The Hour of Bewilderbeast

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The Hour of Bewilderbeast
Studio album by Badly Drawn Boy
Released 26 June 2000
Genre Indie rock, indie folk, chamber pop
Length 63:25
Label XL Recordings/Twisted Nerve Records
Producer Badly Drawn Boy, Gary Wilkinson, Joe Robinson, Ken Nelson
Badly Drawn Boy chronology
The Hour of Bewilderbeast
(2000)
About A Boy
(2002)

The Hour of Bewilderbeast is an album that was released by Badly Drawn Boy in 2000 (see 2000 in music). The album won the 2000 Mercury Prize.[1] The album featured members of Alfie and Doves as backing musicians.[2] It has sold 455,000 copies in the United Kingdom as of September 2011.[3]

Copyright issues[edit]

The cover art, produced by Andy Votel, is loosely based on Leonardo da Vinci's drawing "Vitruvian Man". The original art also featured Woody Allen, however his picture had to be removed due to copyright issues.[4]

Other modifications to the album include the removal of a selection of lyrics from the track "Magic in the Air." The lyrics were replaced by an instrumental after hip hop artist Taja Sevelle claimed they were too similar to those in her single "Love Is Contagious."[4][5]

Reception and legacy[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[6]
Robert Christgau (A-)[7]
musicOMH (Positive)[8]
NME 3.5/5 stars[9]
Pitchfork Media (8.6/10)[10]
Spin (5/10)[11]

The Hour of Bewilderbeast has received mostly positive reviews. On the review aggregate site Metacritic, the album has a score of 78 out of 100, indicating "generally favorable reviews."[12] Several reviewers compared the album to Beck and Elliott Smith.[6][10]

Allmusic's John Bush praised the album, writing "Despite all attempts to sabotage his songwriting and production with innumerable experimental tidbits, songs within a song, and (seemingly) tossed-off arrangements, Damon Gough has to face the fact that he wrote and produced over a dozen excellent songs of baroque folk-pop for his album debut, and the many gems can't help but shine through all the self-indulgence." Bush also praised Gough's use of humour in the lyrics.[6] musicOMH's Michael Hubbard also gave the album a positive review, writing "This album deserves to do well for many more reasons than the act's name, excellent though it is. It is light, breezy and atmospheric, a surprise is set loose with every track and even the title is marvellous."[8] Brent DiCrescenzo of Pitchfork Media described the album as "loose" and "scatterbrain," but nevertheless praised the album, writing "Piano, strings, harps, and Wurlitzer attach insect wings to the lovely songs. They'll swarm and pester your head for days. With this concise tour through the gentler side of British songwriting history... Badly Drawn Boy proves what shallow saps American liberal arts majors can be behind a guitar."[10]

Spin's Barney Hoskyns, on the other hand, gave the album a more mixed review, writing "Gough's dewy little tunes are mere scribblings in the margins of alt-folk's dog-eared hook-book, while his too-cool-to-care singing is drip-dry dreary." Hoskyns continued: "Stand The Hour of Bewilderbeast next to Elliott Smith's Figure 8 for a few bars and Gough starts to look like an imposter."[11]

The Hour of Bewilderbeast has appeared on a few end of year lists. Pitchfork Media ranked the album No. 18 on its list of the top 20 albums of 2000.[13] NME ranked the album No. 4 on its list of the 50 best albums of 2000.[14] In addition, the album received the 2000 Mercury Prize, a prize Gough was favoured to win. When Gough received the prize, he tossed the prize money on the ground and said: "I always assumed I was never going to win because good things don't happen to good people normally."[15]

The album was also listed in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Track listing[edit]

All music composed by Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Gough).

No. Title Length
1. "The Shining"   5:18
2. "Everybody's Stalking"   3:39
3. "Bewilder"   0:48
4. "Fall in a River"   2:17
5. "Camping Next to Water"   3:50
6. "Stone on the Water"   3:58
7. "Another Pearl"   4:27
8. "Body Rap"   0:45
9. "Once Around the Block"   3:44
10. "This Song"   1:32
11. "Bewilderbeast"   3:30
12. "Magic in the Air"   3:43
13. "Cause a Rockslide"   5:55
14. "Pissing in the Wind"   4:19
15. "Blistered Heart"   1:50
16. "Disillusion"   5:19
17. "Say It Again"   4:41
18. "Epitaph"   3:50

