The lyricist Peter Sinfield was born on this day in 1943.
Sinfield is beloved in progressive rock circles for his role as lyricist for King Crimson, beginning on their debut album In The Court of the Crimson King and continuing on for several albums before he and the group parted ways. Along with Robert Fripp, Sinfield was the only member of King Crimson’s debut lineup to remain one more than one album.
Sinfield turned later to a lyrical partnership with another King Crimson alum, namely Greg Lake in Emerson, Lake & Palmer. In his role as ELP’s lyricist, he is credited for at least one song each on the albums Brain Salad Surgery, Works Volume 1, Works Volume 2, and Love Beach.
His collaboration with ELP extended to other activities on their Manticore Label, where he wrote the English lyrics for the Italian progressive band Premiata Forneria Marconi (known as PFM for short). He also released his sole solo album, Still, in 1973 on the label. While not particularly commercially successful, Still featured a great many major prog rock players including Lake, John Wetton, Mel Collins, Keith Tippet, and Ian Wallace.
After progressive rock fell out of fashion, Sinfield moved on to writing pop lyrics. During these years, he wrote for several artists, including the band Bucks Fizz (whose #1 hit “The Land of Make Believe” he helped write) and Celine Dion.
Whether you prefer progressive rock or pop music, you can listen to some of Peter Sinfield’s contributions to either world today to celebrate! Here’s hoping he’s having a good one.
- Edit on 2020-12-27: Corrected the name of ‘Bucks Fizz’. Added information and music links. Optimized for new site.