Discipline - Reviews

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Entire Release

Date Submitted: 27-Apr-96
By: Tim Foster (FosDesign at aol dot com)

"Discipline is a majestic album, defining the Crimson sound of the 80s and providing some of their most memorable tracks. "Elephant Talk" and "Frame by Frame" showcase the Fripp/Belew tandem as it was probably always envisioned. While RF plays torturous, rhythmic arpeggios (some reaching dizzying complexities as in the beginning of "Frame by Frame"), Belew counters with the some of the most expressive and innovative guitar work around. Whether its elephant screams or howling feedback solos, his work is as far removed from Fripp's rhythmic phrasing as one could get. Coupled with Tony Levin's stick & bass work (innovative and fresh to this day!) and Bruford's complex, exotic drumming, the group weaves aural pictures of darkness and light. From the heaviness and tenseness of tracks like "Indiscipline" and "Thela Hun Ginjeet" to the quiet serenity of "Matte Kudasai" and "The Sheltering Sky", the seven songs on this album set the stage for the next two albums and the members' solo recordings for the next decade."

Date Submitted: 24-Aug-96
By: Bill Nicholas (newguy at buttercup dot cybernex dot net)

"Listening to this album in the context of all the other KC albums confirms one thing for me: KC is not so much a band in the conventional sense as it is a continuum for Fripp to collaborate with other very talented musicians.

"When you consider the idea that the band who did Discipline has the same IDENTITY as does the band that did In The Court, or Lizard, that is really an amazing construct. KC is set up so that the band can address virtually any musical idea it wants to at any time. Crimso's body of work is NOT cohesive in the way of the Beatles or Stones. Rather, it is a massive, chaotic, disorganized sculpture with lots of jagged, provocative edges. It can be best compared to Miles Davis or Frank Zappa. It does not ADDRESS genres as much as it TRANSCENDS them.

"Discipline in just one brilliant tile in a brilliant post-modern mosaic."

Date Submitted: 19-Sep-96
By: Will Henson (chrissy at compunet dot net)

"In the winter of late 1981, my older brother brought home a copy of Discipline. I was 11 years old and was already highly educated about the Beatles and the Who and thought that was the edge of all music. I was mildly amused by "The Yes Album" but very interested in the drummer. The way he accented the snare at the "wrong" times was interesting to me. I read the name, "Bruford" on the jacket. So when I saw his name on this maroon colored lp jacket with the weird symbol on the front I had to hear it. My brother played it endlessly.

"It was some of the strangest noises I had ever heard coming out of my parents GE speakers. Guitars that sounded like elephants, quirky vocals that could be very moving and dramatic one moment, and frighteningly hilarious the next. I took every opportunity I could to put that record on the turntable whenever my brother went somewhere. (he would have killed me if he had known)

"Ten years later in college amidst the bong hits and road adventures to Grateful Dead concerts I still was fascinated with this recording. Fifteen year after it's release I still find Discipline as fresh and as fascinating as I did the first time I heard this in my parents house."

Date Submitted: 11-Nov-96
By: Steve Speak (speak at sagelink dot com)

"My first exposure to Crimson was "The Compact King Crimson" when I was an 18 frosh in college (I am 22 now). For anyone who isn't familiar with that particular release, It contains 4 tracks from "In the Court", and about 8 from the 80's band. 5 of those 8 are from "Discipline", and the opening track is the "Discipline" title track (I should have just bought the album "Discipline"). Therefore, I always associate the Crimson sound to that song, which remains my all-time favorite. I'm no musician, but I am in awe of the way this song was constructed. Even before I saw the transcripts, I loved this track immediately, just for it's sound alone.

