Discipline - King Crimson

Discipline, along with Meddle and Hejira, were the first albums that got me super invested in music, previously I hadn't valued virtuosity in music but this album opened my eyes up to what truly amazing playing could do to a song. What diffrentiates Discipline from the rest of the King Crimson discography is a single fundametal piece, Adrian Belew; introduced to me by my father, I was obsessed with the sonic wizardry he would perform with his guitar, imitating animal sounds and playing brilliant rhythm guitar for my favourite band at the time, Talking Heads. On Discipline is where Adrian truly shines, after his stint in the talking heads playing on their Remain in Light album he began playing with Fripp, Levin, and previous Yes drummer Bill Bruford. In this new incarnation of King Crimson he became their lead singer, synthesizing David Byrne's monotone storytelling with Bowie-espue warbling; his and Fripp's sonic wizardry also came out for this album especially on the track The Sheltering Sky, which features a vast wall of sound made up of extreme arpeggiations from Fripp and almost ambient guitar wailing from Belew.

The other impact that Adrian has upon the album is the song writing, while still maintaining Crimson's progressive rock roots Adrian puts the band in a more dance-rock direction with Levin's stable but groovy bass licks supplementing the crazy fucking guitar playing on top of it. Adrian relies upon Levin's skill in Jazz to create consistent grooves, something that wasnt taken advantage of in previous records; Bruford's drums and percussion play a huge role in the album as well; despite not being in Yes during the 90125 period, Bruford's drumming is still much popier in comparison to his stuff in Close to the Edge and The Yes Album. Of course any analysis of a Crimson album would not be complete without mention of their figurehead, Robert Fripp; in Discipline Fripp and Belew were not in competition but instead were completely compatible with one another, switching the roles of rhythm and lead guitarist frequently. Fripp's incredibly precise playing does not fade away for this album, it is just as breathtaking as always; and even more so than previous records, accompanying it is a band tuned to perfection.



There were three artists that I loved previous to the Discipline days, those being Tyler, the Creator; Joni Mitchell; and Jaco Pastorius. Imagine my surprise when I learned of an album featuring two of these three incredible artists. I had been unknowingly listening to Hejira for years in my childhood as it was one of my father's favourite records, due to this, I had never given it a full focused listen. Hejira, much like Discipline, features the appearance of a new centerpiece in the band, this time it is not just one person (although Jaco Pastorius is of great importance) but an entire jazz band that accompanied her releases.