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Beat Original recording remastered

58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, January 16, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

"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.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Neal and Jack and Me
  2. Heartbeat - King Crimson
  3. Sartori in Tangier
  4. Waiting Man - King Crimson
  5. Neurotica - King Crimson
  6. Two Hands - King Crimson
  7. The Howler - King Crimson
  8. Requiem

Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 16, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Discipline Us
  • ASIN: B00065MDT0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,165 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Michael Stack VINE VOICE on November 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
An unfairly lamented album, "Beat" had the incredible misfortune of being the followup to one of the truly great records of its era. Tension abounded as the band sought new directions, and while stories of Fripp storming out of the studio at one point abound, through all this, the most difficult of the three 80s Crimson albums was born.

Named "Beat" as it took its inspiration from the beat poets, nothing shows this quite as clearly as "Neal and Jack and Me"-- an overt reference to Neal Cassidy and Jack Kerouac, filled with a driving beat, guitar pyrotechnics, and a great half shouted vocal from Belew, wrapped in interlocking guitars, its clear things have changed. This is about it for interlocking guitars-- there's a couple funky songs, with driving sort of beats, the instrumental "Sartori in Tangiers" and the frantic paced and crazed "Neurotica", which features a great break that takes the pace down before popping back up in intensity.

This one has no less than three ballads, two of which succeed and one of which ("Two Hands") is pretty much throwaway in my book. Hoewever, "Heartbeat" is a great love song, far and away the most straightforward the band has ever done-- it is however responsible for the opinion that Belew was putting a pop spin on the band, and I suspect if they did it over again, this one may not have made it. "Waiting Man" however is brilliant, featuring syncopated rhythms, a wonderful vocal from Belew, may be the best track on the album.

The album closes on a bizarre note, leaning towards the future in a way-- "The Howler", with its twisted guitars and the instrumental and brutal "Requiem".
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Snow Leopard on December 24, 2002
Format: Audio CD
First a thank you to Rorscach12 for pointing out that the title of the album refers to the writers of the Beat Generation. The sense of looking backward to our most forward-thinking poets actually colors the whole album.
More than with "Discipline" (which is often regarded as perfect), "Beat" is accused of stepping with both feet into the poop of pop. A very strange assertion, considering the presence of "The Howler," "Requiem" and "Satori in Tangier". It's not really fair to say that "Beat" is weaker than "Discipline"; maybe it's not as consistent, but that assumes that the album is aiming at the same kind of effect as "Discipline".
"Neal and Jack and Me", for instance, with intertwining gamelan-guitar lines, driving bass, supra-subdued drums, a killer bridge, and the growlingest vocals from Adrian so far, every bit deserves fair comparison with "Discipline". Arguably, it's "Discipline" that needs to measure up here.
"Heartbeat" is decidedly straightforward, definitely a candidate for an Adrian Belew solo album. Everyone cheered when elder Crimson played straight up hippie-pop ("Cadence & Cascade" and "I Talk to the Wind") way back when, without crying sell-out. Why now? I invite the listener to ignore structure for a minute, and listen to the soundscape this "pop" song presents: the gorgeousness of Bruford's drums, the water-like smoothness of the guitar, the understatement of the solo, the tastefulness of the bass. Pop music hasn't a clue how to put something like this together, and the simplicity chosen here by the band effectively allows its elegance to shine through.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough VINE VOICE on July 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
The second album from the 80's version of King Crimson doesn't have the immediate, visceral force that "Discipline" delivered, but "Beat" has lost none of its impact since its 1982 release. Envisioned as an album that would thematically and spiritually embody the scope of the great American Beat Poets, the album starts of with the spectre of "Neal and Jack and Me," told from the perspective of "a 1952 Starline Coupe."

But "Beat" also means rhythm, and the album has its share of that. "Neurotica" is a distant second to "Discipline's" "Elephant Talk," but the pulse underneath it is irresistible. The instrumental "Satori In Tangier" is made of the sort of polyrythyms that put the Talking Heads into overdrive. And if matching the spirit of the freewheeling and free-associating Beats was one of King Crimson's goals, then the aptly titled "The Howler" and angry clashing finale "Requiem" to just that.

The main difference between "Beat" and the bookending albums in Crimson's 80's block is that Adrian Belew's melodic and romantic streaks barrel to the head of the stage twice here. "Heartbeat" is the closest thing to a popsong the band recorded, with Belew liking it so much that he still pulls it out on his solo performances. His wife Margaret Belew penned the romantic "Two Hands." They are so much softer in tone than anything on "Discipline" that many fans of that album cried sell-out. But they miss the point. The "Beat" movement was all about sharing wisdom and commonality, discovering the brilliance in the everyday and gaining the freedom to be exactly the person you wanted to be.
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