"The Discipline concept, which surfaced on other songs as well, is a great idea that Crimson, in a way, abandoned. The guitars keep a tight, intricate rhythm, while the traditional rhythm section gets to play around. It's almost the opposite of rock... yet it's still rock music. Now, I know this is "progressive rock" and the whole idea is to keep changing and breaking new ground. But, there's no point in breaking new ground if nothing substantial comes from it. Fripp quickly became frustrated with this approach and the band moved on to different things (and eventually broke up). I hope the 90's band can incorporate at least a little bit more Discipline into their future material. That will mean TWO drummers, and TWO bass/stick players going wild over an interlocking guitar rhythm. Not such a bad idea, right?"

Date Submitted: 5-Jun-97
By: George Selinsky (selinsky at worldnet dot att dot net)

"When Fripp said that King Crimson is over "forever and ever", he was probably right. This is an entirely different band, with a completely different sound. The only thing in common with the Discipline band and the KC of past is Fripp and Bruford's presence, and the bold desire for off the wall experimentation. Don't expect to hear mellotron, sax, violin, or for that matter, long improvs, delicate guitar solos, and the like. This Crimson does not take much from the classic art rock palette at all, but from an intensely popsy - electronic palette (minus the synths). This is not to say of course, that Discipline is a bad album. Elephant Talk is one of the most original songs I've ever heard, a great insight into the meaninglessness of daily conversation supported by a funky and intense rhythm. Frame by Frame is an intense pop song, courtesy of Adrian Belew. The Sheltering Sky is a beautiful instrumental that is faintly reminiscent in spirit of the old King Crimson, with a Philip Glass influence as well. Discipline is another good experiment in rhythmics. However, some experimental songs just fall off the edge, like Indiscipline, which is a composition with very weak spoken lyrics, and a boring repetitive riff. Thela Hun Gingeet falls into the same category. In addition, Matte Kudesai is a rather typical generic 80's pop tune.

"This new band was original in that it made pop music with a very progressive edge, courtesy of Belew's pop sensibility and Fripp's progressive dynamic. Indeed, Fripp always had a vocalist with a pop sense (Greg Lake, John Wetton). However, the extreme change in musical style from the King Crimson of the past makes it morally questionable to call this band by the same name. If it is true that King Crimson is merely an attitude maintained by musicians, and the presence of Robert Fripp in all versions of King Crimson is merely an accident, as Fripp says, then me and my friends are in just as much of a right to call our band King Crimson, too."

Date Submitted: 9-Jul-97
By: Alan Bryan (bryanra at dami dot army dot pentagon dot mil)

"I started with KC at age 12 with In the Court. I didn't get anything else until Starless & Bible Black. I enjoyed that and then got Larks Tongue. I enjoyed RED very much. I didn't hear USA until 1980. I got Discipline when it came out. I was Tech School with the Air Force. It helped with the tension. I knew of Belew from his band GAGA in the Peoria, IL area. I had heard his work with Zappa and Talking Heads. I was thrilled he was now working with Robert Fripp.

"Discipline is a great album. I still play it today. It and Red are my 2 favorites KC albums. I had the pleasure of seeing KC perform live in 1984 in Maryland. Watching Fripp play is a pleasure. Watching Bill Bruford drum was too much. How could I keep my eyes on each of the four. I did not know who to focus on. It remains one of my favorite shows of all time. Thanks King Crimson. I am also a fan of Yes, UK, ELP and Asia. I also have Bruford's solo LPs. Fripp's solo and Eno work. I have some of Belew's solo LPs, but not all. I just can't keep up. My favorite Bruford LP is One of A Kind. I also like the first U.K. album. It still holds up today as a great Work of Art."

