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Adrian Belew

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Adrian Belew Lone Rhino album cover
3.75 | 80 ratings | 7 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks 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 (1:24)

Total time 36:01

Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / guitars, effects, drums, percussion, wood flute (10), lead vocals, arranger & producer

- Christy Bley / piano, vocals
- William Janssen / alto & baritone saxes, wood flute (10), vocals
- J. Clifton Mayhugh / fretted & fretless basses, wood flute (10), vocals
- Audie Belew (age 4) / piano (11)
- Stan Hertzman / chant (1)
- Stanley Silverman / chant (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Masayoshi Sukita (photo)

LP Island Records ‎? IL 9751 (1982, US)
LP Island Records ‎- ILPS 9675 (1982, UK)

CD Island Records ‎- UICY-9237 (2002, Japan)

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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ADRIAN BELEW Lone Rhino ratings distribution

(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(52%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (10%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

ADRIAN BELEW Lone Rhino reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by James Lee
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Few debut solo albums show this much range and sophistication. Belew pulls out everything (for the time being) from his bag of guitar tricks, as well as showcasing his under-appreciated songwriting skills and distinctive vocal style. Of course, he was no newcomer- anyone who'd followed him from Zappa to Bowie to Talking Heads knew that this likeable virtuoso had plenty to offer.

"Big Electric Cat" opens the album with a driving cybernetic grind laced with screaming fuzz leads, very comparable to Bowie's Fripp-heavy "Scary Monsters". "The Momur", "Stop It", "Adidas in Heat" and "Swingline" reflect a definite Zappa sensibility- often less acidic and more playfully quirky, but with just as much attention to musicianship and stylistic left turns. The more serious songs ("Man in the Moon" and "Animal Grace") provide an additional layer of emotion to the album- he really sounds like he's singing his heart out at times. And in-between there is the title track (well, close enough) which veers from goofy to melodramatic, but with a surprisingly earnest pathos. The short instrumentals are less structured but very evocative; "Naive Guitar" is one of my all-time favorite instrumentals, a lovely quiet melange of cascading guitars that sounds wonderful played forwards or backwards (I've always wondered if Belew constructed it as a musical palindrome, something Nabokov might have done if he'd used guitars instead of words). "Hot Sun" is a tense atmosphere, an excellent lead-in for "Lone Rhino", and hints at some of the more raspy passsages of the 80s Crimson discography ("Industry", for instance). "Final Rhino" could be seen as a throwaway, a little girl plinking randomly on a piano while daddy noodles, but there is something uniquely expressive in the interplay, and it closes out the album with a mysterious yearning beauty.

There are very few negatives about this album; I suppose if you're turned off by the more experimental end of 80s pop, you'll be hard-pressed at times...and while his vocals are distinctive and evocative, they may be something of an acquired taste. However, there are hooks aplenty and more than enough texture to reward further listening. The guitar work is exceptional, varied, and unique- Belew deserves a place among guitar greats on the basis of this album alone. I fell in love with it when it was new- and unlike many, many albums, it hasn't lost much of its appeal to me over time. It's a no-brainer if you're a KC or Zappa fan, and offers much to anyone who appreciates the Bowie/ Gabriel school of early 80s art rock. My rating hovers between three and four stars- it's definitely not essential- but I enjoy this album so much that I have very little hesitation rounding the final score up.

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After a stellar catalogue of works in the late 70's and early 80's, Belew finally found time to record his first solo album. This album is more like a catalogue of his influences, which to some is a very electic taste. There are songs that are remnicent of Frank Zappa, of King Crimson, of the Beatles, and even of the Talking Heads, but all the tracks are tackled with sophistication and a keen sense of humor. The album is dominated by the rollicking guitar synth that was used prevalently in the work Belew did with the Talking Heads and King Crimson. His musicianship is top notch, with sprawling guitar frills and meaty chords. His drumming is rather simplistic, but it gets pretty technical during certain parts of the album.

From the opener, Big Electric Cat, which was the single released from this album, the listener knows that they are in for a ride. With a dominating fuzz lead and a catchy vocal line, this song is a great opener that cannot be missed. The next song, The Momur, has a very quirky Frank Zappa feel to it (as would Adidas in Heat and Swingline), and is very fun to listen to. It also features a very Krimson like breakdown between the verses. Other tracks worth mentioning are Naive Guitar, which is an instrumental track that featuring volume swelled guitar, and some very textured synth work. Hot Sun is another instrumental that features entirely guitar synth, and is very enjoyable. Lone Rhinoceros features synth roars from Belew, and some very quirky lyrics and vocals. Swingline and Adidas in heat are very fun tracks to listen to, the first having a very Hot Rats feel to it, and the later having a more laid back feel.

Overall, this is a great debut album from a very Avante-Garde player. Solid musicianship and solid tracks create a very light atmosphere that is enjoyable for all listeners. 4/5.

