Peter Sinfield

Peter Sinfield is an English lyricist and occasional singer, best known as the wordsmith of King Crimson between 1969 and 1971. He served as their non-performing fifth member on their 1969 debut In the Court of the Crimson King and stayed amid the fluctuating 1970/71 lineups that recorded In the Wake of Poseidon, Lizard, and Islands. When co-founders Ian McDonald and Michael Giles left Crimson after the first album, he co-wrote the suite “Birdman” for their 1970 album as McDonald and Giles.

In 1973, Sinfield wrote the lyrics to “Karn Evil 9,” the side-plus suite on Brain Salad Surgery, the fourth studio album by Emerson Lake & Palmer. That same year, he cut his only album as a performer: Still, produced by Greg Lake and released on ELP’s Manticore label.

Sinfield produced the debut album and standalone single “Virginia Plain” by Roxy Music. He subsequently produced Danse Macabre, the second album by the multi-national big band Esperanto. He introduced them to his other client, folk singer Keith Christmas, who joined for that album.

As a translator, Sinfield provided lyrics for the albums Photos of Ghosts and The World Became the World, the English market versions of Per un Amico and L’isola di Niente, the second and third albums by the Italian band Premiata Forneria Marconi.

During the late 1970s, Sinfield collaborated with Lake on select cuts for the ELP albums Works Vol. 1 (“C’est la Vie”), Vol 2. (“So Far to Fall”), and Love Beach (“Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman”). He also translated lyrics for Italian singer-songwriter Angelo Branduardi and co-wrote five songs on No More Fear of Flying, the 1979 debut solo album by ex-Procol Harum frontman Gary Brooker.

He was born Peter John Sinfield on December 27, 1943, in Fulham, London.


  • Still (1973)


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