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|"21st Century Schizoid Man"|
|Single by King Crimson|
|from the album In the Court of the Crimson King|
|Released||12 October 1969|
|Recorded||1 & 20–21 August 1969|
|King Crimson singles chronology|
|In the Court of the Crimson King track listing|
"21st Century Schizoid Man" is a song by the progressive rock band King Crimson from their debut album In the Court of the Crimson King .
Progressive rock is a broad genre of rock music that developed in the United Kingdom and United States throughout the mid to late 1960s. Initially termed "progressive pop", the style was an outgrowth of psychedelic bands who abandoned standard pop traditions in favour of instrumentation and compositional techniques more frequently associated with jazz, folk, or classical music. Additional elements contributed to its "progressive" label: lyrics were more poetic, technology was harnessed for new sounds, music approached the condition of "art", and the studio, rather than the stage, became the focus of musical activity, which often involved creating music for listening, not dancing.
King Crimson are an English progressive rock band formed in London in 1968. King Crimson have been influential both on the early 1970s progressive rock movement and numerous contemporary artists. The band has undergone numerous formations throughout its history of which 22 musicians have been members; since October 2017 it has consisted of Robert Fripp, Jakko Jakszyk, Tony Levin, Mel Collins, Pat Mastelotto, Gavin Harrison, Jeremy Stacey and Bill Rieflin. Fripp is the only consistent member of the group and is considered the band's leader and driving force. The band has earned a large cult following. They were ranked No. 87 on VH1's 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Although considered to be a seminal progressive rock band, they have often distanced themselves from the genre: as well as influencing several generations of progressive and psychedelic rock bands, they have also been an influence on subsequent alternative metal, hardcore and experimental/noise musicians.
In the Court of the Crimson King is the debut album from the English rock band King Crimson, released on 10 October 1969 on Island Records in England and Atlantic Records in America. The album is one of the first and most influential of the progressive rock genre, where the band largely departed from the blues influences that rock music was founded upon and combined elements of jazz, classical, and symphonic music.
The lyrics of "21st Century Schizoid Man" were written by Peter Sinfield and consist chiefly of disconnected phrases which present a series of images. All three verses follow a set pattern in presenting these images. The first line of each verse presents two relatively vague images (e.g. "iron claw", "death seed"). The second line is a single image, often more specific than the first two, and the third line approaches an actual sentence. The fourth and last line of each verse is the song's title.
Peter John Sinfield is an English poet and songwriter, most famously known as the lyricist and co-founder member of early incarnations of King Crimson, whose debut album In the Court of the Crimson King is one of the most influential progressive rock albums released.
The song makes reference to the Vietnam War with the lyrics "Politicians' funeral pyre/Innocence raped with napalm fire". Before a live performance of the song on 14 December 1969, heard on the live album Epitaph , Robert Fripp remarked that the song was dedicated to "an American political personality whom we all know and love dearly. His name is Spiro Agnew."
The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975, with U.S. involvement ending in 1973. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and South Vietnam. North Vietnam was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; South Vietnam was supported by the United States, South Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war from some US perspectives. It lasted some 19 years and included the Laotian Civil War and the Cambodian Civil War, resulting in all three countries becoming communist states in 1975. The outcome of the war humiliated the United States and diminished its reputation in the world.
Napalm is an incendiary mixture of a gelling agent and a volatile petrochemical. The title is a portmanteau of the names of two of the constituents of the original thickening and gelling agents: co-precipitated aluminium salts of naphthenic and palmitic acids. Napalm B is the more modern version of napalm and, although distinctly different in its chemical composition, is often referred to simply as "napalm".
Epitaph is a live 4-CD set of concert performances and radio sessions from 1969 by the band King Crimson, released in 1997. Volumes 1 and 2 were available in retail shops, and the set included a flyer with instructions on how to obtain Volumes 3 and 4 via mail-order. In 2006, volumes 3 and 4 were released independently as a 2-disc set via DGM.