Date Submitted: 26-Feb-98
By: Steve B (newspeak96 at aol dot com)

"I guess I just feel lucky!! When ITCOTKC debuted, only one radio station in my whole area would play it because it was "prog-rock". I stayed home the whole day that I got the album (on an 8-trak tape!!), listening to it about 15 straight times. Off and on I've followed the "group" over the years. I was lucky enough to see the Fripp-Collins-"Boz" (!)-Wallace tour just before it disbanded mid-tour (b/t Alexis Korner & Humble Pie sans Frampton). Wasn't surprised when Bruford left YES when he did to join this "band". Was reeled right in when another lineup formed in '81; I told friends: hey, if you liked Starless, Red, etc. you'll love them now. Discovered a sampler of wonderful offerings from Robert's Discipline Global Mobile label, Robert's on most of the stuff besides the KC offerings. The 6-member lineup sounds good, too. All this philosophy written about various "versions" of KC? Hey, like everything else, it MUST continue to change, to evolve. I've been around for all of it. Lucky, I repeat!!!"

Date Submitted: 26-Feb-98
By: Steve B (newspeak96 at aol dot com)

"I guess I just feel lucky!! When ITCOTKC debuted, only one radio station in my whole area would play it because it was "prog-rock". I stayed home the whole day that I got the album (on an 8-trak tape!!), listening to it about 15 straight times. Off and on I've followed the "group" over the years. I was lucky enough to see the Fripp-Collins-"Boz" (!)-Wallace tour just before it disbanded mid-tour (b/t Alexis Korner & Humble Pie sans Frampton). Wasn't surprised when Bruford left YES when he did to join this "band". Was reeled right in when another lineup formed in '81; I told friends: hey, if you liked Starless, Red, etc. you'll love them now. Discovered a sampler of wonderful offerings from Robert's Discipline Global Mobile label, Robert's on most of the stuff besides the KC offerings. The 6-member lineup sounds good, too. All this philosophy written about various "versions" of KC? Hey, like everything else, it MUST continue to change, to evolve. I've been around for all of it. Lucky, I repeat!!!"

Date Submitted: 2-Sep-98
By: Nick Ackerman (andack at nr dot infi dot net)

"This was my first exposure to Crimson. The strength of the rhythms keep me listening to this album, even after I grew tired of some of the lyrics (especially "Thela Hun Ginjeet"; "Elephant Talk" and "Indiscipline" aged slightly better).

"With no song going further into dissonance than "Discipline" or "Elephant Talk" (i.e., not too far), the progressions served as a good hook to keep me interested in Crimson until I acquired a taste for the bolder explorations of either Fripp or Crim."

Date Submitted: 18-Dec-98
By: Dave Lumenta (dlumenta at centrin dot net dot id)

"My first introduction to KC was Discipline, ironically, in 1989 when I was 18 years old and in a country (Indonesia) where KC stuff was really-really hard to find. My induction into KC really came from my Bruford interests. These days, I estimate that the KC following here in Indonesia is made up about 15 people (age 24 - 47), although Epitaph was widely known here in the 70's (ending up on bootleg cassette compilations).

"One thing that became clear after a few years listening to Discipline is that it marked the disappearing boundary between rhythm and soloing. Probably, to put it another way, the demise of the 'front' and 'backing' concept dominant in western musical tradition. No ego battles. Often referred as Bali gamelan influenced, Discpline (especially songs like Discipline, Frame by Frame & Thela Hun Ginjeet) does have some similarities with the gamelan approach. Gamelan music is a result of interlocking rhyhms and patterns. Each musician really has to listen and respond to what goes around him, although he is allowed to do it spontaneously with improvisations. Gamelan music has no soloist. Even the flute ('suling'), in the middle of the bronze noises going around him, is not placed as a soloist but more as a part of the 'landscape'. These collective approaches to music ( found in most regions of Africa and Asia ) were co-related with their specific social cosmology. The individual here is not situated 'to conquer' nature (as found as the core philosophy of the West), but he has to place himself in a coexistent position alongside with other parts of nature. Everything is created to reach an equilibrium. The ego is placed to respond as an object.

"This makes me wonder what the future direction of KC is heading to. Maybe KC can employ another Eastern concept of art, the boundary demise between performer and audience: boundary between 'stage' and audience, instant audience feedback and audience participation and the boundary demise between daily life and performance."

