Shortly before the reformation of King Crimson in 1981, there was a band called Discipline featuring returning Crimson members Robert Fripp on guitar, Bill Bruford on percussion, with new recruits: guitarist, vocalist, and lyricist Adrian Belew and bass player Tony Levin. After less than a month of rehearsals, this quartet made their public debut at the Moles Club in Bath, England on April 30, 1981. This Collectors' Club volume is dedicated to that high-energy inauguration. Robert Fripp was, of course, dead-on when he began sensing the unmistakable presence of King Crimson once this band began performing together. The arrangements heard during this concert are understandably loose. However, as the band unveils the material that would ultimately become the album Discipline -- the first of three studio recordings by King Crimson in the early '80s -- the collective adrenaline in the venue is audible and would have possibly been enough to propel the music on this night. It is the sustained intensity of the entire performance that indicates the key to this ensemble might, in fact, be spirit rather than energy. From the first polyrhythmic strains of "Discipline" there is the immediate feeling that Discipline are actively seeking change. Even classics such as "Red" and "Larks' Tongues In Aspic (Part II)" take on a unique visage thanks in part to the heroics of Levin and Belew. It's ironic that their dedication to the band and music is what completes the transformation of the quartet into King Crimson. Outstanding are the first public performances of "Thela Hun Ginjeet," "Indiscipline," and a picturesque "Matte Kudasai." The recording used on Discipline: Live at Moles Club, 1981 is from a non-professional audience source. It is also an exceedingly well-documented recording. Potential consumers should be aware D.G.M. Collectors' Club discs contain more music than the pricey Japanese imports on the Pony Canyon label.
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AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer