here I thought that very little of anything good came out of the 70's (with the exception of me of course)...  This is fantastic.
11
I love this.  Beautiful music, bitter cynical lyrics.  I could listen to music like this all day.
Crimso!

Love it!

10 
I though this was magnificent when I first heard it 1969. I still think it's magnificent in 2010.

I was so hoping Greg was going to go into this at the end of Tarkus this year at High Voltage

My partner was wondering why I was stood there muttering 'Say it! Go on say it!'

{#Notworthy} 
 daedalus wrote:
If there's one thing I CAN"T STAND it's intolerance....
 

{#Lol}
Truley one of the great progressive songs of all time. Still one of my favroite albums overall, of course Red is a close second from them. 
 On_The_Beach wrote:

Generally speaking, of course.
 
If there's one thing I CAN"T STAND it's intolerance....
I had this record 1969.{#Stupid} ...oh.I liked it then and still do.

 westslope wrote:

Table thump to Peace_tode's September post.

 

One of the best songs off a path-breaking album.  Classic meets folk meets rock meets new technology and a desire to break barriers just for the sake of breaking barriers.  That and it is one of those popular songs that captured the mood of the counter-culture movement.   Uplifting and sadly nostalgic all at once.

 

Has anybody listened to the Steven Wilson-Robert Fripp re-mastered version of this song?  Better?

Yes... I  have the 5.1 DVD Audio SW mixed. It is quite outstanding and really breaths fresh life into this masterpiece. I got chills the first time I put in the disc very very nice. But you really need to have a great system to really enjoy this :)  

 


I keep looking for the 11 button...