Date Submitted: 28-Jan-99
By: Rishi Harpal (rharpal at hotmail dot com)

"For me, the 80's King Crimson was the definitive line-up. Discipline is an amazing album that defines the musical talents of Fripp, Belew, Levin and Bruford. I admire the guitar works on every song on Discipline as well as the stick works of Levin and Bruford's experimental drumming. For starters, Elephant Talk features Belew's adventurous guitar riffs and elephantosity. The lyrics are pretty cool, too! Frame by Frame starts with an amazing guitar playing by Robert Fripp, one that still fascinates me as a guitar student. Matte Kudesai is sort of a romantic song. Well done Crims! Indiscipline features Robert Fripp's trademark guitar playing somewhere in the middle of the song that still leaves me wanting for more. As far as Thela hun ginjeet goes, it shows that King Crimson has maintained its fascinations with tackling music with loud riffs of guitars. The Sheltering Sky is to me a beautiful masterpiece showcasing Fripp's Frippertronics. Also, it has a jazz sound to it. This instrumental piece shows me how creative King Crimson are. Finally, Discipline is an amazing guitar duo instrumental supported by geniuses Levin and Bruford. Overall, Discipline is an A+ in my book and still remains one of the most influential King Crimson albums of all times."

Date Submitted: 29-Mar-99
By: Antonio Recuenco (Ottia at gmx dot net)

""Discipline" was a surprise when I first heard it (my knowledge of King Crimson was reduced to the LPs up to "Red", and some of the "B'Boom" stuff) -not a trace of that heavy mellotron, of nearly orchestrated pieces, but rhythm, minimalism and some pop instead. At the first five or six times I was disgusted with it ("what have this guys done with KC?"), but after some time -as usually happens- it became better and better: now it's not the ultimate King Crimson work to me, but for sure one of the best. The somehow weak part of it is the songs ("Elephant Talk" doesn't disturb, but it doesn't surprise me; "Indiscipline" -well, it's not a very orthodox song- is to me a bit exaggerated, just like some noise to balance the move into smoother territory; "Matte Kudasai" is mainstream pop -King Crimson could have done something with much more identity). "Frame by Frame" stands alone above them -the quick guitar (plus rhythm section) sequence and the overlaying sounds are superb. The second side is simply brilliant: "Thela Hun Ginjeet" has a really wild rhythm -all the instruments have the same energic pulse (Bruford plays some of my all-time favourite percussion). "The Sheltering Sky" is better at the extremes -the beginning is particularly meditative, the first minute seems to last nothing... "Discipline" is the summit of the record -a mix of rhythm patterns that doesn't make sick, guitar dialogues that do not wear off, drums nearly so flamboyant as in "Thela Hun Ginjeet" and really outstanding stick -when the accoustic drums come in it grows and grows... The work as a whole is has some faults, but really excellent highlights."

Date Submitted: 16-Jun-99
By: Alberto Santillan (amluz at mixmail dot com)

"Quartets ferocious technique is more than obvious on workouts like frame by frame,discipline and thela hun ginjeet.

"elephant talk - belew is perfectly poised between quirky vocal and quicksilver lead guitar.

"frame by frame - fripp has been victim of undermixing withing his own band. Anyway this track proves him the most technically proficient guitarist in rock music.

"indiscipline - marvelous grating noise on mr. fripps part, but again is horribly undermixed.( definitive edition).

"sheltering sky - the middle meanders a bit."

Date Submitted: 22-Jul-99
By: Eduardo Norris (info at rafaela dot com)

"Compré "Discipline" después de haber escuchado "Three of a perfect pair", y considero que es superior no solo a éste último, sino a muchos otros discos de KC. Esta línea que incorporó Robert Fripp junto a Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford y Tony Levin es -aparte de de ser una excelente renovación- ágil, firme y terriblemente perfecta. Basta escuchar "Elephant Talk", "Frame by frame" o sencillamente "Discipline" como para que no queden dudas. "Mattei Kudusai" es una hermosa canción, tal vez una de las cosas más recomendables para comenzar a apreciar a éste KC, mientras que "Indiscipline" es una cruza de locura, heavy, paranoia y humor que nunca he escuchado en otros músicos.