Clocking at nearly seven and a half minutes, the song is notable for its heavily distorted vocals sung by Greg Lake, and its instrumental middle section, called "Mirrors". Most of the song is in either 4/4 or 6/8 time, save for the end of the song, which is in free time. Fripp explained his guitar solo to Guitar Player magazine in 1974: "It's all picked down-up. The basis of the picking technique is to strike down on the on-beat and up on the off-beat. Then one must learn to reverse that. I'll generally use a downstroke on the down-beat except where I wish to accent a phrase in a particular way or create a certain kind of tension by confusing accents, in which case I might begin a run on the upstroke."British Prime Minister Tony Blair praised the song and especially the guitar solo. The song encompasses the heavy metal, jazz-rock and progressive rock genres. The atonal solo was rated number 82 in Guitar World's list of the Top 100 Greatest Guitar Solos in 2008. Louder Sound ranked the solo at no. 56 in its "100 greatest guitar solos in rock" poll.
Gregory Stuart Lake was an English bassist, guitarist, singer, songwriter and producer. He gained prominence as a founding member of the progressive rock bands King Crimson and Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP).
Free time is a type of musical anti-meter free from musical time and time signature. It is used when a piece of music has no discernible beat. Instead, the rhythm is intuitive and free-flowing. In standard musical notation, there are seven ways in which a piece is indicated to be in free time:
Guitar Player is an American popular magazine for guitarists, founded in 1967 in San Jose, California, United States. It contains articles, interviews, reviews and lessons of an eclectic collection of artists, genres and products. It has been in print since late 1967. The magazine is currently edited by Christopher Scapilitti.
King Crimson continued to perform it in their live act after Greg Lake left King Crimson in 1970 to form Emerson, Lake & Palmer. It appeared on five live albums from different versions of the band, first sung by Lake on Epitaph , then by Boz Burrell on Earthbound (1972), by John Wetton, on USA (1974), by Adrian Belew on Vrooom Vrooom (2001, recorded in 1996), and by Jakko Jakszyk on 2014 Live EP. In 1993, Emerson, Lake & Palmer recorded a version for their 1993 box set The Return of the Manticore (this version is abridged, finishing before the long instrumental passage featured in the original). Greg Lake performed the song on his 1981 solo tour with Gary Moore on guitar.
Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) were an English progressive rock supergroup formed in London in 1970. The band consisted of keyboardist Keith Emerson; singer, bassist, guitarist and producer Greg Lake; and drummer and percussionist Carl Palmer. With nine RIAA-certified gold record albums in the US, and an estimated 48 million records sold worldwide, they were one of the most popular and commercially successful progressive rock bands in the 1970s, with a musical sound including adaptations of classical music with jazz and symphonic rock elements, dominated by Emerson's flamboyant use of the Hammond organ, Moog synthesizer, and piano.
Raymond "Boz" Burrell was an English musician. Originally a vocalist and guitarist, Burrell is best known for his bass playing and work with the bands King Crimson and Bad Company. He died of a heart attack in Spain on 21 September 2006 aged 60.
Earthbound is a live album by the band King Crimson, released in 1972 as a budget record shortly after the line-up that recorded it had broken up. It contains the band's first official live release of their signature song "21st Century Schizoid Man", and an extended live version of their 1970 non-LP B-side "Groon". It also contains two improvised tracks with scat vocals from Boz Burrell.
Ian McDonald is an English multi-instrumental musician, best known as a founder member of progressive rock band King Crimson, formed in 1969, and of the hard rock band Foreigner in 1976. He is well known as a rock session musician, predominantly as a saxophonist. He also plays keyboards, flute, vibraphone and guitar.
Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. As a guitarist for the progressive rock band King Crimson, Fripp has been the only member to have played in all of King Crimson's line-ups from their inception in the late 1960s to the present. He has also worked extensively as a studio musician, notably with singer David Bowie on the albums "Heroes" and Scary Monsters , Brian Eno, David Sylvian and contributed sounds to the Windows Vista operating system. His complete discography lists more than seven hundred releases over four decades.
