KING CRIMSON - BEAT Original recording remastered
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"Beat" was released in June 1982 just 8 months after the 80s Crimson lineup debut album "Discipline". It marked the first occasion where a King Crimson lineup had remained intact for a 2 album stretch. It was also the first album by the band to employ a separate producer - Rhett Davies. The juxtaposition of lyrics heavily influenced by 50s beat luminaries Jack Kerouac & Neal Cassady (Cassady the invented the 'spontaneous prose' style & was the role model for the Dean Moriarty figure in Kerouac's "On the Road") with the complex polyrhythmic musical textures of the 80s Crimson, was inspired. While 'Beat' may not have had the shock impact of its immediate predecessor - sounding so radically different to anything previously bearing the King Crimson name - the sense of continuity, the strength of the songs & the cohesion of the studio performances, all helped the album chart upon release in the US & UK.
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Top Customer Reviews
Really first rate stuff, from first note to last. The musicianship is excellent, the vocals perfectly complementary (and soulful when it needs to be).
"Beat" ought to have done for King Crimson what "So" did for Peter Gabriel (who did lose his way in the process). Here's a bit of heresy for you. Along with "Discipline", "Beat" is the best King Crimson you can find - and that includes the very early, more celebrated stuff.
These are not simple songs, the blistering fretwork of Fripp, Belew, and Levin just intertwine to form a tapestry of amazing musicianship. The melodies and guitar harmonies are all just an incredible mixture of melodic structure and flying off the handle. Fripp's solos are as off-kilter as ever, showing a great need to get as much out of both his own abilities and the technology (the three '80's King Crimson albums are pinnacles of synth-guitar technology). Between the soaring solos of "Sartori in Tangiers" and the neo-jazz-improvizations of "Requiem," Fripp proves that King Crimson have not abandoned their progressive roots, even if they've embellished it with a bit of '80's new-wave pop. Bruford's drumming keeps time very well, but people underestimate the nuances of his playing. He's not just playing straight to keep time...he's keeping the "beat" of the songs, mixing in his own subtle sense of quirky rhythmic flourish.Read more ›
The lineup of Robert Fripp, Adrian Belew, Tony Levin, Bill Bruford--arguably one of the band's best versions--soars as high as it did on their previous album together, and sometimes soars identically; the guitar of the opener 'Neal and Jack and Me' features a guitar noise that sounds almost exactly like 'Frame By Frame,' a past song. But elsewhere, "Beat" triumphs. Belew's vocals are as brilliantly loony as ever, especially on the never-dull 'Neurotica.' 'Waiting Man' meanwhile features a more subtle vocal, the heartache it induces matched only by Fripp's achieving guitar. This is also perfected on 'Heartbeat' and 'Two Hands,' the latter of which was lyricized by Margaret Belew in a less inspiring manner. The almost anthemic 'Requiem' closes the album suitably.
"Beat" is probably the closest the Crims ever came to actually sounding like something else that was being released at the time. And though it sounds much like an 80s album, "Beat" finds King Crimson throwing away any cliche associated with it and making it their own.
Most recent customer reviews
When Fripp reincarnated the band in the 80's, he forgot to tell his fans that he sold out. Sold out to one Adrien Belew. Read morePublished on Dec 30 2003 by jason woodards
this is a second part from Crimson's eigthies new-waved influenced trilogy ("Discipline","Beat","3 of a perfect pair"). Read morePublished on Sept. 20 2003 by Mike Chadwick
It has a share of detractors I guess, but I think _Beat_ earns a respectable place in the King Crimson catalogue. Read morePublished on April 22 2003 by Lord Chimp
King Crimson has released some spectacularly crafted and musically insightful masterworks throughout their lengthy career, especially their 1960's and '70's output. Read morePublished on March 15 2003 by David Hugaert
First a thank you to Rorscach12 for pointing out that the title of the album refers to the writers of the Beat Generation. Read morePublished on Dec 24 2002 by Snow Leopard
King Crimson, circa 1982. They'd just finished touring behind the flawless Discipline album and the newly revamped group had gained its acceptance as the new KC rather than another... Read morePublished on March 22 2002 by Dszquphsbnt
I really like this CD: I don't think that most people really have given this music a chance. Here's a song breakdown:
"Neal and Jack and Me": Very groovy,... Read more
On 1981's Discipline, a new King Crimson line-up staked their claim as eccentric, jerky funkrockers. Read morePublished on Jan. 11 2002 by P. Nicholas Keppler