"Mi pieza favorita: "The sheltering sky", con cada uno de los Crimson haciendo su propia parte de una manera perfecta e imnotizante a la vez. El stick es increíble aquí, al igual que el lenguaje que utilizan las guitarras, mientras la percusión apoya y sostiene cada una de las improvisaciones... ¡Maravilloso!

"No niego que las otras formaciones de KC tienen lo suyo, pero la formación de "Discipline" revalorizó la historia y la potencia de un grupo que nunca dejó disconforme a nadie, pese a los cambios..."

Date Submitted: 5-Oct-99
By: John Spokus (whislingtk at hotmail dot com)

"At first when I heard cuts from this one played on Towson State's late great WCVT I was lukewarm,and thought it was a little too much like Talking Heads with better musicianship. I had been a staunch fan of the early stuff mostly 69-71. It took seeing them on ABC's "Friday's" telivision show to convert me. I talked to the rest of my bandmates the next day, and it seems as though we were all equally blown away. I think we all went out and bought copies that week. Although "Lizard" is still my #1 favorite, "Discipline" ranks pretty close in my book. It is also the last truly great thing I've heard from Fripp and company."

Date Submitted: 21-Apr-00
By: Darryl Weppler (zravkapt at yahoo dot ca)

"The best KC album made in the '80's. A whole new approach to the KC sound. Gone is the Mellotron and added is a new guitarist. "Elephant Talk" is an average tune; Adrian Belew sounds too much like David Byrne for my taste here. "Frame By Frame" is the standout track; a fine balance of excellent guitar work and great singing. "Matte Kudasai" is along with "...Saturday" one of KC's best slow songs. "Indiscipline" is weird to say the least, but good anyhow. "Thela Hun Ginjeet" is another standout. "The Sheltering Sky" is an excellent instrumental; Tony Levin's Chapman Stick playing is superb. "Discipline" is the worst song, but still not horrible. Overall, a great album. 4 out of 5."

Date Submitted: 5-Nov-00
By: M Virtanen (m.virtanen at sunpoint dot net)

"I don´t understand why this record gets so much attention and why everybody praises it. I think this is an average release from King Crimson, though it still is a good record in a larger scale. Naturally DISCIPLINE includes excellent songs like Indiscipline and The Sheltering Sky, but it is short of that something that makes Red, Larks' Tongues in Aspic, and few other Krimson releases, so magnificent. DISCIPLINE doesn´t succeed to create similar atmosphere of pressure like Red and Larks' or similar feeling of flying and happines like The Nightwatch or like FraKctures slow parts etc. It is those atmospheres what I love in King Crimsons music. DISCIPLINE is too disconnected, too broken entity... Maybe it needs somekind of absolute mastepiece like Starless or In the Court of the CK. Somekind of absolute climax. Title song is quite faint ending track... I think DISCIPLINE works better live, like Genesis' masterpiece Sellin England by the Pound, because of its faint studio performance. And in live, for example mainly absurd, Elephant Talk sents cold shivers down my spine. In any case I think DISCIPLINE is the best record from the dark 80's and absolutely a must for every King Crimson fan."

Date Submitted: 27-Apr-01
By: (adsr at poczta dot onet dot pl)

"If I had to choose one album from all music available in the world to take with me to a desert island, it would be "Discipline". Period. And the new cardboard-packed anniversary release sounds slightly better."

Date Submitted: 11-Dec-01
By: (fcprates at hotmail dot com)

"This is not my favourite album from the 80's KC, but it's just a certain dark mood that I feel about it happens to be the reason for such.

