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ADRIAN BELEW

Eclectic Prog • United States


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Adrian Belew picture
Adrian Belew biography
Adrian Belew was born Robert Steven Belew on December 23, 1949, in Covington, KY, Belew's first instrument of interest was the drums, as he soon kept the backbeat in his high school's marching band. But not long after his discovery of the Beatles, Belew picked up the guitar, teaching himself how to play and to write original songs. In 1975, he officially changed his name to Adrian (because he liked the name).

During the mid/late 70's, Adrian did work with FRANK ZAPPA, which in turn led to his meeting with BRIAN ENO, which in turn led him to his work with the TALKING HEADS. After the album that he worked on with the group came out, Robert Fripp approached Adrian and asked if he would like to join a new version of KING CRIMSON. "Discipline" came out in 1981, and the album featured Adrian's Roland Guitar Synth, which provided many bizarre sounds to the already stellar sound. His first solo album, "Lone Rhino" was released in 1982. In the following years, Adrian would release many other solo efforts, and would collaborate with such artists as David Bowie and Porcupine Tree.

In 2005, Adrian released the first third of his concept piece titled "Side One". This album featured the talents of Les Claypool (Primus) on the bass guitar and Danny Carey (Tool) on the drums. This album had many bizarre Krimson-esque sound and was acclaimed by fans and critics. "Side Two" was released on July 12, 2005. It features a more electronic approach to the sound, but still has some Krimson guitar sounds.

Adrian Belew pushes the envelope with his musical direction and spirit. I highly recommend that you delve into the depths of Adrian Belew's catalogue.



Why this band must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
The majority of his output is progressive in my opinion, and fellow Krimson members Robert Fripp and Trey Gunn are included.



Discography:
Lone Rhino (1982), Studio Album
Twang Bar King (1983), Studio Album
Electronic Guitar (1985), Video
Desire Caught by the Tail (1986), Studio Album
Mr. Music Head (1989), Studio Album
Oh Daddy/ Peaceable Kingdom (1989), Single
Young Lions (1990), Studio Album
Not Alone Anymore (1990), Single
Desire of the Rhino King (1991), Studio Album
Inner Revolution (1992), Studio Album
Acoustic Adrian Belew (1993), Compilation
Here (1994), Studio Album
Peace on Earth (1994), Single
Guitar as Orchestra (1995), Compilation
Op Zop Too Wah (1996), Studio Album...
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Buy ADRIAN BELEW Music


Lone Rhino / Twang Bar KingLone Rhino / Twang Bar King
Remastered
BGO Records 2009
$10.29
$14.01 (used)
Mr Music Head / Inner RevolutionMr Music Head / Inner Revolution
Bgo - Beat Goes on 2018
$11.27
$15.77 (used)
Young LionsYoung Lions
Atlantic 1990
$48.95
$2.50 (used)
Mr. Music HeadMr. Music Head
Atlantic 1990
$13.95
$1.68 (used)
Live at Rockpalast 2008Live at Rockpalast 2008
Repertoire 2015
$20.21
Desire of the Rhino KingDesire of the Rhino King
Polygram Records 1991
$39.35
$5.00 (used)

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ADRIAN BELEW discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

ADRIAN BELEW top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.86 | 70 ratings
Lone Rhino
1982
3.10 | 32 ratings
Twang Bar King
1983
3.49 | 28 ratings
Desire Caught By The Tail
1986
2.82 | 29 ratings
Mr. Music Head
1989
2.26 | 38 ratings
Young Lions
1990
2.78 | 29 ratings
Inner Revolution
1992
2.73 | 21 ratings
The Acoustic Adrian Belew
1993
3.38 | 31 ratings
Here
1994
2.52 | 16 ratings
Experimental Guitar Series Vol. 1 - The Guitar As Orchestra
1995
3.97 | 38 ratings
Op Zop Too Wah
1996
3.49 | 17 ratings
Belew Prints - The Acoustic Adrian Belew Vol. 2
1998
5.00 | 1 ratings
Raven Songs 101 (with Kevin Max)
2003
3.48 | 59 ratings
Side One
2005
3.41 | 44 ratings
Side Two
2005
4.00 | 78 ratings
Side Three
2006
3.98 | 36 ratings
Adrian Belew Power Trio: E
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
A Cup of Coffee and A Slice of Time (w/Michael Clay)
2009
4.00 | 2 ratings
E for Orchestra
2011
3.80 | 6 ratings
FLUX By Belew Volume One
2016
4.50 | 2 ratings
Flux Volume Two
2017
0.00 | 0 ratings
Flux - Volume Three
2018
3.07 | 9 ratings
Pop Sided
2019