Personnel[edit]

The following people contributed to The Hour of Bewilderbeast:[2]

  • Badly Drawn Boy (Damon Gough) – vocals, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, piano, lead guitar, bass guitar, keyboards, drum machine, tambourine, handclaps, whistling, slide guitar, harmonica, Wurlitzer electric piano, lead keyboards, organ solo, drum machine organs, percussion, crash cymbal, vibraphone, xylophone, harp, string arrangement, sound effects
  • Matt McGeever – cello, handclaps
  • Sam Morris – bass, keyboards, French horn, handclaps
  • Ian Smith – drums, electric guitar, percussion, vibraphone, handclaps
  • Joe Robinson – drum programming, loops, theremin, effects, sound effects
  • Andy Votel – drum programming, effects, piano, keyboards, strings samples, samples
  • Adrian Dacre – drums
  • Sean Kelly – drums, handclaps
  • Ian Rainford – handclaps
  • Jez Williams – electric guitar, slide guitar
  • Jimi Goodwin – bass
  • Andy Williams – drums
  • Martin Rebelski – Wurlitzer electric piano, clavinet, keyboards
  • Gary Wilkinson – keyboards, drum programming, sirens, noises
  • Paul Taylor – string arrangements
  • Sophie Williams – handclaps
  • Derrick Santini – handclaps
  • Spencer Birtwhistle – drums
  • Northern New Orleans Brass Band – horns
  • Clare Hewitt – backing vocals
  • Robin File – electric / acoustic guitar
  • Matt Wardle – piano, organ, synthesizer, keyboards, vocals
  • Sean Mcann – bass guitar
  • Dave Verner – drums / percussion

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (2000) Peak
position
UK Albums Chart 13[16]
US Billboard Heatseekers 36[17]
US Billboard Independent Albums 23[17]

Singles[edit]

Year Song Peak positions
UK
[16]
2000 "Another Pearl" 41
2000 "Disillusion" 26
2000 "Once Around the Block" 27
2000 "Pissing in the Wind" 22

References[edit]

  1. ^ 2000 Shortlist. Mercury Prize. Retrieved 23 June 2011
  2. ^ a b Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour Of Bewilderbeast. Discogs. Retrieved 23 June 2011
  3. ^ "Mercury Prize Winners – The Guardian Google spreadsheet". The Guardian. Retrieved 6 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Talbot, Michael (May 2002). The Business of Music. Liverpool University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-85323-538-5. "On 7 October New Musical Express noted: 'Badly Drawn Boy aka Damon Gough has been forced to release a new pressing of his debut album, The Hour of the Bewilderbeast, after major publishing company BMG objected to the use of a lyrics from Taja Sevelle's 1987 hit "Love is Contagious"... The Mercury Prize winner has also changed the artwork on... Bewilderbeast for its American release. The cover – a collage by Gough himself, including a picture of Woody Allen – used images without the copyright owners' prior consent'" 
  5. ^ THE BOY GETS DISILLUSIONED. NME. 10 August 2000. Retrieved 23 June 2011
  6. ^ a b c Bush, John. The Hour of Bewilderbeast. Allmusic. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  7. ^ Christgau, Robert. CG: badly. robertchristgau.com. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  8. ^ a b Hubbard, Michael. Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast. musicOMH. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  9. ^ NME Album Reviews – The Hour of Bewilderbeast. NME 23 June 2000. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  10. ^ a b c DiCrescenzo, Brent. Badly Drawn Boy: The Hour of Bewilderbeast. Pitchfork Media. 30 September 2000. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  11. ^ a b Hoskyns, Barney (December 2000). "Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast". Spin 16 (12). ISSN 0886-3032. 
  12. ^ Critic Reviews for The Hour of Bewilderbeast. Metacritic. Retrieved 23 June 2011
  13. ^ Pitchfork Staff. Top 20 Albums of 2000. Pitchfork Media. 1 January 2001. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  14. ^ A decade in music – 50 best albums of 2000. NME. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  15. ^ Mercury joy for Badly Drawn Boy. BBC. 13 September 2000. Retrieved 22 July 2011.
  16. ^ a b "BADLY DRAWN BOY – The Official Charts Company". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 23 June 2011. 
  17. ^ a b "The Hour of the Bewilderbeast – Charts". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 June 2011. 

External links[edit]