Review by Kazuhiro
4 stars The activity of Adrian Belew in "Discipline" of King Crimson might have perplexed a fan at that time and the listener a little. It might be talked as the case may be opinions of course compared in consideration of all the parts of the music character that King Crimson did and thought. However, Adrian Belew in King Crimson had had the talent very since the 80's and will have been the matter by the proof of the supernatural power of Robert Fripp that stared at the part. It is made remarks that Adrian Belew also always loved music of King Crimson for a long time.

However, the part of King Crimson that American's member had joined in the 80's struck close to home to the listener. And, the unknown music that developed rapidly from the part of the music character that King Crimson exactly had that had not been listened before might have been offered to the listener. Of course these elements are the new front for King Crimson and, the influence of the activity of Belew and Levin might be also large. And, having already been advocated by Fripp is a well-known fact in the flow that the band should reach.

Belew with relations in "Tom Tom Club" that progressed with the shape of another project of Talking Heads the 80's exchanged the promise of the Island label and the contract of the Solo album as it was. And, Solo Album of Adrian Belew is announced with the flow that almost runs side by side with King Crimson in the 80's.

The flow that belongs to music with the part of the greeting of Adrian Belew and his diversity exactly and the root might occupy the ratio overall in this album that works in shape with which musicians put on the situation of the period at that time run side by side as it is. Idea expressed with part completed for playing guitar already. Part of freedom of picking. And, various effects are processed. Or, the vocal sound played by the arming is made. These might be his almost patents.

"Big Electric Cat" impressive sound in which animal's voice is duplicated. Part of unique of "The Momur" and "Stop It". "The Man In The Moon" might be one of the tunes of his representative at that time. The idea of this tune has been made the best use of for the tune of other Solo of him. "Naive Guitar" is a tune of which his good, beautiful melody has gone out strongly while multiusing the effect. It might be a technique that only he can exactly do. And, his individuality has gone out enough "Swingline" and "Adidas In Heat". It might be ..content that can be very enjoyed when the performance of man who takes it is Music with exactly a lot of diversitys even in New Wave and an ambient sound in addition to the element of R&B, doo-wop, and Rock exactly.. finished.

It is not an exaggeration to say that the root and the idea of his music might almost be consolidated in this album. His taste might be consistent though his music always changes little by little by the situation.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars Listening to this album gives me more of an idea of what he adds to King Crimson. His guitar wizardry is just amazing.

Big Electric Cat opens the album. The composition is similar to some of Eno's better simple rhythmic tunes. And Belew's otherworldly guitar carries it away. The Momur could be a Talking Heads song, but with better guitaring (yes, Ade played with the Heads, but his work is more out front here). Stop It is a slightly funky romp. Upbeat, but forgattable. The Man In The Moon is another straightforward tune, but features that soaring sustained guitar heard in many a Crimson tune, and a very cool weird break. I imagine Naive Guitar, a brroding guitar solo, is the type of piece that endear him to Fripp, and helped get his gig in the great band.

Hot Sun sounds like a companion piece to Big Electric Cat, with a more subtle rhythm, and Belew making low roars from his axe. The Lone Rhinoceros has Belew making deep. moaning rhino sounds now. And he works in a way to rhyme "species" and "feces". Swingline starts out sounding like ROI, before it settles into a more traditional rock groove (Belew style). Adidas In Heat is funky and energetic. Animal Grace is helped by more guitar animal sounds. The Final Rhino has Belew plaing airy sounds over a light piano improvisation.

While this may not be prog in the traditional sense, it's inventive and interesting enough to command attention from the adventurous prog fan.

Review by Slartibartfast
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / In Memoriam
4 stars After successful stints with Zappa, Talking Heads, David Bowie, and King Crimson, Adrian Belew was on a roll and put together his own group for this self titled album.

As Adrian was in King Crimson at the time, you'll find a lot of similarities between his work with that band in the music offered here. This album has plenty of Belew's trademark electric guitar animal imitations and of course he wastes no time getting down to business with Big Electric Cat, big electric cat, big electric cat. He really takes this album as a opportunity to show off sounds on the guitar that you've never heard a guitar make before.

Then his wife turns into a momur. Any guy who's been married for long enough can identify with this one. Sometimes your woman can get into a crazy mode. "She backed me in a corner, tried to kill me with a broom." Look out!

Stop It a more appreciative ode to his significant other. Sneaks in a reference to the Waffle House.

Man In The Moon is a really touching tribute to his departed Dad. "for a moment in time you held me there, father and son, home again".

Na´ve guitar is the first of three instrumentals on the album. If you don't like Adrian's vocals, he almost always delivers superb instrumentals on his solo albums. This track needs no accompaniment from the band or his vocals.

Then the Hot Sun rises on the horizon making some really spooky sounds.

Next up, the title track, sort of. An ode to a species being driven to extinction. He's doing those animal sound imitations again although I'm pretty sure rhinos don't sound like that. "Is beauty such a big commodity, I always heard it was only so deep". Lyrics are from the perspective of the animal.

Apparently has a thing for trains. Swingline is one of at least two songs he's done about trains. This one's about all the interesting things you might see while riding as a passenger.

