Discipline showcases the revitalized King Crimson line-up of Robert Fripp, Andian Belew, Tony Levin and ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. The combination of Belew's futuristic guitar playing the textured guitar approach of Fr... more »ipp works magically to create what many consider to be the band's best album since In The Court Of The Crimson King. 8 tracks. 2001 release. Standard Jewelcase.« less
Discipline showcases the revitalized King Crimson line-up of Robert Fripp, Andian Belew, Tony Levin and ex-Yes drummer Bill Bruford. The combination of Belew's futuristic guitar playing the textured guitar approach of Fripp works magically to create what many consider to be the band's best album since In The Court Of The Crimson King. 8 tracks. 2001 release. Standard Jewelcase.
"Back in my punk rock days we used to go around bashing all the prog rock dinosaur bands. It was 1980 and I was still into Bowie 'cause he was a freak, so I went out and bought the new 'Scary Monsters' record. As I listened to that album, I immediately wanted to know who in the hell the WILD guitar playing was by. It obviously wasn't Mick Ronson. Earl Slick? No. Carlos Alomar? Nope. I turned the album over: Robert Fripp......huh? Never heard of him.
He must be new. The guy obviously had a LOT of musical training, but here he was doing these strange licks all over the record that managed to be beautiful & frightening at the same time...and MY GOD he was fast! The licks on Because You're Young outblazed the (then) new Eddie Van Halen & this guy WAS PICKING, not 'tapping'! I was astounded. I had to know where this superguitarist came from. Fortunately, at the time I was also into the Talking Heads & Zappa, so I was following the career of another new avant-garde guitar player named Adrian Belew. In an interview he mentioned that he had joined the newly "reformed" King Crimson. I had heard of them, but wrote them off as old prog rock bastards like ELP & Yes with their 100 year long flights of boredom. However, Adrian mentioned that his fellow guitarist was Robert Fripp. CooL! That was the dude I'd been looking for! This was going to be a hellacious band. I had no idea at the time how right I was, and how utterly ignorant of the Crimson version of prog rock I had been. Quick trip to the record store: Hey! New King Crimson album!
Called Discipline. Yep, Fripp & Belew are on here. I GOTTA have this album! Hmmm...bass player is Tony Levin. I've heard of him. Oh yeah, he's on that new guy's album I just bought...Peter Gabriel. And Bruford. Isn't he that drummer from that old fart band, Yes? Well I want something different,... At home on the turntable the most frightenly good musicians I'd heard since Jimi Hendrix came storming out of the speakers Like a rolling thunderclap in a summer storm that had snuck up on me, I stood back awed by the intensity of what I was hearing. Elephant Talk. I knew it was Adrian singing, but he sounded out of his mind: "Advice! Answers! ArTIC-yew-lut AhNOUNCE-ments!
...it's only talk!" God, this is wild. And there was that sinuous guitar fluttering in and out..I immediately knew it was Fripp. Two more songs went by. Beautiful. "Matte Kudasai" & "Frame By Frame". They were haunting. Then: "I DO remember one thing....it took hours & hours..." This next song was scary: "Indiscipline". Adrian sounded even more out of his head than before, like some mad genius trying to comprehend the frustrating act of intellect that had been forced on him. (Later found out it was based on a letter from his wife. How different than I imagined). And the entire time the band weaved in & out doing MONSTER riffing, sounding like they were going to explode, but still keeping it tightly together. And the drumming...I'd obviously been WRONG about Bruford. This guy was incredible! And so my introduction to King Crimson went. This album still has the same effect on me to this day. Whenever I'm playing in a band and some young punk kid starts talking about boring old dinosaur bands, I laugh & think of me. THEN I lay this album on them. It never fails that they come back obviously changed by what they've heard. I still love old school punk. I still hate a lot of the pretentiousness of '70's bands.... .... But I FREAKIN' LOOOVVVE KING CRIMSON!
No wonder Tool had them as an opening act. Should've been the other way 'round. Want your mind changed about prog? Get Discipline."
