King Crimson ‘Discipline’

Today’s Cool Album of the Day (#936 in the Series) is King Crimson, Discipline.

King Crimson is quite the unique musical act. They’ve completely reinvented themselves numerous times.  This was probably the most straight forward of those reincarnations.

Contributing to the straight forward sound was the newly slimmed down line up. King Crimson was now a tight little four piece.

This would be the debut of two members that would eventually be considered King Crimson mainstays. They would be Adrian Belew on guitar, lead vocals and Tony Levin on bass and Chapman stick. Bill Bruford returned on drums along with the main man, Robert Fripp on guitars and “stuff.”

Discipline also received a decent amount of airplay for a band that was still considered somewhat avant-garde.  You didn’t have to go too far to hear “Elephant Talk,” “Frame By Frame” or “Thela Hun Ginjeet.”

King Crimson was always one of my favorite bands and unfortunately, one of the few from that list that I’ve never seen in concert, not that I didn’t try!!!

During this era there was a great venue in suburban Chicago called Poplar Creek Music Theater. It had sound and sightlines that were actually pretty good for one of those outdoor settings.

I remember having tickets to see them a couple years after this release. I’m guessing it was more around the time of their Beat or Three of a Perfect Pair releases.  At that time I was driving this old beat-up Impala. The thing was a mess. There was about a ¼ inch gap above the windshield.  Poplar Creek always advertised itself as being a “rain or shine” venue.  The day of the show it decided to rain. Hard! We were determined to go, so we load up in the old Impala. We lived south east of Chicago and the theater was northwest, so it was an hour way, minimum. We made sure to put newspapers on our laps to try and stay dry.

We get there, wait in line and then find out that the show was cancelled.  Lightning had hit a transformer and they were lucky the place didn’t burn to the ground.  That was it. No King Crimson that day for us. We headed back south.  On top of it, the car had a shit stereo too!

Oh, I just found the date of the “Would Be” Concert, it was August 7th, 1982.

King Crimson, Discipline peaked at #45 on the Billboard Top 200 Billboard Album chart.

— Larry Carta

Track listing

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

Side one

  1. “Elephant Talk” – 4:43King_Crimson_1981_Canada
  2. “Frame by Frame” – 5:09
  3. “Matte Kudasai” – 3:47
  4. “Indiscipline” – 4:33

Side two

  1. “Thela Hun Ginjeet” – 6:26
  2. “The Sheltering Sky” – 8:22
  3. “Discipline” – 5:13


  • Adrian Belew – guitar, lead vocals
  • Robert Fripp – guitar, devices (Frippertronics)
  • Tony Levin – Chapman stick, bass, backing vocals
  • Bill Bruford – drums, percussion


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Posted by Larry Carta

1 Comment

  1. Joe (18 Jul 2014, 7:59)

    While the Crims will be touring later this year with a new lineup (Levin yes, Belew no), also currently touring is The Crimson ProjeKct – Belew, Levin, Mastolotto, Markus Reuter, Julie Slick, and Tobias Ralph. (AKA: The Stick Men + The Adrian Belew Power Trio). Saw a fantastic show in Amsterdam on 4 July. Tiny venue, not full. Lots of good stuff from Red onwards. Tight crew as well. I recommend. Lots of stuff on YouTube too.

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