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Adrian Belew

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Adrian Belew Young Lions album cover
2.31 | 50 ratings | 7 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Studio Album, released in 1990

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Young Lions (3:42)
2. Pretty Pink Rose (4:43)
3. Heartbeat (3:59)
4. Looking for a U.F.O (3:36)
5. I Am What I Am (4:11)
6. Not Alone Anymore (3:13)
7. Men In Helicopters (3:17)
8. Small World (3:45)
9. Phone Call From The Moon (3:38)
10. Gunman (3:51)

Total time 37:55

Line-up / Musicians

- Adrian Belew / vocals, instruments, producer

- David Bowie / vocals (2,10)
- Prophet Omega / radio broadcast voice recording (5)
- Mike Barnett / string bass (9)
Van Kampen Ensemble :
- Willem Van Kruysdijk / percussion (1)
- Mies Wilbrink / percussion (1)
- Dree Van Beeck / percussion (1)
- Elen Gieles / percussion (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Sotto Voce

LP Atlantic ‎- 82099-1 (1990, US)

CD Atlantic ‎- A2 82099 (1990, US)

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy ADRIAN BELEW Young Lions Music

ADRIAN BELEW Young Lions ratings distribution

(50 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
Good, but non-essential (48%)
Collectors/fans only (22%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)

ADRIAN BELEW Young Lions reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars I don't dare to say that this is a poor album even though I have tried to enjoy this album with many different angles. It's probably my preconception that Adrian Belew has been so powerful as the front man of legendary band King Crimson. I knew him for the first time when King Crimson reincarnated themselves with a new album "Discipline" after a long musical break. Some people even mentioned that the band was defunct. My only reason to purchase "Young Lions" couple years ago was that Mr. Belew's work with King Crimson. When I saw that "Heartbeat" (track 3) was featured I finally made a purchase decision and ordered it from the net. At first spin I did not believe what I was hearing - it was truly terrible record. The composition was too loose with no cohesiveness between one part to the other, and there is basically no melody that I can emulate. I did try it many times until I gave up and put it for a long time on my CD shelf. When I saw Adrian Belew was added into this page, my reaction was: "What?!". Give me a break! So, I did try (again?) to spin the CD last night and it still did not stir me up at all. I was totally confused if this kind of music is considered as prog. The music is a blend of glam rock (those like Marc Bolan and T Rex) and psychedelic composed in poppy style. I don't know whether I have given a clear picture about this album to you or not. I'm probably totally wrong with this opinion as I only heard this album. The other albums may be good ones. So, I decided to give this album with two stars rating, i.e. for "Collectors / fans only" as I want to respect those King Crimson aficionado. I've just remembered a friend of mine who collected any CD where any member of Deep Purple, any MARK, has ever contributed and he came up with 300 plus CDs! Put this thing in perspective, I don't want to say that this is poor as I leave it up to you. For those who love King Crimson like my friend loves Deep Purple, this album might be a worthwhile purchase. Unfortunately, you've just missed mine which I've just sold it (today) to Jl. Surabaya (CDs secondary market in my country) for five bucks. It's a good deal as with additional two bucks I got Hawkwind CD (digipak). Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild mother Brown has lost her child, just another forgotten sons! - GW

Review by Cygnus X-2
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars Adrian Belew's first album of the 90s would ultimately be his weakest in my opinion. While there a few really good songs, there are some others that just feel like they shouldn't have made the cut and others that feel plain and are somewhat boring. Despite that, you'll also find two collaborations with David Bowie on the album (two of the best songs on the album are the Bowie ones) and a reworking of the classic King Crimson song Heartbeat, that while not as great as the original, suffices enough and is probably of the same quality. Having said that, the inclusion of this song could also give a hint that Belew wasn't at his creative best at this point so he needed something to fill the void. Whatever it is, Young Lions is the blemish of Adrian Belew's career (in my opinion of course).

There are some good songs here, though. Pretty Pink Rose was the single release from this album, and the collaboration between Belew and Bowie is great and Bowie sounds fantastic on this song. With Heartbeat, you can expect a more stripped down version of the piece (since Belew doesn't have the abilities on drums or bass of Bill Bruford or Tony Levin), and a version that makes you ask why he re-recorded the song in the first place. There's nothing different about it structurally or musically. Men In Helicopters (which would get a face-lift on Side Three as Men in Helicopters v4.0) is another great piece that has a nice chord progression and some thoughtful, poignant lyrics from Belew. Gunman is the finale to the album and the second David Bowie collaboration. Again, Bowie sounds great on this track and Belew was able to write some really interesting backing music for the piece.

In the end, Young Lions is probably the album you'll want to get last in the Belew catalog. It has some decent pieces, and some great pieces, but there's an odd feeling I get when I listen to this album. I can't recommend it to anyone. I can recommend it to fans of Belew's solo material, as you'll probably find some nice things here and there. But for the general public, don't by any means use this album as an entry point into the solo career of Adrian Belew.

Review by Epignosis
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
1 stars This isn't progressive rock- nothing here is. This Adrian Belew solo album consists of ten straightforward rock songs, most of which sound like bad ELO. Perhaps this is partially due to the fact that the album contains two covers, one of which is "Not Alone Anymore," originally by The Traveling Wilburys. The problem is, not only is this album devoid of any progressive elements, it's chock full of second-rate pop-rock. Unless one is looking to complete a Belew discography or simply likes simple rock, this one is best passed by.

