IL 9751 Lone Rhino
Produced by Adrian Belew
Released on July 1982
US CHART POSITION #82
Find it at GEMM
IL 9751 cover  

A drian Belew’s reputation as one of alternative music’s leading guitarists was built on albums by David Bowie, Frank Zappa, Talking Heads and, most recently, as the guitarist/vocalist for the re-formed King Crimson. His signature guitar sound included a sort of animal squall that became the centerpiece for songs like Tom Tom Club’s “L’elephant,” Crimson’s “Elephant Talk” and, on his debut as a solo artist, the Lone Rhino. Although Belew’s exotic guitar work and half-spoken vocals lend the music a certain artistic high-mindedness, at the heart of the artist is an affection for simple melodies, producing a kind of warped pop effect for much of the album. “The Momur,” “Adidas in Heat,” “Swingline” and “Stop It” are catchy at their core, skewing familiar rock & roll and swing motifs to suit Belew’s particular talents. In fact, Belew’s style is a unique amalgam of past influences, borrowing bits of Bowie (the digital buzzing of “African Night Flight”), Tom Tom Club’s layered percussion, and Robert Fripp’s alternately frenetic/ transcendental arrangements to flesh out his ideas. As an arranger, Belew proves to have a knack for smooth and swift movement, handling the drums himself while fretless bass player J. Clifton Mayhugh and pianist Christy Bley support the shifts from airy instrumental segues to well-grounded rock structures. Lyrically, Belew can be smartalecky (“Adidas in Heat”) or suprisingly sentimental (“The Man in the Moon”), delivering the words in a competent manner despite a somewhat limited voice. Although the record didn’t generate a genuine hit single (“Big Electric Cat” comes closest to qualifying), there are a number of songs that remain among Belew’s best, including the title track and the over-caffeinated “The Momur.” Because Lone Rhino bears a close resemblance to the “new” King Crimson’s most accessible music, it adds little to that band’s body of work other than to show that Belew may have been the most commercially minded of the four. The likely beneficiary of stockpiled songs, Lone Rhino remains the best introduction to Belew’s catalog, and should appeal to art pop fans and adventurous guitar afficianados.

IL 9751 back cover IL 9751 lyric sleeve
IL 9751 back cover IL 9751 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BIG ELECTRIC CAT    4:51
  2. THE MOMUR    3:45
  3. STOP IT    2:45
  4. THE MAN IN THE MOON    3:45
  5. NAIVE GUITAR    3:58
  6. HOT SUN    1:29
  7. THE LONE RHINOCEROS    3:57
  8. SWINGLINE    3:25
  9. ADIDAS IN HEAT    2:44
  10. ANIMAL GRACE    3:58
  11. THE FINAL RHINO    (Audie Belew/Adrian Belew)    1:24

    All songs written by Adrian Belew unless noted

CREDITS

ADRIAN BELEW -- guitars, effects, drums, percussives, wood flute, lead vocals
CHRISTY BLEY -- acoustic piano, vocals
WILLIAM JANSSEN -- alto/baritone sax, vocals, wood flute
J. CLIFTON MAYHUGH -- bass/fretless bass guitar, vocals, wood flute
Audie Belew -- acoustic piano (11)
Stan Hertzman -- chant (1), executive producer
Stan Silverman -- chant (1)
Rich Denhart -- engineer
Gary "Plattski" Platt -- engineer, re-mix engineer
Margaret Belew -- inner sleeve drawing
Sukita -- photography
Kojo Tanaka -- rhino photo
Chiaki Shimada -- make-up
Yakko Takahashi -- stylist

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US July 1982 Island LP/CS IL 9751 lyric sleeve
UK 1982 Island LP ILPS 9675 lyric sleeve
GER 1982 Island LP 204522  
JPN   Island LP 25S-48 lyric insert
JPN 2002 Island CDLE UICY-9237 limited edition (5000 copies) 24-bit digital remaster

 

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