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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1863 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars What a triumph. Of all the old prog dinosaurs, King Crimson were the only ones who managed to reinvent themselves in 1980, at a very difficult time for prog. (Former members Greg Lake and John Wetton, of course, will doubt that it really was a triumph.) Basing themselves on the African-inspired funk of mid-period Talking Heads (particularly their album REMAIN IN LIGHT), Fripp and his boys recorded some of the most intricate music ever composed for two guitars, drums and bass. 'Twinned guitar gamelan' they called it, or something like that...

Whether you like this album or not will depend to some extent on what you think of Talking Heads, since Crimso did not just build upon the Heads' funk; they even employed a lead singer (Adrian Belew) who closely modelled his style on David Byrne's high-pitched, neurotic vocals.

When I'm in a lousy mood, I can't stand Belew. I must admit that, for me, John Wetton will always be the Crimson singer par excellence. But when I feel upbeat or jittery, dear Adrian doesn't bother me, and you've got to admit that his virtuoso guitar playing (often indistinguishable from Fripp's) is an essential part of the new Crimso.

The case can be made that most of the material here is better heard live (e.g. on the superb ABSENT LOVERS) since the original studio album tends to sound a little clinical. I only really found out how exciting 'Elephant Talk', 'Frame by Frame' and 'Thela Hun Ginjeet' were when I heard them performed live by the KC 'double trio' in the 1990s. But DISCIPLINE is the album that first introduced all this wonderful music to the world. Masterly stuff, from start to finish!

fuxi | 5/5 |


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