Beat (King Crimson album)

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Beat - Original Vinyl Cover.jpeg
Studio album by King Crimson
Released 18 June 1982
Recorded 1982
Genre New wave[1]
Length 35:19
Label E.G.
Producer Rhett Davies
King Crimson chronology
Three of a Perfect Pair

Beat is the ninth studio album by the British rock band King Crimson, released in 1982 by record label E.G. It is the first King Crimson studio album to feature a band line-up identical to that of their previous album.


According to the Trouser Press Record Guide, the album focused on the twenty-fifth anniversary of the publication of the novel On the Road by Jack Kerouac.[2] The album makes several references to the writings of the Beat Generation:

  • "Neal and Jack and Me" is the track most obviously inspired by Beat writers. The 'Jack' of the title is Beat writer Jack Kerouac, while 'Neal' is Kerouac's best friend Neal Cassady. Besides On the Road, the lyrics make references in French to other significant Kerouac works; Les Souterrains, Des Visions du Cody and Sartori a Paris. The song was released as a B-side to "Heartbeat". Musically it picks up where the album and song Discipline left off, with Fripp and Belew's dueling guitars weaving in and out of patterns in 5
    and 7
    time signatures.
  • "Heartbeat" is also the name of a book written by Neal Cassady's wife Carolyn about her experiences with the Beats.
  • "Sartori in Tangier" derives its title from Satori in Paris and the city of Tangier in Morocco, where a number of Beat writers resided and which they often used as a setting for their writing. Writer Paul Bowles was associated with the Beats, and his novel The Sheltering Sky, which provided the title for a track on King Crimson's previous studio album, Discipline, is partly set in Tangier. The song was first released as a b-side to the Heartbeat 12" single in 1982. It is entirely instrumental with the intro performed by Tony Levin on the Chapman Stick.
  • "Neurotica" shares its title with Neurotica, a Beat-era magazine.[3][4] The Frippertronics intro is lifted directly from the beginning of "Hååden Two" off Fripp's 1979 solo album Exposure.
  • "The Howler" refers to the Beat poem Howl by Allen Ginsberg, which Fripp suggested to Belew as inspiration for the lyrics. The 15
    guitar riff heard halfway through the song can be likened to the one Belew played on the Tom Tom Club single "Genius of Love" in 1981.

Album cover[edit]

The halftone quaver image on the cover was designed by artist Rob O'Connor.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[5]
Trouser Press favourable[2]

Released on 18 June 1982, Beat reached number 39 in the UK Albums Chart.[6] Trouser Press wrote that "the players push their instruments into a new form, akin to fusion and art-rock, but miles beyond either, and beyond description as well."[2] A new 5.1 surround sound mix by Steven Wilson will be released as a CD/DVD-A release.[7] It will be reissued in October 2016 remixed by Wilson and Robert Fripp for the 40th Anniversary Series standalone and new On (and off) The Road 1981 - 1984 boxset.


The Chapman Stick introduction to "Sartori in Tangier" is featured in the first scene of the premiere of the MTV show The Maxx.

The heavy metal band Avenged Sevenfold included songs on their 2013 album Hail to the King like "Crimson Day" and "Requiem". Though the titles appear random it should be noted that another track "Acid Rain" shares its name with a song by Tony Levin's fusion group Liquid Tension Experiment which also happened to feature Avenged Sevenfold's former session drummer Mike Portnoy.[citation needed]

In a central plot point of the manga Vento Aureo, the character Jean Pierre Polnareff's supernatural ability "Silver Chariot" evolves into "Silver Chariot Requiem", the addition being named after the last song of Beat. The protagonist, Giorno Giovanna, similarly obtains a "Requiem" evolution.[8]

Track listing[edit]

Lyrics by Adrian Belew, except "Two Hands", by Margaret Belew; music by Belew, Bill Bruford, Robert Fripp, and Tony Levin.

Side A
No. Title Length
1. "Neal and Jack and Me" 4:22
2. "Heartbeat" 3:54
3. "Sartori in Tangier" (instrumental) 3:34
4. "Waiting Man" 4:27
Side B
No. Title Length
5. "Neurotica" 4:48
6. "Two Hands" 3:23
7. "The Howler" 4:13
8. "Requiem" (instrumental) 6:48


King Crimson



Year Chart Position
1982 Billboard Pop Albums 52
UK Albums Chart 39


Year Single Chart Position
1982 "Heartbeat" Billboard Mainstream Rock 57


  1. ^ a b Prato, Greg. "Beat – King Crimson | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Grant, Steven; Fleischmann, Mark; Robbins, Ira. " :: King Crimson". Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  3. ^ "Neurotica". Landesmania. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  4. ^ Chapter 10: Battling the Social Neurosis. The Culture of Spontaneity. University of Chicago Press. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  5. ^ Stern, Chip. "King Crimson: Beat : Music Reviews : Rolling Stone". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on 28 October 2007. Retrieved 30 July 2016. 
  6. ^ "King Crimson | Full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 August 2016. 
  7. ^ [1]
  8. ^ Araki, Hirohiko (4 March 1999). JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo. Shueisha. p. Volume 62, Chapter 3. 

External links[edit]