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Beta Band


Price: CDN$ 24.95
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 29 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Astralwerks
  • ASIN: B00000J5ZA
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  LP Record
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #159,084 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Amazon.ca

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

3.8 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

By "austin2138" on 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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By "pig-hero" on 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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Format: Audio CD
Apparently the Beta Band doesn't like this album. One gets the feeling they don't really remember recording most of it. For the record, I think its great. By the time you get to brokenupadingdong you'll think you've heard everything these guys can think up, but they keep throwing curveballs till the end. If Grandaddy had heard "Simple Boy" they might've gotten a few more good ideas on how to make machines sound broken. "Round the Bend" starts off relatively normally, but Mason leads it off the tracks with his stream of consciousness delivery. Many of these songs sound like the Betas tried to sabotage them, and ended up creating something far more interesting. Twisting Bonnie Tyler's melodramatic "Total Eclipse of the Heart" into lengthy beauty "The Hard One" works far better than you'd think it would. I did deduct a star because I always skip over the grating "Beta Band Rap" opener, which pains me, cause I really wanna give this a five. If this is the type of album the Beta Band makes and doesn't like, I can't wait for one that they love.
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Format: Audio CD
I read a review in SPIN or Rolling Stone where they touted the Beta Band as the divining rod pointing the way where all music was sure to head or evolve. Now, while I knew that they could not be the second coming of music as we know it, I am a fan of other artists on the Astralwerks label and figured that a BAND that was released through a label synonymous with DJ's, breakbeats, trip-hop and such - was definitely worth a listen. The opening track - while some find to be insanely creative - I found to be wierd for weird's sake, that is until the transition into the rest of the album kicked in...fluid from one song to the next. There is probably no instrument left unplayed, no genre unexplored or mixed with (notably: "Broken Up A Ding Dong" which uses driving folk guitars, soft - almost passive vocals, with steel drums and an accelerated almost ska-like breakdown). The hip-hop style tracks are evocative of Beck in many ways (lazy, free form, odd-time signature lyrics) and the layering of the elements never gets in the way of the appreciation of the song as a whole but instead provides new discoveries with each listen. Nothing like this is out there - and quite possibly there will never be. All the more reason to own it.
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