"However, after listening it for the first time I was--and still am--shocked by how it sounds ahead of anything that still exists nowadays; so much for 1981. And it's just the fact that the group had little resemblance with its last incarnation, as I agree with RF that Crimson is a way of doing things rather than just a band, that made me think that what's there is definitely King Crimson. Talk about being progressive, man--this is the only band that should be really considered progressive, although I wouldn't say prog rock, but progressive MUSIC. The word 'rock' gives you certain limitations that, KC doesn't happen to have.

"That said, people who delve in too much thinking of anything regarding KC lineups, and anything alike, are wasting their time.

"'Frame By Frame' touches my spirit in a way, that seems like I'm some sort of paradox; being here and yet not being here. Too much thinking will also spoil how to understand the lyrics of this song. 'Elephant Talk' and 'Thela' are just masterpieces and show what's still needed to be done in music today. 'Discipline' is just jaw dropping stuff, if you allow me to say so.

"But my favourites, besides 'Frame By Frame' are 'Indiscipline'--that's all I'm about, enough said, and, finally, 'The Sheltering Sky'. God, what is that? I just can barely say what feelings I happen to have. To float, in the air, down a stream--standing still without blinking a single second, wherever I may be--to become everything surrounding me. Belew's 'early clouds' and Fripp's eastern lament, not to mention Bruford slit drum, Tony's presence which almost guides the song along in its' way...

"Too much talk. Oh, 'Matte Kudasai'. Sometimes I skip this one 'cause it's too damn strong for me. The alternate version is easier to listen to, since Fripp's presence soloing is not that much needed--it gives a very different feel to it; maybe it sounds drier that way, therefore not scarying me that much--when you get only his chords and Adrian's slide, and his vocals...the best singer ever in KC, definitely. So much for the David Byrne comparisons; I would surely like to listen to DB singing 'Matte' or 'One Time' And then again, too much to think. Just flow with it.

"Great album, wonderful remaster. Too bad 'Beat' is getting hard to show up here. Anyway, just buy this album instantly as you see it on the stores (be careful with EG stuff). And FEEL it. More than listening to it, feel it. How? Put your hands on both sides of your head. Are your ears there, aren't they? KC fans and their eternal problem: too much thinking."

Date Submitted: 14-Jan-04
By: Scott McFarland (mcfarland at ac-tech dot com)

"A truly amazing record where African forms meet rock aggression and everyone comes out a winner. These four players work astonishingly well together and produce something greater than the sum of its parts – which is really saying something with these four guys."

Frame by Frame

Date Submitted: 25-Mar-98
By: Jerome Chapman (jchapman at hoover dot k12 dot al dot us)

"One of the things I like about this song is that kind of Robert Reisch-like experimentation with overlapping rhythm. It is interesting to me that simultaneous rhythms of those guitars and the constantly changing way they relate to each other produces in me this sort of strange, fluid, emotional response. I say fluid because the response changes along with that rhythmic relationship. This weird relationship is caused by the fact that Belew is playing in 7/8 whereas Fripp alternates between measures of 7 and 6. Consequently, Fripp completes a two-measure sequence one note ahead of Belew and starts the next two measures one note ahead as well. By the end of that second two measures, he is two notes ahead, and so on. Of course, this relationship is set up because the two parts are slightly different; whereas, in most of Reisch's experimentation, the parts are identical, and the rhythmic relationship is caused by one of the musicians slightly speeding up and then returning to the previous tempo once he has moved ahead an "interval." As mathmatical and void of what I ordinarily associate with musical emotionalism as that sounds, it really does produce an emotional response. That statement begs the question--is it possible to create sound that does not provoke emotional response? I challenge you Mr. Fripp. I say you cannot do it. And no silent dog whistles allowed."


Date Submitted: 8-Nov-02
By: Robert Boyle (finelinebob at hotmail dot com)

"I do remember one thing...." From reading other comments, I get the feeling this song is a bit underappreciated and/or misunderstood -- and for a very good reason. This isn't psychedelic rock, it's psychotic rock. And without some experience with psychosis, even just a teenie bit of it, it's a difficult song to grasp.

