From the Vault...


King Crimson

© E'G Records

Year of Release: 1982

track listing
  • Neal And Jack And Me
  • Heartbeat
  • Sartori In Tangier
  • Waiting Man
  • Neurotica
  • Two Hands
  • The Howler
  • Requiem

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    King Crimson

    King Crimson's 1982 release, Beat is different. It's theatrical, likewise progressive, as leader Robert Fripp and his latest entourage of musicians calling themselves King Crimson were experimenting in New Age Jazz, 1980s New Wave, and African-style music.

    Neal And Jack And Me starts out as a New Wave front heard in the early recordings of Peter Gabriel. Heartbeat did get some regular radio airplay, as it features (as well as throughout the album) some exceptional guitar work by Adrian Belew.

    The instrumental Satori In Tangier begins on a soft-classical touch, but then the beat grabs you, as it becomes another 1980s New Wave/Pop sound, as heard in such acts as Peter Gabriel and Duran Duran. Waiting Man has some heavy synthesizers, as the vocal style here is definitely compared to Peter Gabriel.

    Neurotica is half spoken word, half vocals, with some crazy instrumentation. This song can be compared to The Talking Heads. One word to describe this song is Strange. Two Hands is dreamily eerie, the unique guitar work of Adrian Belew provides the effects on this one.

    The Howler is a carnival-driving song. Again, it is compared to The Talking Heads, and this song is another strange one. It's almost psychedelic in the way the music changes styles.

    The closing instrumental, Requiem has a Pink Floyd Wish You Were Here effect, with its moody synthesizer backdrop, and the guitar work here is not as smooth as Wish You Were Here, but it does provide a mood. Also the guitar work does get a little out-of-hand towards the end, as it should of been much smoother as the background music provides. Somehow at the end of this song, it sounds more like an orchestra tuning up to begin playing. I was quite disappointed on how this song ended, likewise, in the way it ends the album. This song kind of leaves a bad taste in your mouth.

    But as this review first states, King Crimson's Beat is different. For those who enjoy New Wave music such as Peter Gabriel and The Talking Heads, this album may be enjoyable. But as it gets towards the end of the album, it starts losing its direction, and I can say that this album would have to be placed somewhere towards the bottom of King Crimson's finest albums.

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    Previous Review: #608
    Michael Bolton--Soul Provider
    Next Review: #610
    Frank Zappa/Mothers Of Invention--Absolutely Free