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Side One

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Audio CD, January 25, 2005
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 25, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sanctuary Records
  • ASIN: B00070EBSK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,403 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Ampersand
2. Writing On The Wall
3. Matchless Man
4. Madness
5. Walk Around The World
6. Beat Box Guitar
7. Under The Radar
8. Elephants
9. Pause

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Side One is the first in a series of three studio albums from one of rock's true unsung heroes. It features appearances from Danny Carey (Tool), Les Claypool Primus) & others. Says Belew of the record, "There are three different attitudes that I've recently discovered in my writing, & this album is a representation of the first one. Side One deals with the concept of the 'power trio' & writing in that headspace. As the guitar player in that equation, you're only as good as your rhythm section, & I can't imagine a better rhythm section in a power trio than Les Claypool & Danny Carey." We know you'll agree.


"Employing omni-present Les Claypool and Tool's Daney Carey as the ass rattling rythm section, Belew keeps his guitar loud." -- Guitar One-5 stars review-pt 2

"Like his former boss, Frank Zappa, Belew combines musical chops, melody and humor." -- Relix

"a member of King Crimson, Belew played with everyone, David Bowie & Frank Zappa to Trent Reznor & David Byrne." -- Billboard.com

Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Louie Bourland on February 4, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Adrian Belew - member of King Crimson, famed session musician and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire - has reemerged with a brand new solo disc entitled "Side One"-the first in a series of three CDs to be released throughout 2005.

Although almost all the music was written and performed by Belew alone, he does have a little help from some friends on this disc most notably Primus's Les Claypool and Tool's Danny Carey who provide respective bass and drums to the albums opening three tracks.

"Side One" only runs for 33-minutes total but there is still plenty of great and varied music in spite of this. The opening track "Ampersand" sounds almost like a Beatles tune performed with an extremely odd time signature while other tracks such as "Writing On The Wall", "Matchless Man" and "Walk Around the World" resemble Belew's work with King Crimson (the latter track sounds like an outtake from "Three of a Perfect Pair"). Elsewhere on the disc, Adrian shows off his experimental side with the 7-minute instrumental "Madness" which features a thick distored bassline, heavy percussion and layers of sustained delayed guitar phrases. "Beat Box Guitar" is also experimental and also echoes King Crimson in their current phase.

The closing three pieces are short in nature and form sort-of a mini-suite. "Under The Radar" is an atmospheric ballad with a slight Pink Floyd vibe to it which leads directly into "Elephants" a minimalist piece in which Belew improvises some wildly outrageous guitar leads over a repeated riff. This leads into the short final track "Pause" which consists of ambient sound effects and a very brief phrase of guitar arpegggios.

This is a very well-put-together and entertaining CD and displays Adrian Belew's eccentric talents at their best.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nick Ackerman on January 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Adrian Belew is in hard Crimsonesque mode here (though occasionally pulling in his other musical incarnations as well). The talent bleeds out of every corner, from Belew's multi-instrumental attack, to the powerful support work of Les Claypool and Danny Carey, among the other contributors. While that should be assumed on a Belew project, there are no dead moments, no frustratingly short snippets (like on his Op Zop Too Wah or on King Crimson's Thrak, both very good & enjoyable, but imperfect albums), and no lyrical misfires.

The sound is tight, and the words are impressionistic & evocative. The music has a powerful and intricate rhythmic feel & consistency, going from hard crunching ("elephants", "madness", parts of "ampersand"), to bright sounding rock or pop ("writing on the wall" or "walk around the world"), to the sinister fluttering-cool air of "matchless man". The transitions happen quickly and organically, without any seeming out of place.

It is a quick tour at 33 minutes, but the length felt right for the material. I do not believe in throwing around five star ratings recklessly, but this release deserves it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Pottorf on February 3, 2005
Format: Audio CD
First: This is Adrian Belew. Don't buy this CD expecting to hear Adrian sing TOOL. With an active drummer such as Mr. Carey, Claypool's job is to solidify the rhythm. Between Msr's Claypool and Carey, they lay down a sonic canvas on which Mr. Belew paints with broad sonic strokes. "Madness" is pure genious. "Beat Box Guitar", "Under the Radar", and "Walk around the World" are really one masterpiece in 3 sections. This is the best work of Adrian Belew by far. Fantastic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By spiral_mind on March 29, 2005
Format: Audio CD
With a wildly impressive range of crededentials - sought-after session man, smart producer, skilled drummer, quirky singer/writer, insanely talented guitarist - and having worked with an enormous cast of eclectic musicians in his time, it shouldn't be surprising that Adrian Belew can pack a whole normal career's worth of prowess and variety into one album without breaking a sweat. So what we have here is a batch of nine tracks that sound nothing alike; I guess some mild schizophrenia is really the least we can expect from such a solo effort. Side One clocks in at only 33:08, Ade's view being that it's better to err on the side of brevity than length, but this is still among the most solid releases of his career. A shame it's priced as an album rather than an EP (especially since there's a Side Two *and* Side Three on the way this year).

Within that short window, however, we get spun through a dizzying mix of equal parts brilliant songwriting and wacky instrumental weirdness that could have easily filled up an album twice its length. Les Claypool and Danny Carey add some power-trio punch to make a super tasty freakout out of the first two tracks, then turn "Matchless Man" into a beautiful semi-hypnotic drone with Indian overtones. (That's all they appear on here, but they'll be back on S3.) AB runs the gamut himself for the remainder. "Walk Around the World" is catchy in that twisted kind of way with some weaving Crimsonesque guitar lines. "Elephants" is all abstract meanderings with softly spoken words. Easy to miss is the abruptly snipped "Under the Radar," which is pure straightforward pop with some odd freaky sound effects. The only slight misstep is the squealing/chugging "Madness," which though interesting, wears out its welcome at seven minutes.
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