"Put yourself in Belew's position as the person uttering those words. What is he so obsessed about? The snow on a tv screen? (Well, I guess in 1981 he couldn't have carried it around with him for days and days....) Some paper clip construction he spent 48 hours straight building and twisting? A rock? Who is his intended audience, the one he wishes could be there to see it? Given his obsession with this object, does he have the same obsession for this person? Has he ever even spoken to this person? Does the other person know who he is?

"The calm reason (for the most part) of the voice speaking the lyrics is shredded by the instrumentals, which capture in an instant the sense of psychosis that the whole of the lyrics weave. Again, put yourself in Belew's place, and image that music going on inside your head, out of your control, erasing any sense of rationality and driven by a booming bass heart surging at about 120 beats/minute. What would you do, all words and thought lost in a scream only you can hear? And then, quite suddenly, utter calm ... more seeming reason and thought, but the music is building to that point of crisis every time.

"Aside from the altered state of reality this song can impose, I also have to admit I've found it a good source of material for a variety of printed purposes. "I repeat m! yself when under stress" in particular. It makes for a wonderful break from the staid, musty "Lorem ipsum" text (for you in the print/web world). It also help save my sanity once: senior year of college, senior level physics course, final exam, three hours long ... and 20 minutes into it, I realize I've completed all that I can (not that much!). So, do I walk up to the prof and turn it in 2 hours and 40 minutes early? No. Leave 20 minutes early, people think you're a genius. Leave 20 minutes INTO the test, they'd know I was an idiot. So, what could I do for the next 160 minutes, waiting for a reasonable time to leave? Graffiti, of course. I covered an entire table with "I repeat myself when under stress." It fit the moment quite well."

Thela Hun Ginjeet

Date Submitted: 10-Jun-96
By: George Korein (Mopobeans at aol dot com)

"A great song. The guitars repeat a fierce main riff until the rhythm section kicks in, with Levin playing a funky counter-rhythm and Bruford playing a fast beat with no cymbals or hi-hat. The harmonious chanting of nonsense lyrics gives way to the spoken sections, in which Belew tells a funny little anecdote (I didn't know if it is fictional or not) and makes bizarre noises with his guitar, using his tremolo bar (after all, he is the twang bar king). The coda has evil sounding twin guitar work that builds till the last chord."

The Sheltering Sky

Date Submitted: 27-May-98
By: Eric Kirchner (Leonidas at xnet dot com)

"In my humble opinion, the top King Crimson song of the post '70's incarnations. I have heard no other band approach a song with the object of invoking emotion and playing beautifully like messrs Fripp, Belew, Bruford and Levin. Long after King Crimson is gone from the scene, I predict that this song will still be considered the centerpiece of their work.

"A lot gets said about the guitar work, which is not a surprise. What I haven't heard much of is Levin's minimalist additions that provide such a beautiful underlying foundation for the tune. And Bruford's percussion is a wonderful counterpoint to the tune -- next time you listen to the tune, listen for his work. It has a beauty of it's own. I seem to remember the Live at Frejus video (I may have this mixed up) where he came out with a much less varied beat (probably limited by the number of hands he possesses). While the song was still great, I began to appreciate what he added to the studio version.

"The rest of Discipline is great for different reasons, but buying the album just for Sheltering Sky is money well spent."


Date Submitted: 16-Mar-98
By: Nate Olmos (royalscam at hotmail dot com)

"This track is quite a web-spinning exercise in arpeggiated guitar playing. Belew and Fripp play some intricate, and yet mind-boggling guitar lines. The part that grabs my ear especially is where Fripp starts playing a melodic line in 4/4 time over Belew's 5/8 time. I often repeat that segment of the piece. The interweaving of meters in this piece (9/8, 5/8, 15/16) continues to dazzle me. Tony Levin on Chapman Stick and Bill Bruford on drums manage to groove within such complex meters of time keeping. A wonderful piece overall."