23692-2 Beat
Produced by Rhett Davies
Released on June 1982
UK CHART POSITION #39 . . . US CHART POSITION #52
Find it at GEMM
23692-2 cover  

A nother dose of Discipline, this time favoring the languid, dreamy side of the quartet’s combined powers. Beat isn’t much different from their last album, so the shock value associated with Discipline is lost. “Neal And Jack And Me” won’t surprise anyone who’s heard “Frame By Frame,” “Heartbeat” doesn’t hold any magical treats that “North Star” didn’t already unlock years ago, “Neurotica” is a familiar indulgence of indiscipline, etc. However, Discipline was an album that cried for an encore, so unique was its approach, so deep its reservoir of musical possibilities. If Beat’s a repeat, it still beats the alternatives. And over time, individual songs begin to take on their own personalities; remember, at first a lot of Discipline sounded the same, right? There are some new ideas at work here, treading into Steve Hackett’s dark forest on “Sartori In Tangier,” showcasing Frippertronics on the closing “Requiem,” exploring beat imagery on “The Howler” and “Neal And Jack And Me” (hence the title). The superlative, mathematical approach of this King Crimson attracted a whole new audience of younger listeners who viewed the band as champions of instrumental envelope pushing. I have to chuckle every time a young sales clerk feels compelled to validate my music purchases by repeating the words “King Crimson” in a low reverent tone as they ring it up on the register, as if I’ve just been ushered into some exotic brotherhood. I suppose that’s the power of music, and few bands (literally, just a few) have been able to harness music’s power like King Crimson.

TRACK LISTING

  1. NEAL AND JACK AND ME
  2. HEARTBEAT
  3. SARTORI IN TANGIER
  4. WAITING MAN
  5. NEUROTICA
  6. TWO HANDS    (music by King Crimson/lyrics by Margaret Belew)
  7. THE HOWLER
  8. REQUIEM

    Music by King Crimson, lyrics by Adrian Belew unless noted

CREDITS

ADRIAN BELEW -- guitar, lead vocal
BILL BRUFORD -- drumming
ROBERT FRIPP -- guitar, organ, Frippertronics
TONY LEVIN -- stick, bass guitar, support vocal
Rob O'Conner -- cover design

return to KING CRIMSON discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK June 1982 EG Records LP/CS EGLP 51 lyric sleeve
US June 1982 Warner Bros. LP/CS 23692 lyric sleeve
FRA/NET 1982 EG Records/Polydor LP 2311 156  
GER April 1984 Warner Bros./EG Records CD 23692 lyric sleeve
JPN 1990 Virgin CDPRO VJCP-2309 promotional copy
UK 1991 EG Records CD/CS EGCD/EGMC 51  
US 1999 Caroline CD 1593  
WW May 15, 2001 Virgin CD 44067 30th anniversary 24-bit digital remaster
JPN 2001 Pony Canyon CDLE PCCY-1429 limited edition


SUGGESTED READING

I have a horrible confession to make: I've never read Jack Kerouac. I've read Burroughs and Bukowski, and after that I was sort of beat. Kind of a one-trick pony thing I thought at the time, though I've always preferred Henry James to James Joyce, Thomas Mann to Dylan Thomas. Anyway, you may feel differently (and be right, by the way), in which case Kerouac's On The Road is probably the road best taken. I'll buy it myself someday, so if you're wondering what Neal and Jack And Me were up to, pick up a used copy of On The Road at GEMMbooks.

 

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