5 stars and more.. an enduring classic.
spiral_mind | Pennsylvania | 09/09/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp often declares that music is a force beyond all of us, and that it simply calls on musicians to give it a voice. KC fell apart in 1974 and he claimed the band would never return.. but after several years, an element of distinctly Crimsoid music began creeping into what he was doing again, even though the overall musical approach was completely different from what the group had done before. This new group - Fripp, fellow ex-Crim Bill Bruford, animal guitarist Adrian Belew and monster bass man Tony Levin - started out calling themselves Discipline. It took some time and onstage work for Fripp to be convinced that this group belonged under the name of King Crimson, and even longer for the fans to accept it. Where was the dark menace? This had an upbeat new-wave-influenced sensibility instead. Where were the outrageous built-from-scratch improvisations? They were replaced by this record's title song, where the members walk a fine line playing in two or three different-numbered time signatures at once. This new group featured complex guitar interactions, mathematical precision and complicated song structures.. in short, it was now themed around a musical discipline. The important thing in KC's music is that even in the midst of all the calculatedness, the emotion, melody and sheer inventiveness always come through. "Elephant Talk" shows Belew's feedback-drenched guitar squealing like, well, a live elephant. "Matte Kudasai" has Fripp adding some soaring birdcalls to a beautiful jazz ballad. "Indiscipline" howls with manic laughter, its lyrics suggesting an obsession that's gone over the edge. "Thela Hun Ginjeet" (an anagram of 'heat in the jungle') is a hyper trip through dangerous city streets. Musicians take note: another of the band's approaches, as a challenge to themselves, was to avoid conventional structures. There are no simple E chords or I-IV-V progressions or the like here, and trying to play along with this head-spinning disc is quite a challenge.When the album was first transferred to CD, for some reason they cut out a Frippian guitar lead to "Matte Kudasai." This edition includes the original version from the vinyl record tacked onto the end as a bonus track. (Why didn't they simply restore it in the regular order? Who knows?) I haven't noticed a tremendous increase in sound quality from the previous release, but then I know next to nothing about mixing and recording. I just know what I like. One last note - I have to mention the eight minutes of musical bliss known as "The Sheltering Sky;" its soothing rhythms and sweetly singing guitars are inexplicably captivating. Discipline has been a highlight in the Crimson catalogue for twenty years for good reason: it's a highly intelligent, challenging, dynamic piece of musical craftsmanship and the performances are top-notch. Plus, the cover design is just really cool. What are you waiting for?"
Stellar Tracks by Seasoned Professionals
Robert J Baker | College Park, Md United States | 05/07/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Many Crimson fans will argue that Discipline is the band's finest album. Discipline introduced Adrian Belew and Tony Levin as new members in the band's re-birth following a seven-year hiatus. An album in which Bill Bruford was challenged to limit his use of cymbals, Adrian Belew's style of singing, guitar playing, and songwriting were a welcome accompaniment to founder Robert Fripp's guitar work and signature Crimson sound. Tony Levin lays both bass and stick as the band continued its tradition of bringing new innovations to the rock genre.The playing here is stellar, with each musician performing at the top of his game and further inspiring each other to do the same. From the wild musings of "Elephant Talk", "Thela Hun Ginjeet" and "Indiscipline" to the laid-back reflections of "Matte Kudasai", this is an album that influenced a new generation of young guitarists including Living Colour's Vernon Reid and members of Primus. Songs such as "Discipline" and "Frame by Frame" weave the work of the band's two guitarists like fine silk while the rhythm section creates its solid foundation. For the veteran musician, this album is so packed with hot licks it begs to be studied. For the seasoned listener and newcomers alike, Discipline is an amazing collection of spirited songs and the all-out efforts of its disciplined band members. Each of the four band members is among the greatest to have ever played their respective instruments. There is not a bad moment on the album as it pleases moment by moment, track by track."
Triumphant return of the Crimson King.
