If there is one group that embodies progressive rock, it is King Crimson. Led by guitar/Mellotron virtuoso Robert Fripp, during its first five years of existence the band stretched both the language and structure of rock into realms of jazz and classical music, all the while avoiding pop and psychedelic sensibilities. The absence of mainstream compromises and the lack of an overt sense of humor ultimately doomed the group to nothing more than a large cult following, but made their albums among the most enduring and respectable of the prog-rock era. Crimson's 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King was one of the most challenging albums of the entire fledgling progressive rock movement, but somehow it caught the public's collective ear at the right moment, becoming a hit in England and America. At the peak of the LP's success, the original band broke up; Fripp recorded albums with several other lineups through 1972, none of them stable. Later that year, however, Fripp put together a skilled new band; their debut album, Larks' Tongues in Aspic, made it all the way to the Top 20 in England in 1973. 1974's Starless and Bible Black made this the first lineup to remain intact for more than one American tour and more than one album. But, alas, even it had begun to splinter. One more album, Red, was completed that summer; Fripp disbanded the group on September 25, 1974, seemingly for the last time, and moved on to other projects. In 1981, Fripp formed a new group called Discipline; by the time their album was released that year, the group's name had been changed to King Crimson (the album was still titled Discipline, however). This band had a herky-jerky sound completely different from any of the other lineups to use that name; they splintered after two more albums, 1982's Beat and 1984's Three of a Perfect Pair. King Crimson remained silent until 1994, when Fripp reunited with an augmented version of the Discipline-era lineup, re-establishing Crimson as a viable touring and recording concern.