Thursday, May 11, 2017
King Crimson: Beat (1982)
Beat makes reference to the Beat generation, especially Kerouac's On the Road. The opening track, Neil and Jack and Me provides an obvious reference. It's an excellent record, but I prefer Discipline, even after learning that Bruford preferred Beat to Discipline.
I would say that the live versions of these tracks are better than the studio versions, perhaps because of the recording or mastering of this record. Oddly, there's a pop song here -- Heartbeat -- which sounds more like a Belew solo tune. I feel the same way about Two Hands. But, there are some brilliant musical moments on this record. The band even made an official video for Heartbeat, one of only two the band ever made.
There is a strange stability with his record, as Wikipedia notes: "[Beat] is the first King Crimson studio album to feature a band line-up identical to that of their previous album." [source] The next record would feature the same lineup as well.
I used to own the cassette. I have the record. I have the definitive edition on CD. I have the thirtieth anniversary edition on CD.