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Song by King Crimson
from the album Discipline
Released September 1981
Recorded 1981
Length 4:35
Label Warner Bros.
Composer(s) Adrian Belew, Bill Bruford, Robert Fripp, Tony Levin
Lyricist(s) Adrian Belew, Margaret Belew
Producer(s) King Crimson, Rhett Davies

"Indiscipline" is a song by King Crimson, from the 1981 album Discipline. The song has become a fan favorite over the years and was often played live. On the Beat tour, for example, it closed all of the shows and began with a Bill Bruford drum solo. As with "Elephant Talk" and the spoken story in "Thela Hun Ginjeet", Adrian Belew would sometimes improvise small parts of the dialogue.


The song starts off slowly, primarily driven by Bruford's drums. After a short time, the guitars and stick are added in; these parts are fairly fast and very loud. They are also polymetric with 4/4 drums against 15/8 guitar. After a while, the instruments all but stop, and Belew recites the verses. They are only spoken, never sung. The song returns to the driving drum/guitar/bass part before returning to vocals. This alternation occurs once more, with the instruments stopping only at the end of the track as Belew proclaims loudly "I like it!"

The song appears as the last track of the first side of the LP, creating a sort of a pun; the first side ends with "Indiscipline", the second side with "Discipline".


The lyrics of the song are based on a letter Belew received from his then-wife, Margaret Belew, about a sculpture she had constructed.[citation needed]

Live versions[edit]

Due to the song's structure, it was not uncommon to find that, during the life of the 1980s band, it was performed as the second and final encore, after Elephant Talk, especially on the Beat tour.

As evidenced by the many live versions from DGM issues and concert videos, the song typically began with a Bruford drum solo, or Bruford improvising on Simmons drum pads and other percussion instruments while Belew (a former drummer) played a drum kit himself. Some of the lyrics were improvised. The "jamming" between verses was often extended, and the song, along with Bruford's drum solo, often hauled in at ten minutes or more and would be the longest song on many of the Beat tour shows, the closest competitor being "Waiting Man". The song and the drum solo on the August 13, 1982 show, currently available for free download in either MP3 (192 kbit/s) or FLAC formats at DGM,[1] lasts for 11:07.

This is how the song was performed on the Beat tour; on the Discipline tour, the song saw a similar live structure, with some performances of the song peaking at over twelve minutes. On the Three of a Perfect Pair tour, the song was usually a bit shorter (On the June 27, 1984 show, it lasts for approximately 9:22).

Several live versions are posted on YouTube and illustrate the various approaches the band took with this song.

In 2016 and again in 2017, the piece has been performed with the verses sung by Jakko Jakszyk rather than chanted, to a melody lightly accompanied by guitar.


On two of the album's major singles, "Elephant Talk" and "Thela Hun Ginjeet", the song appeared as a B-side. Several live versions have been released through Discipline Global Mobile.


Transatlantic covered the song on their album Kaleidoscope.


  1. ^ DGM. Retrieved February 16, 2007.

External links[edit]