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3.09 | 18 ratings | 2 reviews
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Album · 1982

Filed under Non-Metal


1. Neal And Jack And Me (4:23)
2. Heartbeat (3:54)
3. Sartori In Tangier (3:35)
4. Waiting Man (4:24)
5. Neurotica (4:48)
6. Two Hands (3:23)
7. The Howler (4:12)
8. Requiem (6:36)

Total Time 35:18


- Adrian Belew / guitar, vocals
- Bill Bruford / drums
- Robert Fripp / guitar, organ, Frippertronics
- Tony Levin / Stick, bass, backing vocals

About this release

June 18, 1982
EG, Warner, Virgin

Thanks to andyman1125, Pekka, Lynx33 for the updates


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Specialists/collaborators reviews

Not much is needed to be said about King Crimson's 1982 album Beat, other than it is more or less the same as many other 70's bands' absorption of 80's sound. Beat is infamous for it's split between fans of King Crimson; some say it's good musicianship pulls it through even with the musical styles it harnesses , others say it's just a sellout album that only features a modicum of King Crimson's actual talent. Personally I don't belong to the KC fan clique but I sure can tell you this a terrible album. Dated and extremely wince-worthy, Beat showcases perhaps every single way you can mess up 80's pop rock. The instruments sound watered down, annoyingly twanging out heavily effect-laden chords, the electro-drumming from Bill Bruford, who I know is a fantastic drummer, sounds completely artificial, and the keyboards and "Frippertronics" add a terrible atmosphere to the whole piece. The album has a pseudo rock-and-roll vibe, showcased mainly by Andrew Belew's croon (and in a way his attire shown in the band's live performances of the album). The album needs not one, not two, but three different guitarists (if you count Tony Levin's Chapman stick as one) to keep it afloat. Even with such a plethora of strings the album is weak. The whole album also has a sort of selfishness that differentiates itself from it's kin. It's minimalist album art, it's structure as an album. This may be just King Crimson still not getting over the fact that they made artsy bollocks in the last decade and can't go a single album without showcasing it like a bunch of prudes, but I really can't say for sure.

Frankly it's insulting to see these talented musicians go under just to please a certain audience. Perhaps this was all a Fripp plan and has some art rock meaning behind it. Perhaps it's a botched follow-up to 1980's Discipline. Perhaps it's just a bad album and that's all. The world may never know. But I'll take a shot in the dark and say it's the third option. All in all it's just my interpretation of 80's cheese. Sometimes it's innocent and fine, other times it's infuriatingly stuck-up and full of itself. This is one of those other times. Not recommended.

Beat has a somewhat controversial reputation amongst King Crimson listeners, though on balance I think it's highly underrated. I think it gets less love than its predecessor, Discipline, because whilst Discipline included a number of callbacks to the King Crimson style of the mid- 1970s, this time around the group are focused determinedly on their angular New Wave guitar-dominated style and give more prominence to Adrian Belew's off-kilter vocal performances. But pieces like Sartori in Tangier show that the band were still interested in creating intriguing, fascinating, novel and progressive music, and the handling of the beatnik concept is adept and powerful. Whilst it isn't quite as compelling and universally appealing as the classic Discipline, it's hardly an embarrassment either.

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