BSK 3629 Discipline
Produced by King Crimson and Rhett Davies
Released on September 1981
UK CHART POSITION #41 . . . US CHART POSITION #45
Find it at GEMM
BSK 3629 cover
[high resolution scan]
 

I t was 1981 and prog was dead. ELP, Gentle Giant, Roxy Music, Yes, finito. And then the unthinkable happened. King Crimson, prog’s prodigal son, returned. Those who couldn’t imagine what the reaction to a Crimson King was like in 1969 got a taste of it with Discipline. The opening “Elephant Talk” introduced what seemed like a whole new lexicon of sound in Tony Levin’s undulating bass and Adrian Belew’s ululant guitar, Fripp’s meticulous mosaics and Bruford’s pristine paradiddling. On closer inspection, Discipline was the language of “I Zimbra” and Remain in Light refined. King Crimson the Second were more intellectual and exotic than Talking Heads; Fripp transported the experiment from the mad scientist’s lab to the QC clean room. In the lucid light and rarefied air, the music’s pungency was palpable. You didn’t simply listen to songs like “Matte Kudasai” and “The Sheltering Sky,” you smelled and tasted them. And despite the newness of the language, you felt familiar in these surroundings, like a dream remembered. As I mentioned in an earlier review, I believe this is because Discipline feels like a culmination of everything Fripp was after, from Red to God Save The King/Under Heavy Manners. It is, in a word, perfection. And yet, like all Crimson albums, it’s a huge risk. Adrian Belew was an established stunt guitarist but as a singer he was largely an unknown (Levin likewise). The few cameos he had with Frank Zappa (“City of Tiny Lights”) hardly cried out for an encore. And yet his neurotic presence provides the Byrnian sensation that keeps Discipline from lapsing into (albeit brilliant) blandness. Once again, it was King Crimson who provided the decisive turn in the musical discourse. Prog wasn’t dead after all. It had evolved in the shadows and emerged straight-backed and shaven. Long live prog. Long live the king.

BSK 3629 back cover
BSK 3629 back cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. ELEPHANT TALK    4:40
  2. FRAME BY FRAME    5:05
  3. MATTE KUDASAI    3:46
  4. INDISCIPLINE    4:30
  5. THELA HUN GINJEET    6:23
  6. THE SHELTERING SKY    8:19
  7. DISCIPLINE    5:00

    CD reissue bonus track
  8. MATTE KUDASAI (ALTERNATIVE VERSION)

    Music by King Crimson, elephantosity by Belew

CREDITS

ADRIAN BELEW -- guitar, lead vocal
BILL BRUFORD -- batterie
ROBERT FRIPP -- guitar and devices
TONY LEVIN -- stick, bass guitar, support vocal
Peter Saville -- graphica

return to KING CRIMSON discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK September 1981 EG Records LP/CS EGLP/EGMC-49  
US/CAN September 1981 Warner Bros. LP/CS BSK/M5 3629  
AUSL/FRA/GER/NET 1981 EG Records LP 2302 112  
JPN 1981 Polydor LP 28MM-0064  
POR 1981 EG Records LP 2311 103  
US   EG Records/Polydor CD 800 099  
JPN 1990 EG Records CD VJCP-2308 definitive edition
UK 1991 EG Records CD EGCD-49  
UK 2001 Virgin CD/CDLE CDVKC/CDVKCX 8 30th anniversary edition w. bonus track
US May 1, 2001 Virgin CD 04476 30th anniversary edition
JPN 2001 Pony Canyon CDXPRO PCCY-01428 HDCD remaster w. bonus track
GER/NET   Discipline CD DGM0508  
JPN   Discipline CD PCCY-1530  
JPN February 21, 2004 Universal CDX UICE-9060 w. bonus track

 

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