ADRIAN BELEW Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 15 ratings
Side Four
2007

ADRIAN BELEW Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

ADRIAN BELEW Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.28 | 9 ratings
Desire Of The Rhino King
1991
3.94 | 8 ratings
Salad Days
1998
3.86 | 5 ratings
Coming Attractions
2000
4.50 | 2 ratings
Lone Rhino/Twang Bar King
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Twenty
2015

ADRIAN BELEW Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.27 | 2 ratings
Big Electric Cat / The Lone Rhinocerous
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Joan Miro's Procession Through the Insides of a Purple Antelope Across a Sea of Tuna Fish
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Oh Daddy
1989
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pretty Pink Rose (12" Single)
1990
3.75 | 4 ratings
Pretty Pink Rose
1990
0.00 | 0 ratings
Never Enough
1994
4.00 | 2 ratings
Dust
2014

ADRIAN BELEW Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Pop Sided by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2019
3.07 | 9 ratings

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Pop Sided
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Adrian Belew´s Pop Sided (2019) may well hold on more or less to its album title yet Belew´s restless energy delivers also some very un-Pop tracks to balance things a bit.

An 11 track album which if anything is varied and shares along the way some of his most hidden influences like Paul McCartney and the Beach Boys and the not so hidden like David Byrne (for whom he has collaborated), blended in with his own Pop and non-Pop vision and also of course his King Crimson kinship.

The real deal of this release, as told, is found in its variety which somehow frames its better tracks and makes the not so good tracks look not so bad, because although it will have been great for it to be flawless as some compositions may point out, it is not, it is only very well produced.

So, a couple of excellent songs (Take Five Deep Breaths, Luminous), some simply good and others are far from my likings, but then again that´s me.

***3 PA stars.

 Adrian Belew Power Trio: E by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2009
3.98 | 36 ratings

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Adrian Belew Power Trio: E
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by WFV

4 stars 4.5 stars. This sludgy guitar heavy album should be of interest to all fans of Belew's tenure in King Crimson. All the songs here are Crimsonesque and Belew and his cohorts churn out one awesome melody after another. The listener is treated with no vocals as the guitar sounds wail and the bass and drums keep the time. I'd recommend this to guitar fans of all types, metal fans looking for an alternative, or just people curious about musical legend Adrian Belew. I'm so glad I discovered his music and the general music listening public is missing out by not giving him more exposure. I love this record and you will too. Belew keeps putting out exciting, lively music forty years into his career.
 Twang Bar King by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.10 | 32 ratings

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Twang Bar King
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars 'Twang Bar King' is the second solo album by Adrian Belew, and was released in 1983. It was recorded while Belew was a member of King Crimson in between the release of 'Beat' and 'Three of a Perfect Pair' by KC. However, this album uses Belew's band 'GaGa' that he had when he recorded his first solo album 'Lone Rhino' plus the inclusion of drummer Larrie Londin, who was in Elvis Presley's band. All of the songs are written by Belew, except for the opening track which is the only cover.

It starts out with 'I'm Down' which is a cover of a B-side originally recorded by The Beatles. Belew uses a similar treatment of the original rock n roll classic, but adds his unique voice and squealing guitar on the instrumental breaks as he approaches an experimental sound. His vocals, towards the end, strive to go over the top. 'I Wonder' puts Belew back into his element with his signature styles and sounds. The beat is straightforward, but the guitar sounds are that quirky, slightly odd playing that helped get his guitar legend status and that works so well with Robert Fripp's own quirkiness.

'Life Without a Cage' is more mellow with a slight funky backbeat. Belew utilizes the brass instruments quite effectively though the album and even allows them to venture into avant-garde territory, but still keeping things barely on the sane side of normalcy. There is a cool instrumental break in the end where brass and guitar play off of each other. 'Sexy Rhino' is a silly short track that seems to lampoon Barry White with interesting effects that tie into his debut album. 'Twang Bar King' ventures into punk-ish territory with crazy instrumental effects.

'Another Time' goes back to a more accessible feel and could have been used as a single as it has a radio friendly feel to it. 'The Rail Song' is Belew's homage to trains and their continuing disappearance. The first minute is all train sounds and effects. Then a mid tempo beat comes in while Belew's guitar echoes the sound of a train before he sings an endearing and emotional lyrics. This is not a groundbreaking song, or even progressive by any means, but it is not necessarily a straightforward song pattern either but the song is definitely heartfelt. 'Paint the Road' is an instrumental that utilizes Belew's MIDI guitar with a breakneck and psychotic pace. There is also a sax that plays a quirky melody as it tries to outdo the crazy pace. This one really shows off Belew's abilities.

