Top 10 Covers of KING CRIMSON’s “21st Century Schizoid Man”

In the Court of the Crimson King

By now we all now that King Crimson‘s “21st Century Schizoid Man” from the group’s 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King is all-time Prog classic, one of the songs that catapulted the Progressive Rock genre in its early years.

Over the course of almost half a century, the tune was a big inspiration for many bands, and some of these groups went forward to record their renditions of the song as a tribute to the great band.

We have compiled a list of 10 best studio covers of King Crimson‘s “21st Century Schizoid Man.” See it below.

10. Fuzz (2013)

San Francisco rock trio released a 7″ single titled Sunderberry Dream in 2013, which on the B side included a cover of King Crimson‘s song. As their name suggests, the band’s take on the tune is a bit noisy-oriented. Fuzz‘ version is fast, it skips over instrumental part ending song around the 3-minute mark, making it as one of the shortest covers.

09. Unrest (1989)

Washington, D.C.’s Unrest put out their third full-length Tink of S.E. in 1989 via TeenBeat, and the group did cover of King Crimson‘s song which was renamed and on the album is listed as “91st Century Schizoid Man.” Their take on the song is schizophrenic.

08. Entombed (1997)

Swedesh death metal band Entombed included Crimson‘s song as one of bonus tracks on their 1997 album DCLXVI: To Ride Shoot Straight and Speak the Truth. It comes with the group’s  easily recognized guitar sound.

07. Forbidden (1994)

Thrash metal also had its share when it comes covering “21st Century Schizoid Man.” San Francisco’s Forbidden released a cover on their 1994 album Distortion. The track is something over 11 minutes long, but after “21st Century” finishes, it goes for a minute and a half with silence, and continued with a hidden instrumental track until the end.

06. April Wine (1979)

Canadian hard rock band released their eighth studio album Harder…Faster in 1979. The closing song is “21st Century Schizoid Man,” which brings more melodic and warmer sound, accentuated bass line and hard rock fashioned guitar solo in the middle of the song.

05. We Hunt Buffalo (2012)

Stoner rockers from Canada covered the song on their 2012′s self-titled album. The band offers a fuzzed-out version of the song, often with hints of pyschedelic and blues rock as well as doom metal.

04. Flower Travellin’ Band (1970)

The Japanese psych/prog rockers Flower Travellin’ Band released their cover of “21st First Century Schizoid Man” in October 1970 on their album Anywhere, a year after it was originally released by King Crimson. Their version of the song is far more psychedelic and fuzzy; the sound is raw. The band goes a fully improvisational route with the guitar solo, exceeding the original for about six minutes.

03. The Human Experimente (2009)

This might be one of the stylistically weirdest covers of the song. It’s symphonic, psychedelic, progressive and industrial in the same time. Originally the project of Jeffrey Fayman and Robert Fripp, The Human Experimente was formed with an idea to re-interpret original music from King Crimson. Joined them here on “21st Century Schizoid Man” is Tool singer James Maynard Keenan.

02. ELP (1993)

What Emerson, Lake and Palmer did with King Crimson‘s song could be described as re-progging the prog. Although their version feels more accessible and sort of song-oriented, the keyboard work of Keith Emerson here is absolutely stunning.

01. Shining (2010)

Shining‘s cover which was released on their 2010′s album Blackjazz, as the last song, is possibly the most brutal and twisted version of the song. It includes growls and screams with Enslaved‘s Grutle Kjellson as a guest vocalist, as well as his absolutely fantastic performance on saxophone by Jørgen Munkeby. It has prog, it has jazz, it has extreme metal.

What is your favorite cover of the King Crimson classic? Let us know in the comments below.

2 Comments

  1. Duncan Parsons

    April 28, 2017 at 8:58 am

    at 5:25, it’s played on Segways.. After some Steve Reich (of course)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjCTE0yrIFE

  2. Fred PARESY

    May 1, 2017 at 4:08 pm

    And the most astonishing cover is surely the one from Dokaka, a japanese human beatboxer. Listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjgFDOP3CsA

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