9 45833-2 King
Produced by Glyn Johns
Released on February 14, 1995
Find it at GEMM
9 45833-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

A fter the Alternative Indie storm subsided, the light and luminous beings bounded from the wood: Belly, The Breeders, Liz Phair, The Cranberries, Echobelly et al. Telegenic, talented and injected with testosterone, they were a fascinating phenomenon, though many of them were destined for the whatever-happened-to bin. In fairness, Belly was already born to the movement, Tanya Donelly having earned her stripes in Throwing Muses. But Belly succeeded where the Muses failed, capturing a commercial audience with songs like “Gepetto” and “Feed The Tree.” King, their follow-up to Star, was anticipated by some as a crowning a-coming. It was called more commercial, yet found the band in a commercial holding pattern; so when Belly broke, King got fingered for it. That seems to be the critical line on King: indie group grabs for gold, comes crashing down to earth and breaks into pieces. That way it fits into a nice little folder called Cautionary Tales For Gold Diggers. King’s tale to me is a prettying up of Donelly’s pained muse: “King,” “L’il Ennio” and “Super-Connected.” Throwing Muses left me nonplussed; caterwauling if memory serves. Her voice is much sweeter on King, the melodies fresh and engaging. And Belly better succeeds at putting a feminine face on alternative rock: mystical, nurturing, spiritual. Lines like “I tame a bird to light where you live” and “There is a lightkeeper under the blanket here” reveal the mysterious wood from whence Belly bounded. I couldn’t tell you what “Untitled And Unsung” or “Red” are about, but I can tell you that I like them. Building a mythology around them is problematic and probably a waste of time. Women as a loose rule prefer to let the luminous beings come and go as they please; it’s men who bottle them up and build stories around them, embracing the known. In this case, I’m happy to let Belly drift back into the wood, thankful that in their final move they King’d us.

9 45833-2 back sleeve 9 45833-2 picture sleeve
9 45833-2 back sleeve 9 45833-2 picture sleeve


  1. PUBERTY    (Gail Greenwood/Tanya Donelly)
  2. SEAL MY FATE    (Tanya Donelly)
  3. RED    (Thomas Gorman/Tanya Donelly)
  4. SILVERFISH    (Thomas Gorman/Tanya Donelly)
  5. SUPER-CONNECTED    (Gail Greenwood/Tanya Donelly)
  6. THE BEES    (Tanya Donelly)
  7. KING    (Tanya Donelly)
  8. NOW THEY'LL SLEEP    (Thomas Gorman/Tanya Donelly)
  9. UNTITLED AND UNSUNG    (Tanya Donelly)
  10. L'IL ENNIO    (Tanya Donelly)
  11. JUDAS MY HEART    (Thomas Gorman/Tanya Donelly)


TANYA DONELLY -- vocal and guitar
CHRISTOPHER GORMAN -- drums and percussion, photography
THOMAS GORMAN -- guitar and piano
GAIL GREENWOOD -- bass and vocals
Jack Joseph Puig -- engineer, mixing
Glyn Johns -- mixing
Chris Bigg at v23 -- design
Stephen DiRado -- portrait

return to BELLY discography

US February 14, 1995 Sire LPWHT/CD 45833 lyric sleeve, avail. as white vinyl
UK February 1995 4AD LP/CDLE/CD/CS CAD/CADD/GAD 5004 inner sleeve, avail. in limited ed.
AUS'L 1995 4AD CD CTX021  
CAN 1995 4AD CD CDW45833  


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