'She is Not Dead' is a strange one in that the music is a backward version of 'Hot Sun' from 'Lone Rhino' while Belew sings a different song lamenting the loss of a loved one over the top of it. He matches the melody to the backward melody that is created and it actually works, but just sounds a little odd. But then, Belew's music can be a little odd and that's why we love him. 'Fish Head' is an upbeat song with a catchy feel. There are several other vocalists (Christy Bley and William Janssen, both part of the band) included in this one as it comes across as a story of sorts. 'The Ideal Woman' also includes members of the band, this time talking about what the ideal woman is throughout the song, while Belew sings about her. Except for the nice guitar effects, this one is a weaker track. The last track is 'Ballet for a Blue Whale'. It features whale sound effects underlying differing guitar styles in a pensive and melodic instrumental.

This album, like 'Lone Rhino', show off Belew's versatility and unique guitar styles. In my opinion, he does best when he is not trying so hard to be commercial. There are a few commercial tracks here, but they are also the weakest tracks. When he lets his ingenuity go to work however, he proves that he is an innovative musician. There is enough versatility here that everyone will probably find something they like a lot, but it might be harder to find anyone that will love the entire album. But it does prove that Belew is an amazing musician, and his credentials he has had through his career playing in King Crimson, Frank Zappa's and David Bowie's bands and Talking Heads only prove this. It's a good album with some excellent tracks and some mediocre tracks, but if you loved 'Lone Rhino', you will probably love this one too.

 Belew Prints - The Acoustic Adrian Belew Vol. 2 by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1998
3.49 | 17 ratings

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Belew Prints - The Acoustic Adrian Belew Vol. 2
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

3 stars 'Belew Prints' is a cleverly named album from Adrian Belew. It is in actuality, the 2nd acoustic album from him, the first one, despite having some tracks that were great in their original versions, was quite underwhelming and definitely not progressive. This time around, all of the tracks are solely his own, except for 'Cage' and 'Dinosaur' which he helped compose when he was with King Crimson, and 'Free As a Bird' which is a live solo piano cover of a Beatles song written by John Lennon. Belew also sings all vocals and plays all of the instruments on this album, except for the string quartet in the first track.

Even though I would rather hear most of these tracks in their original versions, this time around Belew retains the progressiveness of the tracks much better than he did in the first acoustic album. He also adds more to the many of the tracks, which he didn't do in the first volume. 'Young Lions' actually comes out much better than the original when he gives it an almost Spanish guitar flavor.

Towards the middle there is a set of four songs (from 'Everything' to 'One of These Days') that are quite straightforward, but in these versions he accompanies himself with an ensemble lead by a piano instead of guitar for a nice change of pace. The two KC tracks are also great in acoustic form, believe it or not. Where the first volume was nice for an easy listening type of album, but not so great as a progressive album, this volume makes strengths of the weaknesses of the first volume. There are also some all instrumental tracks like the clever 'Things You Hit with a Stick', 'Return of the Chicken' and 'Nude Wrestling with a Christmas Tree' which utilizes percussive sounds, effects and random things being hit with a stick, like a piano for instance.

Also, as Belew is more willing to expand on the existing tracks, it makes things much more interesting and there is a lot more variety to the album. Sometimes, you almost forget you are listening to an acoustic album. Belew's intelligent musical sensibilities show through much more this time around, making this album much more worthwhile. It's not perfect, but it is more entertaining and better than the first volume.

 Desire Caught By The Tail by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.49 | 28 ratings

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Desire Caught By The Tail
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by WFV

5 stars In my opinion, this is one of the best experimental guitar albums ever recorded and Belew's double threat voice and guitar make him one of the most talented artists out there. I believe this is his all time masterpiece and anybody with a serious interest in experimental guitar needs to dig in deep. This dude definitely marches to his own beat and this consumer is more than happy Adrian Belew is willing to share the sounds he creates with the public. The opener Tango Zebra and the closer Z are my top, but the rest are worth repeated listening for sure.
 FLUX By Belew Volume One by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2016
3.80 | 6 ratings

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FLUX By Belew Volume One
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by WFV

