In the Court of the Crimson King (subtitled An Observation by King Crimson) is the debut studio album from the English rock band King Crimson, released on 10 October 1969 on Island Records. The album is considered to be one of the first and most influential of the progressive rock genre, where the band largely departed from the blues influences that rock music founded upon and combined elements of jazz, classical, and symphonic music. The album reached No. 5 on the UK Album Chart and No. 28 on the US Billboard 200, where it was certified Gold by the Recording Industry Association of America.
Barry Godber (1946–1970), a computer programmer, painted the album cover. Godber died in February 1970 from a heart attack, shortly after the album's release. It was his only album cover and the original painting is now owned by Robert Fripp.Fripp had said about Godber:
Peter brought this painting in and the band loved it. I recently recovered the original from E.G. Records's offices because they kept it exposed to bright light, at the risk of ruining it, so I ended up removing it. The face on the outside is the Schizoid Man, and on the inside it's the Crimson King. If you cover the smiling face, the eyes reveal an incredible sadness. What can one add? It reflects the music.