Goosebumps from music are something almost all of us have experienced in life at one point or the other. King Crimson's debut album "In The Court of King Crimson" is one of the timeless records that gives goosebumps to all who dare to stand before the court of the Crimson King.
On October 10, 1969, the world was blessed with one of the most revolutionizing records of all time. It marked the beginning of King Crimson's undying legacy.
"In The Court of King Crimson", the underground cult-progressive bewitchment, has still held its place in the hearts of innumerable King Crimson fans. The record entered the UK charts at number five and later placed itself on 28 in the US charts - catapulting King Crimson from an underground cult act to mainstream success.
The album was recorded over a three-month period and though the album's duration is only 44 minutes, the songs touch upon many big genres - from rock to jazz to symphonic music.
Going straight into the top five of the album charts, the potent, ground-breaking music, and its iconic album sleeve - one of the first without a band name or record company logo on its gatefold front - demanded to be heard.
However, the lack of information on the record's sleeve worried King Crimson's then-manager John Gaydon about objections from record retailers. But this ingenious idea was by Robert Fripp, King Crimson's guitarist. He demanded that there be no print anywhere on the exterior artwork.
To his concerns, Fripp said, "Well, it'll be the only record in the shop without anything down the spine on it, so they'll know which one it is."
Fripp also gave birth to the idea to subtitle the record "An Observation By King Crimson", which had the effect of framing the five pieces within an implied concept of sorts.
While many bands were cranking up the volume as the burgeoning underground scene demanded, what distinguished King Crimson from most of its peers was their lethal combination of claw-hammer brutality and surgical precision.
The Kings were summoning up musical forces not only capable of raising the bars for many progressive-rock bands to come and go, but also the ability to knock punters into the ground.
Apart from the surreal and creative aura of the record, another reason for the band and album's perennial fame can be credited to King Crimson's performance at the Rolling Stones free concert at Hyde Park in London, in July 1969. The band set forth on their legendary performance before an estimated crowd of 250,000 to 500,000.
It is a wondrous feat of success for the then-newly formed King Crimson, with very young musicians, to muster the ability to produce such a pinnacle point in the progressive genre which very clearly defined the band's musical timeline. And to receive such heights with a debut record is something that cannot be experienced by many, irrespective of how grand their musical gesture is.
In the last half-century, King Crimson lived it all. Even 51 years later, the rapidity of their progress remains breathtaking.