adrian belew
biographical information

From: Steve Huey, AMG

Over the course of his career, Adrian Belew has lent his left-of-center guitar playing to the jazz-rock dementia of Frank Zappa (Sheik Yerbouti), the off-kilter funk of Remain In Light-era Talking Heads (as well as spinoff group the Tom Tom Club), the sonic explorations of David Bowie's Lodger, and the extended, guitar-dominated progressive rock of early-'80s King Crimson (i.e., Three of a Perfect Pair). As well as contributing session work to rock's avant-garde for many years, Belew has also pursued a wide-ranging solo career. His early releases tended to reflect the styles of those groups he had previously worked with. In 1987, Belew took a break from experimental rock and formed the Bears with former members of the Raisins, and revealed his heretofore obscured pop sensibilities. Refreshed, Belew departed the Bears after two albums and returned to his solo career, recording several albums of XTC and Squeeze influenced pop similar to the Bears and showing more focus than his previous solo output. Belew worked with Bowie on Young Lions prior to serving as the musical director for Bowie's Sound + Vision tour, and offered his own Beatles pastiche on Inner Revolution. In 1995, a year after guesting on Nine Inch Nails' The Downward Spiral, Belew rejoined Robert Fripp in a new edition of King Crimson for the album Thrak. Two years later, Belew returned with a pair of solo albums -- The Guitar as Orchestra and Op Zop Too Wah. From: unknown After touring with FZ, Adrian toured with the Talking Heads. He first did this because FZ had planned a break and AB was to join FZ again when he was going to form a new band. But then FZ changed his mind and when he put together a new band AB was still with the Talking Heads (He's on the live album "The name of this band is..").

From: unknown

AB also toured with David Bowie (live album: "Stage"). He joined King Crimson for a couple of tours and three albums ("Discipline", "Beat" and "Three of a Perfect Pair"). After the Crimson split-up he released solo-albums and did some studio-work (Herbie Hancock, amongst others). From: unknown Check-out Laurie Anderson's "USA-Live" video. Yes, Adrian Belew is featured on guitar and the video was produced by Jonathan Demme who also made the Talking Heads' "Stop Making Sense" video.

Solo albums :

1. "The Lone Rhino" (1981) **** 2. "Twang Bar King", (1983) ***** 3. "Desire Caught by the Tail" (1985??) *** 4. "Mr. Music Head" (1989) *** 5. "Young Lions" (1990) *** 5a. "Pretty Pink Rose" (CD single w/ 2 unreleased tracks, 1990) 6. Inner Revolution (1992) **** 7. "Desire of the Rhino King" (1991) - digitally remastered **** compilation of 1, 2, and 3 8. "Acoustic Adrian Belew" (1993) (rating ****) 9. "Here" (1994) ** 10. "The Guitar as Orchestra" (1995) ***** 11. "Op Zop Too Wah" (1996) ***** Adrian Belew had a solo acoustic tour last fall (where he was distributing his own acoustic CD) & should be coming out with another solo album (electric with sidemen this spring). (source: Belew's mouth at Wolf Trap last fall by way of Belew fan Erik Brady). He also toured with Laurie Anderson and appears in her movie of the tour "Home of the Brave". In 1987/8 Adrian Belew played with a band called "The Bears". They released two albums on Primitive Man/IRS/MCA: "The Bears" (1987) and "Rise and Shine" (1988). Adrian produced both albums. I'm not sure how many shows they did, but I did catch them in NYC, I believe it was at "Irving Plaza". The band featured Adrian - guitar, vocals; Rob Fetters - guitar, vocals; Bob Nyswonger - bass; Chris Arduser - drums. The group was formed in his home town of Cincinnati, Ohio. They all wrote. Adrian did most of the vocals. Also, one other small extra bit of info - Adrian was with The Bears in 1987 and 1988 (as already stated), but The Bears became The Psychodots after his departure and they commonly tour with Adrian as a warm-up act and as a backup band.

Jeff Jenkins notes:

Adrian was also a member of a band called "The Raisins" and played on at least one "Nine Inch Nails" record. His current gig with "King Crimson" is still active, having released another live CD called THRAK ATTACK, and they go on the road in a matter of days with the HORDE FESTIVAL. Adrian Belew currently lives in Nashville, TN. Adrian Belew released the album "Mr. Music Head" in 1989. He played all the instruments except for two songs which featured Mike Barnett on string bass and the tune "Oh Daddy" which featured his daughter Audie on vocals. The animated video for "Oh Daddy", a humorous semi-autobiographical tune, was actually in light rotation on MTV for a few months. I just picked this ("Here") up this weekend and only have had time to listen to it a couple of times. The general feel of the album reminds me of "Revolver"-era Beatles (i.e., a slightly psychedelic pop album). Belew plays all the instruments (the CD booklet consists of a bunch of photos of Belew playing the instruments (and making tea) pasted together as if it is an entire band). On one track, his bass playing is very McCartney-esque (reminds me of "Taxman"). Of course, there are lots of swirling, layered guitars throughout. The songs are all fairly simple, but he has written some memorable melodies. Don't buy this if you are expecting "Elephant Talk", but if you like well-crafted Beatlesque-pop (I do), I think you will enjoy this album. If you get a chance to see Adrian Belew, you should do so. I also picked up a copy of The Acoustic Adrian Belew, which contains acoustic versions of a number of his own songs, and a Beatles and Roy Orbison cover. Adrian Belew may be the nicest man in the music business. After the show, he hung around and talked to the fans one on one. I got him to autograph my copy of "The Acoustic Adrian Belew" and chatted with him about the new Crimson. He said that they have already started recording and that their final recording session is scheduled for December. He said that the album should be out in March or April of next year. He said that with all the players it was pretty hard to tell who was playing what. He also mentioned that they were recording at Peter Gabriel's studio in Bath. Dan Lyons( said: Adrian Belew has just relesed a new solo effort withen the past couple of weeks. I don't know it's title, but I've heard it's his best yet. He also appears on The Crash Test Dummies second album, and has a release that combines 3 of his solo albums called "Desire of the Rhino King" (taking cuts from "Twang Bar King", "Lone Rhino" and one other album. It is a great collection for someone who wants to test his waters. It should also be noted that on many of his latter-day solo projects he performs on all instruments, with very few-to-no help from studio players.

