Peter Sinfield

Peter Sinfield (27 December 1943)
In the aftermath of King Crimson, EG Management nudged Sinfield into production work and, in the summer of 1972, he helped guide Roxy Music’s debut album to fruition. He provided lyrics and production for Photos Of Ghosts (1973) and The World Became The World (1974) for Italian group PFM, who were signed to ELP’s Manticore label. After Manticore released his post-Crimson solo album Still (1973), in 1974 he published a collection of poetry and lyrics, Under The Sky, which has since become a highly sought-after collectors’ item.

Sinfield’s association with Greg Lake continued in ELP, with Sinfield providing lyrics for Brain Salad Surgery (1973), Works, Volumes I & II (1977) and Love Beach (1978). During the ’80s and the ’90s, he was responsible for co-writing highly successful hit singles for artists such as Cher, Bucks Fizz, Five Star, Cliff Richard, Celine Dion and others.

Sinfield has contributed lyrics to solo projects by David Cross, John Wetton and, perhaps most notably, Ian McDonald’s debut solo album Drivers Eyes (1999). He also provided revised lyrics for Jakko Jaszyk’s rearranged cover of King Crimson’s Pictures Of A City on Jakszyk’s solo album The Bruised Romantic Glee Club (2007). Recast with sitar-like guitars, tabla and vocals from Pandit Dinesh, it was retitled Pictures Of An Indian City. Sinfield took part in 1997’s Epitaph playback and the Steven Wilson/King Crimson playback at AIR Studios in 2009.

A keen cook and gardener, living on the Suffolk coast in the town of Aldeburgh, famed for its international music festival, Sinfield has now largely retired. In 2014, Fripp invited Sinfield to provide an updated take on the lyrics of 21st Century Schizoid Man, renewing their partnership, albeit briefly and at a distance, in line with Fripp’s mission to have the music, and in this instance, the lyrics reimagined for the new Crimson. Sinfield wrote:
Cat’s foot, iron claw
Sykes, Picot and the fat cigar
Knuckles dragging in the desert sand
Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

Blood rack, dark wire
Politician’s funeral pyre
Cursed and poisoned
Bless his heart
Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

Death seed, Blind men’s greed
Poet’s starving children bleed
Nothing he’s got he really needs
Twenty-First Century Schizoid Man

Highlighting the shift of American foreign policy from Asia in the original lyric to later Middle East adventures, it was sung for the new Crimson’s first tour in 2014 before the band reverted to the original lyric.

Peter Sinfield with King Crimson
In The Court Of The Crimson King
In The Wake Of Poseidon
1969 The Complete Recordings