4 stars Adrian Belew continues his later age creative renaissance with Flux by Belew Volume One. These are short snippets that range from folky to crunchy guitar to cabaret to a Ventures copy to everything in between. I love music like this and this record has reinforced my belief Adrian Belew belongs on the Mount Rushmore of accessible left field rock wierdness of which his former boss Frank Zappa has the largest bust. Singularly creative and decidedly non-conforming, Belew adds to his incredibly rich musical legacy. Fans of left field ideosyncratic rock will find a ton to like here, and this is a fine place to enter the solo world of a living master. I wish Belew got as much run with the media as Iggy Pop during his career-for some reason I put them in the same category as mad scientist weirdo geniuses

Dinosaur in my Trees is an excellent short goofy one here with great scrunching guitar accents

 Side Three by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 78 ratings

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Side Three
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by WFV

4 stars Side Three is the final piece of Belew's Side trilogy, all released in the early Two Thousands. I adore Frank Zappa and King Crimson, but have found it hard to get into Adrian's solo stuff in the past. Well this was the album I've always waited to hear as I find this album a terrific balance between Belew's avantwierd and mainstream sensibilities. The flow is top notch from beginning to end and I've found this album has opened new doors for me and solo Belew. After I got into this record I looked up this guys credits - he's worked for damn near EVERYBODY in the music biz. He really is a living musical legend and the king of the unheralded artist team. 4.5 stars
 Young Lions by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1990
2.26 | 38 ratings

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Young Lions
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

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.

 The Acoustic Adrian Belew by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 1993
2.73 | 21 ratings

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The Acoustic Adrian Belew
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by TCat
Collaborator Eclectic Team

2 stars This is an acoustic collection where most of the songs here are from Adrian Belew's past albums. There is also one King Crimson song (Matte Kudesai), a Beatles cover (If I Fell), and a Roy Orbison cover (Crying). Knowing this, you should have a pretty good idea of what this album will sound like, stripped down songs that you are used to hearing with a full band. The Beatles cover is decent, and was mostly acoustic on the original anyway. The harmonies are very nice and are just overdubs of Belew singing. The song is true to the original. The King Crimson song is quite straightforward as is the Roy Orbison cover.

Two of the songs are acoustic versions of songs that would be released on his next album "Here"; "Blinded By the Fire We Make" and "Dream Life". "Peace on Earth" is a section of "Tango Zebra". "Martha Unadorned" is a reversed version of the acoustic version of "Dream Life". I think it was placed there as filler to stretch things out to 33 minutes.

The album is very short, at only 33 minutes. The album was produced to present Belew as a singer/songwriter since most of his music is quite ornate when it comes to instruments and use of progressive elements. I suppose it accomplishes this, but it also makes this very much an un-progressive record as a result. It's nice as a mellow listening experience, but really accomplishes very little. When I want to listen to Belew's solo work, I would rather hear it as originally intended. It really doesn't do anything for me, so I would say it's for collectors/fans only and give it two stars. It might be interesting to others that might wonder what "Lone Rhinoceros" sounds like with only an acoustic guitar, but I can tell you from experience that it is rather underwhelming.

 Side Three by BELEW, ADRIAN album cover Studio Album, 2006
4.00 | 78 ratings

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Side Three
Adrian Belew Eclectic Prog

Review by admireArt
Prog Reviewer

4 stars One thing you know or should know about Adrian Belew's solo projects is this crystal clear fact: He does not asssume himself as any kind of reference or musical- line. In fact he as his sometimes music colleague Frank Zappa rather be joking than been taken seriously.

This guy sets the tone for this kind of sophisticated "clowning" performances with an undertoned virtuosism. The great thing of course is his multi-skilled talents with other instruments, as his Zappa, King Crimson guitar master level.

So that is the whole "package" and from there he will go anyway his fancy takes him off. So, to balance his talents, he can turn out to be sometimes amusing, boring, intelligent, frantic, spiritual, etc., etc.

Therefore some of his self-titled efforts can be as excellent, as so-so, or plain down expendable but they are always and almost by rule personal & daring projects as he has no kind of ambitious/vicious goals beyond his association with Prog "legends" and the thrill of performance.

He pens down his music compositions but really anything can happen as they turn around in any kind of different direction and atmosphere.

Now, considering this "hazardous/blessing" process in his solo efforts "Side Three" is perfectly matched, both in aspirations as in songwriting.

So to close things up this album is a flawless display of Mr. Belew's antics and performance skills and as diverse, as creative, as fun, as intelligent as to withhold the whole project, without losing a drop of all his best attributes and still be irreverent and deep in the whole conception without being or becoming pretentious and even less sounding like that.

If you like this musician tone and style here he sets some new standards even for himself!.

****4 "We were long overdue!!", PA Stars.

Thanks to Cygnus X-2 for the artist addition.

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