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Beta Band

Beta Band Audio CD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 25.95
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Product Details

1. The Beta Band Rap
2. It's Not Too Beautiful
3. Simple Boy
4. Round The Bend
5. Dance O'er The Border
6. Brokenupadingdong
7. Number 15
8. Smiling
9. The Hard One
10. The Cow's Wrong

Product Description


When a record that starts with a freakish rendering of the '40s novelty tune "Mr. Sandman" collides into a loping rap that boasts of chicken, fish, and cold love in Scotland and then maneuvers into a rave-up worthy of Elvis, it normally would spell trouble. But the Beta Band actually manage to make this wacked-out pastiche work. The Scottish combo skillfully massage their tracks into thrilling sound collages that draw on electronica, country, prog rock, and psychedelia without ever going beyond the point of kitsch. The stoned beauty of "It's Not Too Beautiful" recalls the mesmerizing layered vocals of Pink Floyd, but tosses in a demented breakdown to throw any nostalgia seeker off the scent. The steel drums and reggae bass line of "No. 15" combine shamble with shuffle to give this slacker's recitation of "15 reasons not to spend my life with you" a lazy charm. The Beta Band extend a simple invitation with their woozy music: Get baked. --Lois Maffeo

Album Description

Debut full length by U.K. alternative outfit who mix just about every style of music and end up sounding like no one else. Traces of Beck, Aphex Twin, Guided By Voices and many others can be heard in the 10 cuts. 1999 release.

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars If only all "bad" albums were this good May 27 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Maybe it's not their masterpiece. It easily beats by far most of the junk out there some people have the nerve to call music. If you've got disposable income, this is an album worth having. There are a few parts now and then that I can imagine would annoy some people. If you can't appreciate a little offbeat experimentation, too bad.
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5.0 out of 5 stars don't you get it? Nov. 17 2003
Format:Audio CD
Some of these reviews are the dumbest things I've ever seen. One actually said to avoid this until it is considered a classic in 20 years! Can you imagine someone who is such a sheep that they will not pay attention to this until it is considered good by other people?
Simply put, this album is insane. It's elements of insanity often don't fit together precisely, but that's kind of the point; any craziness that works in a linear and smooth fashion is just posing as genuine insanity if you ask me. This is the sound of a band just having fun, and pushing whatever madness they can think of to the absolute limit of listenability. There are times when this album doesn't "work"--many times in fact. But that's what makes it so special in my mind; the fact that they knew they weren't making something consistently wonderful but they made it anyway in the hopes that some of it would be worthwhile, that the recording process itself would reveal something about them as musicians and as people. I think the band themselves say not to buy it because ultimately its not even for our consumption; its a working out of their own demons.
Then why release it in the first place, you ask? Because there will be people like me (and there are a lot of us) who will like it for what it is. We have no expectations for it, we don't put our unreasonable ideas of what the Beta Band is "supposed" to sound like on it just because we have heard "The Three E.P.'s". We listen to this album on its own terms, and even if part of those terms is that the band themselves don't like it, I'm willing to accept that. I like this album. I respect the fact that many people don't, but some of the reasons out there are really dumb, in my mind.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the others Aug. 26 2003
Format:Audio CD
This is the weakest of the Beta Band's CD's. In fact, it's pretty lousy, I regret to say. When the BB come out with a Greatest Hits, it'll inlcude maybe two songs from this otherwise dismal effort.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Well . . . July 1 2003
Format:Audio CD
Not quite as good as their other stuff, but still essential.
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3.0 out of 5 stars What A Bummer! March 2 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
After The 3 EP's this CD just kind of sits there like a stuffed dog. I think that The Beta Band peaked with the 3 EP's and this CD simply is. I think if I hadn't have heard the 3 EP's that this CD would be fine. But....
However, there are some nice songs on here. Round The Bend, Number 15. But all in all, not their best work. The Beta Band Rap is horrid and I think may have been put on the CD as a joke. That's all fine and good, except for the people who shell out the cash and don't get what they hope for. I guess the band was right when they told people not to get this CD. I shoulda listened, I guess....
If you are new to The Beta Band, get the 3 EP's first, then HOT SHOTS II, then, if you are so inclined, get this one. I promise you that you will LOVE the 3 EP's. And I think you would like HOT SHOTS II. But this one just sits there...like a stuffed dog.
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1.0 out of 5 stars hmm... Nov. 23 2002
Format:Audio CD
I love the beta band yet this album is quite disappointing. If you are trying to get into the band, then I would advise you to have a look at the first or third album. It's only redeeming song which I love is "it's not too beautiful" and as a single gets 5 stars.
This album might in twenty years time become something of a cult classic which will garner the sort of respect that the Rolling Stone's "Satanic Majesty's Request" now has. But avoid in the meantime.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Ramshackle brilliance Sept. 14 2002
Format:Audio CD
This is an amazing album. I first heard about The Beta Band when I saw an interview with them in NME in which they denounced this album, and told everyone not to buy it. Somehow, I was convinced that it was something worth checking out, and bought it, having never heard them. The first time I listened to the album, my reaction was a mixture of confusion, amusement, and disappointment, but after five listens or so, I was won over to this bizarre album's charms. These days it's one of my favourite albums. Utterly inspiring, atmospheric, perfectly orchestrated music. It brings the feeling of a big ol' hoe-down to modern pop music. The Beta Band know how to make a pop song which incorporates hand claps, cowbells, steel drums, accoustic guitars, echoes, animal noises, bike pumps, sped-up voices, birds tweeting, big thudding bass lines, hip-hop beats, words spoken over music, incongrous musical samples, stereo trickery, wow and flutter, whistles, and xylophones. Highlights include: 'It's Not Too Beautiful', with it's jarring use of an orchestral sample from the theme to a Disney film and its inversion of the chorus of 'Itchycoo Park'; 'Round The Bend', the most conventional pop song on the album, and a tip of the hat to the Beach Boys; 'Number 13', an incredibly catchy lo-fi reggae dub; 'Smiling', possibly my favourite dance song ever; 'The Hard One', a moving masterpiece which samples 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' - but not jokingly; and 'The Cow's Wrong', an amazing, atmospheric come-down to finish the album off. I wish there were more albums like this, but as yet I've only heard the one.
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