"Young Lions" Probably the best song this weak record has to offer, the music itself seems like a cross between Jethro Tull and ELO, featuring good rhythm and a variety of sound. Belew's singing is good, as is his brief guitar solo.

"Pretty Pink Rose" Bowie wrote this upbeat song, and sang lead vocals on it. It's not bad, but it does sound like skating rink music.

"Heartbeat" This is a cover of the King Crimson song of the same name. It sounds almost like a typical pop track of 1980s.

"Looking for a U.F.O." This simply sounds like ELO from the 1980's with sock-hop like music. The lyrics express the idea that perhaps an extraterrestrial could visit earth to teach us how to "clean up our mess."

"I Am What I Am" This is something of an instrumental track in which Belew shows off his guitar work, both that with distortion and that without. The speaker is Nashville, Tennessee radio evangelist, Prophet Omega (whom Belew found out about through his friend Al Kooper), who broadcasted from his own apartment. Belew used his speeches in two other tracks on other albums.

"Not Alone Anymore" This is a cover of the song by The Traveling Wilburys; incidentally, it sounds like Jeff Lynne's most recent work as ELO, Zoom.

"Men in Helicopters" Yet another basic rock song, this one is upbeat and can be fun, but there isn't much substance to it. The lyrics are a ridiculous attempt at describing poetic justice regarding dolphin killers and poachers, and how, if there is a God, he should see how we treat the planet and "pull the plug on us" by snuffing out the sun. Yeah, because that'll help the animals.

"Small World" Tribal rhythms begin this one, which is full of ridiculous lyrics and consists of a quirky composition.

"Phone Call from the Moon" Starting with jazzy, R&B like sounds and the noise of a telephone dialing, this is a laid back track. Some of the lyrics are spoken as one half of a conversation. If I were pressed to compare it to anything, I would say this sounds like a weak track from The Police.

"Gunman" This is the song Bowie co-wrote with Belew. It's not really different from anything else from before, except the guitar work is a bit creative.

Review by TCat
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars This was one of Adrian Belew's attempts at a more accessible pop which was released during one of the times that King Crimson was on sabbatical. It was released between "Three of a Perfect Pair" and "Thrak". He was also head guitarist for David Bowie's concerts during this time. He also released a few albums during this down period for King Crimson, some of them good and some of them questionable. "Young Lions" is one of those albums that is questionable at best and definitely not as progressive than some of the others if at all.

The album starts out well enough for a pop album with 3 decent songs; "Young Lions" which makes for a great upbeat opener, "Pretty Pink Rose" which is written by David Bowie and features him singing lead which is a great surprise, and "Heartbeat", a King Crimson song done to a pop beat, which actually sounds good considering the way it's been made radio friendly. So, you might have at least a 3 star album by this point and there is plenty of room to grow here. Unfortunately, things take a turn for the worst.

The next song is "Looking for a U.F.O. which is just a complete embarrassment. Pop rhythms with annoying lyrics and no feeling whatsoever. The downward spiral continues with "I Am What I Am" which is the spoken word of Prophet Omega talking over what might have been an okay guitar solo if not for his distracting ramblings. Then he does a cover of The Traveling Wilburys' "Not Alone Anymore". So this is a great song when done by the Wilburys and Belew does a decent job of the cover, but adds nothing and takes nothing away, so there really is no point.

"Men in Helicopters" has a good message, and is also a slight turn for the better here because it doesn't sound so forced as the previous tracks. There is some nice guitar work during the instrumental break with other sounds going on. "Small World" is just bland and uninspired. There is a some harmonization over a lot of drums that sounds like some bad Jeff Lynne impression. I'd almost rather hear Disney's version of "It's a Small World After All", but not really. I think he's trying to be Peter Gabriel here too, but failing miserably. "Phone Call from the Moon" has some nice jazzy Robin Trower style guitar work, but the spoken part of the lyrics is pathetic: "Time moves slowly like the curve of the Earth" and so on. Okay whatever. Bowie returns thank goodness, for the last track "Gunman". Just to prove that Adrian is actually a great talent, the guitar is excellent, what you would expect on a KC album or one of Belew's better albums.

Not sure what happened here, but it started off pretty good and ended good with one decent song in the middle, but more than half of this is just plain worse than mediocre. Not really worth looking into this one, but try some of his better solo albums, or get a King Crimson album released during his time with that band if you want to hear Belew at his best.

Latest members reviews

3 stars I think this is a really nice album. I like it a lot. Itīs obvious thatīs not a prog album, just pop songs. But it doesnīt mean that itīs bad. The opening track is great, and Bowie collaboration on the second and the closing tracks adds a little bit of glamour to the album. the King Crimson ... (read more)

Report this review (#100701) | Posted by Pieterland | Monday, November 27, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars If one leans toward the murky or brutal sounds of Dream Theater, Porcupine Tree and their ilk, this album is going to be difficult to appreciate. Anyone who loves the classic progressive rock bands who started off in the sixties and seventies (e.g., King Crimson, ELP, Yes, The Moody Blues) or got of ... (read more)

Report this review (#87548) | Posted by convocation | Thursday, August 17, 2006 | Review Permanlink

1 stars I have to agree with both rewievs. It's really hard to listen to this album more than once. It's boring, and in worse moments - irritating. It was published in 1990, and at this time things were getting better, generally, in rock music. But here it seems that we are deep in eighties. I accep ... (read more)

Report this review (#74492) | Posted by kajetan | Sunday, April 9, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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