Shotgun Method | NY... No, not *that* NY | 02/28/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Robert Fripp is one of my favorite musicians. Not only is he an amazing guitarist and composer, his creation the immortal King Crimson embodies the term of "progressive rock" like no other band. Over its 30-year lifespan, King Crimson has undergone so many lineup alterations and changes in sound that it's hard to keep track, but the result is always true to Fripp's evolving vision. After 1975's incredible Red, King Crimson was disbanded. Robert declared that he would continue to operate as "a small, intelligent, highly mobile unit" (whatever that means). After fruitful collaborations with David Bowie and Brian Eno, and his own experiments in ambeint music, Fripp decided to resurrect the King in 1981. Except for "batterie" Bill Bruford, the lineup was new (and stayed unchanged for more than one album, a Crimson first). Adrian Belew, formerly of the Talking Heads, was the new vocalist and also added a second guitar, while session master Tony Levin added his ample talents on bass as well as the Chapman Stick, a 12-string instrument that is a prominent feature in this and later Crimson releases. What's really noticeable is how big of a departure Discipline is from Red. No longer the heavy, cerebral, avant/fusion/metal of the previous lineup, the new lineup sounds more like the Talking Heads taken in a more "prog" direction (being a fan of the T-Heads, that is a compliment). Bruford's polyrhythmic African-sounding percussion is a standout. He relies way more on his skins and very rarely on cymbals, which is a major change from his previous style. Moreover, his drumming is less "busy" here, less jazzy. The twin guitars add a totally new element to the band--no longer does Fripp dominate. There are lots of fleet arpeggiated guitar lines, often in harmony with each other. However this isn't dry or boring, but downright melodic and even (gasp!) funky. While this isn't overtly commercial by any means, I could see this album (along with its followup Beat) being played on the radio. ... Another attribute present in Discipline that was missing in past Krim incarnations is a sense of humor. Belew's quirky, David Byrne-esque voice does an especially good job with the funky Elephant Talk (a favorite of mine) and fiery, deranged Indiscipline where he sounds totally out of his gourd, the victim of a strange obsessive urge to look at "it" (we're never told what "it" is). He's also got a great voice for ballads--Frame By Frame achieves an expansive, relaxed feel despite the frenetic guitars, and Matte Kudasai is downright gorgeous, something you couldn't really say for most early Krim. Thela Hun Ginjeet is a strange one, with tribal-sounding chants and tape loops depicting some sort of altercation in the city amid wild, overdriven guitars. After Thela Hun Ginjeet, the album gives way to instrumentals. The Sheltering Sky is a trance-inducing ambient soundscape, with the guitars taking on some truly otherworldly sounds. The African rhythms are really pronounced in this track, and the resulting atmosphere is amazing and unique. I'd even go as far as to say that this might be my favorite King Crimson instrumental. The title track isn't quite as good, but it is still an interesting listen. I love the way the guitars harmonize, break off into distinct lines, then come back together again for the coda. The sound is mechanical yet very fluid, and the rhythm section once again is distinct. This is my second-favorite Krim release, after Red. While Discipline doesn't hit the highs that Red does with Starless and its title track, this is more consistent and more palatable for the first-time Krim listener. Actually, this is where I suggest you start exploring. Then check out Red, Larks' Tongues In Aspic, In The Court Of The Crimson King, and THRAK (in that order)."
This is Adrian Belew's Album
S. C Sochet | syosset, NY United States | 11/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Perhaps the coolest intro ever is Tony Levin's stick on "Elephant Talk." Nobody had ever put anything down on tape that sounded like that before. With all due respect to the Robert Fripp fans out there (I guess that sort of includes me) the greatness of 'Discipline' is due to the incredible synergy developed by the other three musicians. Bruford of Yes goes through time signature changes like warm butter. Tony Levin is a master of both the bass and the stick. And then there is Adrian Belew, perhaps the most underrated artist in rock music. Listen to the passion in his voice and then his sustained guitar refrains on 'Mate Kudasai.' No one plays guitar like that anymore. When I saw David Bowie live at Giants Stadium in the summer of 1990, Belew was the lead guitarist, and Bowie's music never sounded more powerful. This is one of the most intelligent statements ever made on disc. Listen and learn."