Betty (album)

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Betty
Studio album by Helmet
Released June 21, 1994
Recorded 1993–1994 at Soundtrack, Power Station, and Sound on Sound, New York
Genre Alternative metal, post-hardcore, groove metal, noise rock, experimental rock
Length 41:43
Label Interscope
Producer T-Ray, Butch Vig,[1] Andy Wallace and Helmet
Helmet chronology
Meantime
(1992)
Betty
(1994)
Aftertaste
(1997)
Singles from Betty
  1. "Biscuits for Smut"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Wilma's Rainbow"
    Released: 1994[2]
  3. "Milquetoast"
    Released: 1994

Betty is the third album by Helmet, released in 1994 on Interscope. The album was highly anticipated by both music critics and fans as a result of the band's success with the previous album, Meantime.

Rob Echeverria (guitarist of NYC hardcore band Rest In Pieces) replaced Peter Mengede on guitar. Despite being Helmet's highest charting album in the U.S., Betty was not as successful as Meantime but received almost unanimously favorable reviews from critics. After recording and touring in support of the album, Echeverria left Helmet in 1995 to join Biohazard; however, his departure was more amicable than Mengede's.

Prior to Betty's release in June 1994, the album's biggest hit, "Milquetoast," appeared in alternate form on The Crow soundtrack as "Milktoast." Its video was in regular rotation on MTV, and videos for "Wilma's Rainbow" and "Biscuits For Smut" were also released.

Musical style[edit]

Usually regarded as Helmet's experimental album, it features a broader approach with forays into jazz and blues. Hamilton said "Those things were my indulgences. I tried to force the music in different directions. I know a lot of fans were disappointed, but I think it's important to try to grow musically."[3] Helmet's sonic trademarks of crunching riffs and pounding drums still define the album. Betty, along with Meantime and Aftertaste, is considered a definitive text in post-metal.[4]

Recording and production[edit]

Helmet entered the studio in the fall of 1993 to record the follow-up to its 1992 record Meantime. Writing and recording sessions took place at Soundtrack, Power Station, and Sound on Sound in New York.

Engineer Martin Bisi was brought in mid-way to record Rob Echeverria's guitar parts and additional overdubs.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
NME 4/5 stars 6/25/94, p.41
Allmusic 3/5 stars[5]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[6]
Sputnikmusic 4.5/5 stars[7]

Betty was released on June 21, 1994, and peaked at number 45 on the Billboard 200 album chart, making it Helmet's highest ranking album so far. Betty received mostly positive reviews from music critics and is considered by fans as one of the band's best albums.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Page Hamilton, except where noted. 

No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Wilma's Rainbow"     3:53
2. "I Know"     3:41
3. "Biscuits for Smut"     2:53
4. "Milquetoast"     3:53
5. "Tic"     3:40
6. "Rollo"   Bogdan/Hamilton 2:38
7. "Street Crab"     3:31
8. "Clean"     2:26
9. "Vaccination"     3:04
10. "Beautiful Love"   Gillespie, King, Young and Van Alstyne 2:03
11. "Speechless"     2:58
12. "The Silver Hawaiian"   Bogdan/Hamilton 2:08
13. "Overrated"     2:40
14. "Sam Hell"     2:09
Total length:
41:43

The album was issued on vinyl (on Amphetamine Reptile Records) in two-disc 10" format; this version included additional tracks "Flushings," "Thick," and "Pariah," and omits "Sam Hell." The Japanese CD adds "Pariah."

A limited edition CD was released with a blue jewel case and five extra live tracks recorded July 30, 1994, in Los Angeles. The live tracks are "Sinatra," "FBLA II," "Tic," "Just Another Victim," and "In the Meantime." (These tracks were released overseas on the Wilma's Rainbow CD EP.)

Chart performance[edit]

Personnel[edit]

Band

Production

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Betty - Helmet : Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  2. ^ "Helmet (2) - Wilma's Rainbow EP". Discogs. Retrieved September 3, 2014. 
  3. ^ "Helmet's riff-heavy, smart sound hits S.L.". Deseret News. 1997-07-04. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  4. ^ "HELMET Rediscovery". X-Press Online. 2007-03-28. Archived from the original on 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2007-03-31. Albums such [as] Meantime (1992), Betty (1994) and even Aftertaste (1997) eschewed the traditional concept of heavy music, trademarked the drop-d power-groove in 5/4, and pioneered a whole new trend in music. Even now, these albums stand on their own as definitive texts in post-metal. 
  5. ^ Allmusic Review
  6. ^ Rolling Stone Review
  7. ^ "Helmet - Betty (album review )". Sputnikmusic. 2007-12-23. Retrieved 2013-02-20. 
  8. ^ http://www.amazon.co.uk/Betty-Helmet/dp/B000001Y6G
  9. ^ "Helmet - Betty". SwedishCharts.com. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  10. ^ "Helmet - Betty". AustrianCharts.at. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  11. ^ a b "Helmet - Betty". NorwegianCharts.com. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  12. ^ "Helmet - Betty". HitParade.ch. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  13. ^ [1], UK charts page for Helmet
  14. ^ "Helmet album charts [albums]". Billboard. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  15. ^ "Helmet - Betty". DutchCharts.nl. Retrieved 2007-12-20. 
  16. ^ "Helmet;– Billboard Singles". billboard.com. Retrieved 2009-08-05.