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Betty

4.5 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, June 17, 1994
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 17, 1994)
  • Original Release Date: June 21, 1994
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: INgrooves Fontana/Interscope
  • ASIN: B000001Y6G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #69,485 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
There are two types of Helmet fans. Those who think "Betty" is the best work Helmet ever did, and those who think "Betty" is Helmet selling out and becomming too weak.

I fall into the former category. To me, Helmet was on the verge of greatness for a long time, they had their finger on the trigger for years. This is the album in which they finally pulled that trigger. All other Helmet albums sound like a dirty scramble, a ceaseless search for "it".

Betty is "it". The hardcore fans out there will tell you that Betty is too commercial, too pop, too weak, too radio friendly. Maybe this is true, but it depends on your definition of "too".

Considering that the only Helmet single I have ever heard on the radio or MTV isn't even on this album, I choose to disagree with the "hardcore base". Betty is Helmet at its best, it is when Helmet stops making noise and starts making music. this album was on the tip of their tounge for a long time.

If you can listen to the songs Vaccination and Tic and not like them than you are one of two things: Either you don't like metal music at all, in which case you aren't even reading this; or you are so devout to hating anything that might get radio play that you have blinded yourself. I used to be in both categories at one time, I now know good stuff when I hear it. This is good stuff. One of the best CD's ever produced.
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Format: Audio CD
In Helmet's earlier work one may have not recognized by the guitar riffs and relative simplicity that Page Hamilton earned a master's degree in jazz guitar. On Betty this virtuosity shines through with some of the most complex yet simple composition we may have ever heard in the punk/hardcore/metal genre. In fact we may even say that the distinction between the above mentioned genres have lost their relatively clear distinction from the early 80's due to bands like Helmet, Prong, and Fishbone among others. This places Helmet in a niche of music in the 90's that has carved out its own distinctiveness to the degree that other bands such as Korn, Staind, Incubus, Coal Chamber and others can only try to fill with limited interest and more of a fad-driven success. Thus, although Korn gets too much of the credit, they are hardly original.
The new found success of the L.A. metal scene can only find its roots in the breakthroughs of the late eitghties and early nineties post-punk scene of New York city. Helmet is a major player in the establishment of these roots. But what makes them so groundbreaking is the overlay of complex rhythms and complicated chord structures and progressions with the simple crunch of de-tuned riffs that drive the whole project. "Overrated," the opening of "I Know," and the closing of "Milqeutoast" are perfect examples of what I mean here, with the latter almost being reminiscient of something that Allan Holdsworth may have written. The whole thing comes across as very easily accessible to the untrained ear and reveals true brilliance to the musically-trained ear.
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Format: Audio CD
I really appreciate the past few reviews given for this album, these were from individuals who understand musical superiority above the common labels and attachments given by critics who take in music at face value. Page commented that he was putting the lab coat on for this album, and that's where this album becomes so honest. Experimentation in the music industry is the most dangerous thing for any artist to do, but at the same time produces the true desires of that artist; this is where the artist has the most fun and doesn't take the results into consideration. Betty is hands down Helmets worst selling album but easily there best. This is a musicians album... the nay-sayers are obviously not true musicians, they are simply disappointed metal-heads and head bangers. Helmet easily could have stuck with the formula for Meantime in an attempt to become more popular and mainstream but fortunatelly they had the presence of mind to enjoy their proffesion instead of abusing it.

Incubus's "Make Yourself", Metallica's "Load", Deftones "White Pony", Shiner's "The Egg", Pearl Jam's "No Code" and Primus's "Brown Album" all challenge these barriers and show what an artist, like them or not, should attempt at some time in there career... play for yourself and not your fans, at least once. Music is very personal to those producing it and unfortunatelly too many artists get negative labels for showing their true colors.

Betty is a brilliant album and it is my hope that even though the ties between Page, Stanier and Bogdan have broken that all three of them are still extemely proud of the outcome of this album regardless of it's sales. Helmet is probably the heaviest music in my catalog, but I own it because it is true music.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Although it does not have the hit singles or instantly recognizable songs that, say, 1992’s “Meantime” had, Helmet’s third full-length, “Betty,” is almost just as good and influential as that other album. It would prove to be one of the biggest templates for the nu-metal, alternative metal and rap-metal scenes, all of which are subgenres that would boom in popularity in the mid-to-late 1990’s. Hence, this 1994 recording would also go on to spawn a countless number of groups, each of them (i.e. Korn, Deftones, etc.) influential in their own right, that would rip-off so many Helmet riffs that it is friggin’ criminal!

Helmet’s influence on later bands is definitely present throughout “Betty,” but it is particularly obvious on cuts like “Street Crab,” whose main guitar hook sounds like it could be lifted off of a Rage Against The Machine joint, and “Speechless,” whose riff sounds like it could almost be the launch pad for Limp Bizkit’s “Breakstuff.” And Helmet’s strong influence is also of particular note on “Tic,” which plays like it could almost be a precursor to a Biohazard outtake. If nothing else, then it is at least a piece of full-on NYC hardcore, what with its downtuned, churning guitar riff and surprisingly angry, visceral vocal screaming.

But other tracks, like the set-opening mosh pit anthem, “Wilma’s Rainbow,” practically scream “classic Helmet,” thanks to their use of great, Sabbath-bred sludgy riffing, lurching, headbangable groove, and frontman Paige Hamilton’s classically tuneful singing voice. And this particular number also boasts some squealing and screaming guitar soloing tucked in near its end, just for good measure, too.
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