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King Crimson - Discipline CD (album) cover


King Crimson


Eclectic Prog

4.11 | 1845 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
4 stars The start of a new era, Discipline marks the return of the first concrete progressive band, King Crimson. This time, Fripp has recruited Peter Gabriel's bassist Tony Levin, old Crimson bandmate Bill Bruford, and second guitarist Adrian Belew. Rather than unleash more symphonic prog akin to ITCOTCK, Fripp crafts a bizarre jazzy dance combo. Take notes, ELP, this is how you change direction without sacrificing your roots (see ELP's disastrous Love Beach or, better yet, don't). The band manages to craft one of the most unique records you will ever hear.

Tony Levin cemented his status as a bass icon on this album. He pioneered the then- recently invented Chapman Stick, a bizarre guitar with 6, 8, or 12 strings that you slap, tap, and fret rather than pick. Tony went straight for the big gun and brought the 12 string to the studio. Bill Bruford added an electronic drums to his acoustic kit which brought a new feel to Crimson. Fripp, now aided by a second guitarist, wasted no time crafting intricate and weaving guitar lines with melodies and counter-melodies with his new foil. Belew's stint with the Talking Heads seems to be a large basis of the new sound, but wit a Crimson twist. Ergo, you get polyrhythmic cacophony with pop sensibilities. Only crimson could pull this off.

There is no duff material on this release. "Elephant Talk" has to be the weirdest opener in music, with its narration over a futuristic rhythm section. "Frame By Frame" (which features a self-deprecating jab at Fripp's perfectionism) and "Matte Kudasi" are no less bizarre. "Thela Hun Ginjeet" comes alive with Tony's Chapman Stick. "Discipline" and "Indiscipline" are great, and "The Sheltering Sky" is beautiful.

This album is a departure for King Crimson and shows a successful evolution of styles. Fripp has never been one to stick to a winning formula but this lineup proved so fruitful that he kept them for two more albums, the longest streak a lineup of Crimson has ever had.Later, when he used the "double trio" lineup, Belew, Levin, and Bruford came back. Levin and Belew still play with Fripp. Clearly, the avant garde genius saw someone he liked.

Grade: B

1800iareyay | 4/5 |


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