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Discipline (King Crimson album)


Discipline (King Crimson album)

Studio album by King Crimson
Released 22 September 1981
Recorded 1981
Genre Progressive rock, experimental rock, new wave, math rock
Length 38:15
Label E.G.
Warner Bros./E.G.
Producer King Crimson and Rhett Davies
King Crimson chronology

Discipline is the eighth studio album by the band King Crimson, released in 1981. This album was King Crimson's first album following a seven-year hiatus. Only founder Robert Fripp and later addition Bill Bruford remained from previous incarnations. The rest of the band was Adrian Belew (guitar, lead vocals) and Tony Levin (bass guitar, Chapman Stick, backing vocals). The album resulted in a more updated 1980s new wave sound primarily resembling Talking Heads (with David Byrne style lyrics and vocals), as well as Bill Laswell's Material, the minimalistic funk-jazz-rock of Ornette Coleman's recent Prime Time band, and Fripp's own contemporaneous League of Gentlemen work.


  • Song notes 1
  • Reception 2
  • Track listing 3
  • Personnel 4
  • Charts 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Song notes

"Matte Kudasai" (Japanese: 待って下さい) literally means "please wait". The original release of Discipline featured only one version of "Matte Kudasai", with a guitar part by Robert Fripp that was removed from the track on a subsequent release of the album. The latest versions of the album to be released contains both versions of the song – track 3, "Matte Kudasai", without Robert Fripp's original guitar part; and track 8, "Matte Kudasai (alternative version)", with the guitar part included.

The lyrics of "Indiscipline" were based on a letter written to Adrian Belew by his then-wife Margaret, concerning a sculpture that she had made.

"Thela Hun Ginjeet" is an anagram of "heat in the jungle". When it was first performed live, some of its lyrics were improvised around an illicit recording made by Robert Fripp of his neighbours having a vicious argument when he was living in New York; this recording is featured on the track "NY3" on Fripp's solo album Exposure . While the track was being recorded for the Discipline album, Adrian Belew, walking around Notting Hill Gate in London with a tape recorder looking for inspiration, was harassed first by a gang and then by the police. On returning to the studio, he gave a distraught account to his bandmates of what had just happened to him. This account was recorded by Fripp without Belew's knowledge as well, and is featured on the Discipline version of the track (as well as almost all live versions), in place of those earlier lyrics that were based on Fripp's New York recording.

"The Sheltering Sky" is named after and partially inspired by the 1949 novel of the same name by Paul Bowles. Bowles is often associated with the Beat generation, which would be an inspiration for King Crimson's subsequent studio album Beat.

Later versions of Discipline featured this design by Steve Ball.

Live versions of "Elephant Talk", "Indiscipline", and "Thela Hun Ginjeet" included partial vocal improvisation during spoken-word parts. One such example can be found in the 13 August 1982 performance, which, as of 12 August 2014, was still available for download in both MP3 and FLAC formats from DGM.

The back cover features the statement, "Discipline is never an end in itself, only a means to an end". King Crimson purchased the rights to use a variation on a copyrighted [1] on the LP cover. In later releases, it was replaced by a knotwork designed by Steve Ball on commission from Robert Fripp.[2][3] Ball's design is also used as the logo of Discipline Global Mobile, the music label founded by Fripp, which has become the label for King Crimson, Fripp, and associated artists.


Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic [4]
Robert Christgau B[5]
Rolling Stone [6]
The Daily Vault A[7]

Discipline received mixed to positive reviews. John Piccarella's review in Rolling Stone praised the talent and artistry of the four musicians of King Crimson, particularly Belew and Fripp's "visionary approach to guitar playing", but criticized the "arty content" of the album itself, concluding "Here's hoping that, unlike every other King Crimson lineup, this band of virtuosos stays together long enough to transform all of their experiments into innovations."[6] Robert Christgau described the album as "not bad--the Heads meet the League of Gentlemen".[5]

Greg Prato's retrospective review in Allmusic gave unqualified approval of the album, particularly applauding the unexpectedly successful combinations of Fripp and Belew's disparate playing styles and the genres of progressive rock and new wave.[4] A retrospective review in The Daily Vault similarly praise the combination of progressive rock and new wave, and criticized only King Crimson's routine inclusion of ballads (in this case, "Matte Kudasai") on their albums.[7]

Pitchfork Media ranked it at number 56 in their list of the Top 100 Albums of the 1980s.[8]

Track listing

All songs written by Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford, Robert Fripp and Tony Levin.

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Elephant Talk"   4:43
2. "Frame by Frame"   5:09
3. "Matte Kudasai" (待ってください, Please Wait) 3:47
4. "Indiscipline"   4:33
Side two
No. Title Length
5. "Thela Hun Ginjeet"   6:26
6. "The Sheltering Sky" (instrumental) 8:22
7. "Discipline" (instrumental) 5:13


King Crimson


Year Chart Position
1981 Billboard Pop Albums 45


  1. ^  

    Bain, George (1973). Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction. Dover Publications, Inc.


  2. ^ Ball, Steve (1 October 2001). "Saturday September 29". Steve Ball diary. Retrieved 29 February 2012 
  3. ^ Ball, Steve (21 May 2009). "Steve Ball extended history: Side note". Steve Ball Roadshow: Extended press-kit. Retrieved 28 February 2012 
  4. ^ a b Prato, G. (2011). "Discipline - King Crimson | AllMusic". Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Christgau, R. (2011). "Robert Christgau: CG: king crimson". Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Piccarella, John (2011). "King Crimson: Discipline [Caroline Bonus Track] : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Retrieved 25 July 2011. 
  7. ^ a b Ray, Benjamin (2007-04-17). "EG, 1981 King Crimson Discipline". Retrieved 23 August 2012. 
  8. ^

External links

  • Wiki with song lyrics at fan-site Elephant Talk (inspired by Discipline's "Elephant Talk")
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