Adidas In Heat injects more humor into the album. "You have the paraphenelic regalia Of an athletic supporter." What?!?

Animal Grace. Animals again?

Final Rhino instrumental wraps it up. Mournful instrumental.

Not quite a concept album, but there is a bit of theme going on in the tracks on here. Lots of good solo albums would come later, but he hasn't really topped this one.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album arrived on the music scene in 1982 like a shooting star--the critics couldn't love Adrian enough. I am still awed by and love the amazing array of noises Belew could get out of a guitar--cat, rhino, momur, Japanese tears, whale, desert island heat, city fear, elephant--a veritable zoo of animals came from his guitar. Plus, he's really not a bad singer--has some clever, witty lyrics.

5 star songs: "Big Electric Cat" (10/10), "Momur" (9/10), "Naive Guitar" (10/10), "The Lone Rhinocerous" (10/10), "Addidas in Heat," (9/10), and the duet with his 4-year old daughter, "The Final Rhino" (9/10). A genius of the guitar--a different kind of genius than Hendrix, Fripp, Frith or Cooder, but a genius nonetheless.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars At the time this album was released, which is Belew's first solo album, Adrian Belew was having quite a busy career. He had been lead guitarist for Frank Zappa, David Bowie and Talking Heads but was also involved with Tom Tom Club and GaGa, but was also now the new lead singer and guitarist for King Crimson. It seems some of these tracks might have been considered for the band GaGa as many of the members were used in this album.

With all of his experience, it only made sense that Belew would want to be more recognized as an original and groundbreaking guitarist as he is extremely talented and definitely deserved more credit than he might have been getting at the time. Belew also had a love for mixing his crazy style with popular music, so doing this first solo album was an outlet for that. What he ended up doing was putting together this very entertaining album that seems to be his most loved album. It has plenty of variety, yet is cohesive as it has plenty of Belew's signature guitar sound and vocals all the way through it. The songs are fun and daring, accessible and yet enough experimental artiness to them to keep them interesting to just about anyone.

Big Electric Cat - A great solid beat kicks this song off with the rhythm remaining the same throughout, but with some cool manipulation to the instruments. Belew's vocals have a lot of effects added to keep it arty enough to not be complete pop and there are shades of King Crimson guitar antics in there also as Belew mimics cat yowling.

The Momur - A smoother and faster beat and a song that sounds like a cross between Talking Heads and King Crimson. Vocals are more straightforward here without enhancements. Very fun song.

Stop It - Life living in a suitcase is what this song is about. There is a wry sense of humor to the lyrics and the sax is a welcome addition to add variety to the album. There is enough avant-ness to it all to keep it interesting, but also accessible.

The Man in the Moon - Straightforward beat backs up a slower melodic line, again with echoes of KC in there. Belew's guitar's whine follows the vocal melody, which is a bit more complex here.

Na´ve Guitar - Belew offers up some guitar experimentalism/improvisation here in this instrumental. It might be easy to just sort of brush this off as noodling around, but listen to it closely as the tones and phrasing that he gets out of his guitar is quite amazing. Nice, atmospheric, anti-melodic and definitely progressive.

Hot Sun - Weird, percussive noises and guitar atmospherics weave around together for a short, instrumental track.

The Lone Rhinoceros - We're suddenly back into a more accessible sound with a steady mid-tempo beat and with Belew's guitar making rhino sounds. There is some nice piano and bass accompaniment here. He matches his vocals a bit with his guitar, but mostly sings straightforward. Another great song that is arty enough to be interesting, yet accessible enough to attract the ears of most listeners. There is that sense of humor as he describes the life of a zoo creature from the rhino's point of view. It ends with Belew's guitar roaring out in rhino frustration.

Swingline - Brass and guitar play against each other in a frantic sounding track before finally coming together to assemble a catchy rhythm and a cool song with parts for background singers and such. He allows the brass to belt out some interesting harmonies before taking the song to a more arty style with screaming guitar effects. Even the bass and piano get to show off a bit before fading out.

Adidas in Heat - Nice jazz style track with multiple Belew vocals mixed but singing mostly a single tone at first. Again, there is that cool, arty sense to the song that still manages to be accessible too. More great guitar work here and some fun with the other instruments as the song makes fun of sports advertising.

Animal Grace - A uptempo beat with squealing guitar/animal effects before it goes into a nice guitar solo, and then Belew brings in another art-pop melody. Vocal and guitar effects play against each other well in some sections.

The Final Rhino - Adrian is joined by his 4-year old daughter Audie (on piano) for this short closing track. Adrian set up a recorder secretly while Audie played around on the piano. He later added the guitar line.

I really love this album and highly recommend it to anyone want to get to know Belew's solo music and how his style influenced not only bands that he was a part of, but other up and coming artists. It is mostly quite upbeat with a few experimental songs to keep the listener challenged, but not to the point that would make it un-listen-able to the masses. While it's true it is not exactly hard and heavy progressive music, it is still very interesting and artsy enough to attract those that love more challenging music. It ends up being one of Belew's best solo albums and is a great collection of music that should appeal to most everyone.

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