Beat (album)

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Beat - Original Vinyl Cover.jpeg
Studio album by King Crimson
Released 18 June 1982
Recorded 1982
Genre Progressive rock, experimental rock, math rock, new wave
Length 35:19
Label E.G.
Warner Bros./E.G.
Virgin Records
Producer Rhett Davies
King Crimson chronology
Three of a Perfect Pair
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[1]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[2]

Beat is the ninth studio album by the British rock band King Crimson, released in 1982. The halftone quaver image on the cover was designed by artist Rob O'Connor.

Song Information[edit]

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.[3] 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.[4][5] 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.

Track listing[edit]

Lyrics by Adrian Belew, music by Belew, Bill Bruford, Robert Fripp, and Tony Levin, unless otherwise indicated.

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


King Crimson



Year Chart Position
1982 Billboard Pop Albums 52


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

In popular culture[edit]

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 the Japanese manga, Vento Aureo, a character named Jean Pierre Polnareff obtains an evolved supernatural ability titled "Requiem" named for the last song of the Beat album. Another character, Giorno Giovanna, also obtains a "Requiem" named evolution.[6]


  1. ^ Allmusic review
  2. ^ Rolling Stone review
  3. ^ "King Crimson". Trouser Press. Archived from the original on 4 August 2005. Retrieved 5 July 2005. 
  4. ^ "Neurotica". Landesmania. Archived from the original on 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  5. ^ Chapter 10: Battling the Social Neurosis. The Culture of Spontaneity (University of Chicago Press). Retrieved 2009-03-20. 
  6. ^ Araki, Hirohiko (4 March 1999). JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo. Shueisha. p. Volume 62, Chapter 3. 

External links[edit]