King Crimson - Discipline
Studio album by King Crimson
Released September 22, 1981
Recorded 1981
Genre Progressive rock, experimental rock, new wave
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 proto-techno sound mixed with the previous dark and heavy sounds of the 1970s.

Song notesEdit

"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 August 13, 1982 performance, which, as of August 12, 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 Celtic knot[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.


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."[4] 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.[6] 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]

Track listingEdit

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"   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
  • Adrian Belew – electric guitar, lead vocals (tracks 1-5)
  • Robert Fripp – electric guitar, devices (Frippertronics)
  • Tony Levin – Chapman stick (tracks 1, 2, 4, 6, 7), bass (tracks 3, 5), backing vocals (tracks 2, 6)
  • Bill Bruford – drums (tracks 1-5, 7), percussion (tracks 6, 7)


  1. Bain, George (1951). Celtic art: The methods of construction. London: Constable Press.

    Bain, George (1973). Celtic Art: The Methods of Construction. Dover Publications, Inc. ISBN 0-486-22923-8.</span> </li>

  2. Ball, Steve (1 October 2001). "Saturday September 29". Steve Ball diary. Retrieved 29 February 2012 </li>
  3. Ball, Steve (21 May 2009). "Steve Ball extended history: Side note". Steve Ball Roadshow: Extended press-kit. Retrieved 28 February 2012 </li>
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Stone</li>
  5. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Christgau</li>
  6. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named allmusic</li>
  7. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named DVault</li></ol>

External linksEdit

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