ADRIAN BELEW: THE ACOUSTIC Adrian Belew (c)1993 ABP Compact Disc CD93001-1 Limited release given out at shows during the 1993 tour. Available in Europe and Japan. Songs: The Lone Rhinoceros, Peace On Earth, The Man In The Moon, The Rail Song, If I Fell, Burned By The Fire We Make, Matte Kudasai, Dream Life, Old Fat Cadillac, Crying, Martha Adored (Dream Life backwards), Of course all tracks are acoustic. "Experimental Guitar Series Vol. 1: The Guitar As Orchestra". It is most impressive, if you like modern "classical" music. It is in a similar vein as Zappa's Civilization Phase III, but is not as statistically dense as CP3. The Belew CD 's cover states: "10 modern classical pieces presented as an orchestra in concert composed and performed entirely on electric guitar by Adrian Belew." The liner notes continue, "As the name implies, this is modern classical music in which guitar plays the role of the various components of an orchestra. Every sound on the record is made with guitar. Part of the experimental nature of the music comes in designing those sounds rather than using samples of actual instruments. The compositions themselves were experiments. ... To my ears , _The Guitar As Orchestra_ is best suited as a backdrop to common daily events such as reading, driving, or eating. It takes time to discover its hidden melodies. I hope you enjoy it. - adrian belew" "Op Zop Too Wah" From: (Anil Prasad) Subject: Belew's Op Zop Too Wah Date: Wed, 28 Aug 96 Well Belewheads, it's the album you've been waiting for. "Op Zop Too Wah" is certainly the most adventurous vocal-based album Belew has ever attempted. In fact, I'd say only "Desire Caught By The Tail" is the only album in the Belew discography the beats it for "sheer weirdness." Seems his time in Crimson has rubbed off on him. The disc is an amalgam of nutzoid guitar noises, processed vocals, inter-connected songs, jungle percussion word fragments, gentle acoustic sounds and... well... this is literally an "everything *and* the kitchen sink" release. And Crimson-heads, you may be happy to hear the thing has *no* commercial potential. Dare I say it's even Zappa-esque at times in its absurdity? It's perhaps weirder than anything Crimson has attempted during the "Thrak" phase, and probably possesses moments even more "out there" than "Thrakattak". Other than the occasional banal lyric (man, Belew, you can sure toss out some clunkers sometimes...), this is a wildly entertaining album... those who have abstained from Belew because of his seemingly all-consuming Lennon/Orbison-sydrome can breathe a sigh of relief. Belew has made a truly self-indulgent, pompous, pretentious and totally whacked-out album with _Op Zop Too Wah_. It's about bloody time too. Adrian continues to work with Robert Fripp and Company with King Crimson (a double trio format). They have released a number of albums: VROOOM: their first album, a 31:04 CD called "VROOOM". Per the liner notes, "This was recorded between May 2-7th, 1994 during the first full rehearsals of this, the double trio formation of King Crimson. We present VROOOM as a calling card, rather than a love letter, to those generous enough to give it ears." The 94/95 King Crimson consists of: Robert Fripp - Guitar Adrian Belew - Guitar, voice, words Trey Gunn - Stick Tony Levin - Basses and stick Pat Mastelotto - Acoustic & Electronic Percussions Bill Bruford - Acoustic & Electronic Percussions Thrak: Recently released is a full length Crimson CD called Thrak, which contains much of the VROOOM single CD, but is much more polished. Belew has carried his Beatle's flavor over to much of Thrak, sounding a bit like John Lennon. Dinosaur: Also released is yet another single CD called Dinosaur (from Thrak). It also contains live versions of Red and Elephant Talk. B'Boom: Recorded live in Argentina. A must have. Includes much of the material found on Thrak played live. Also contains material from the 73/74 era and the eighties. (Lark's Tongue, Talking Drum, Red, Matte Kudasai, Frame by Frame, Indiscipline, Heartbeat, Sleepless.) Walking on Air: Single CD includes Walking on Air, SSEDD, Heatbeat, Silent Night (Soundscapes/Frippertronics version), One Time. Thrak Attack: 60 minutes of thrakking. Opens and closes with Thrak with improvisations in between. Pretty intense. From: Douglas Obrecht (obrecht@worldnet.att.nex) Adrian released "BELEWPRINTS" last December in Japan. The U.S. release will be available March 23. At this time, it will only be available via mail order and at the ProjeKct 2 shows. BELEWPRINTS, the Acoustic Adrian Belew II, contains acoustic versions of his earlier as well as recent works. Highlighting the CD are: Men in Helicoptors rendered ala Elenor Rigby style, Crimson's "Dinosaur" and "Cage", a live piano-synth cover of John Lennon's "Free As A Bird", with original lyrics, "Bad Days", and "Big Blue Sun". Very nice. PROJEKCT 2's NEW CD RELEASE DATE - APRIL 6, 1998 ! Belew, Fripp, and Gunn will be taking ProjeKct 2 on the road this year with a tour of California, England, Japan and the U.S. again!