Michael Rex Giles is an English drummer, best known as a co-founder of King Crimson in 1969. Prior to the formation of King Crimson, he also co-founded the short-lived Giles, Giles & Fripp with his brother, Peter, and Robert Fripp the previous year.
Lizard is the third studio album by British progressive rock band King Crimson, released in December 1970 by record label Island. It was the second recorded by a transitional line-up of the group that never had the opportunity to perform live, following In the Wake of Poseidon. This is the only album by the band to feature bassist and vocalist Gordon Haskell, apart from his appearance on the song "Cadence and Cascade" from the previous album, and drummer Andy McCulloch as official members of the band.
Live at Jacksonville is a live album by the band King Crimson, released through the King Crimson Collectors' Club in December 1998.
Live at the Marquee is a live album by the band King Crimson, released through the King Crimson Collectors' Club in October 1998.
Live in Detroit, MI is a live album by the band King Crimson, released by the Discipline Global Mobile through the King Crimson Collectors' Club in October 2001. Recorded in Detroit, Michigan at the Eastown Theatre on November 13, 1971. The packaging erroneously credits the CD as being from December 13, 1971.
King Crimson Live in Hyde Park, London is a live album by the band King Crimson, released through the King Crimson Collectors' Club in September 2002.
Ladies of the Road is a live album by the band King Crimson, released in 2002 and reissued in Japan in 2008. It is named after a song on the Islands album.
The Beginners' Guide to the King Crimson Collectors' Club is a 2000 album by the band King Crimson, compiled from King Crimson Collectors' Club albums - limited release live recordings of concert performances, studio sessions and radio sessions.
Live in Mexico City is a live album by band King Crimson, first released as a free Windows Media Audio download in 1999. Some tracks later appeared on the live albums Cirkus: The Young Persons' Guide to King Crimson Live (1999) and Vrooom Vrooom (2001), and as part of the expanded "THRAK BOX" in 2015.
Heartbeat: The Abbreviated King Crimson is a compilation by the band King Crimson, originally intended for radio stations as a promo vehicle to accompany Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson 4-CD boxed set. It was released in 1991. The medley was prepared to present an intensive overview of the catalogue to Virgin Records.
Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson is a 4-CD box set by the band King Crimson, released in 1991.
Live in Japan is the second "Official Bootleg" release by the 21st Century Schizoid Band. It was released on CD and DVD, the DVD containing the extra tracks "Tomorrow's People" and "If I Was", as well as bonus features.
Live in Italy is the third installment of the "Official Bootleg" series from the 21st Century Schizoid Band. It is the first album to feature new drummer Ian Wallace, who replaced Michael Giles earlier that year.
Cirkus: The Young Persons' Guide to King Crimson Live is a live album compilation from King Crimson. It was released in 1999 through Virgin Records.
"Epitaph" is the third track on British progressive rock band King Crimson's 1969 album In the Court of the Crimson King. It was written by Robert Fripp, Ian McDonald, Greg Lake, and Michael Giles with lyrics written by Peter Sinfield.
The 21st Century Guide to King Crimson – Volume One – 1969–1974 is the first of two 4-CD sets of compilation albums, showcasing the entire production of the British progressive rock band King Crimson. This set of discs contains both studio and live performances ranging from the beginnings of the band in 1969 to their first dissolvement in 1974.
Vrooom Vrooom is a live album by the band King Crimson, released in 2001.
"I Talk to the Wind" is the second track from the British progressive rock band King Crimson's debut album, In the Court of the Crimson King.
Live at the Orpheum is a live album by the band King Crimson, released by Discipline Global Mobile records in 2015. The album was recorded on 30 September and 1 October at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, California on the band's The Elements of King Crimson US tour of 2014.