Betty (Helmet album)

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Studio album by
ReleasedJune 21, 1994
Recorded1993–1994 at Soundtrack, Power Station, and Sound on Sound, New York
ProducerT-Ray, Butch Vig, Helmet
Helmet chronology
Singles from Betty
  1. "Milquetoast"
    Released: 1994
  2. "Biscuits for Smut"
    Released: 1994
  3. "Wilma's Rainbow"
    Released: 1994

Betty is the third album by American rock band Helmet, released in 1994 on Interscope. It is Helmet's highest charting album in the U.S.

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 New York hardcore band Rest in Pieces) replaced Peter Mengede on guitar. 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. Frontman Page 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."[4] Helmet's sonic trademarks of crunching riffs and pounding drums still define the album. Betty, along with Meantime and Aftertaste, are considered definitive influences in post-metal.[5]

Recording and production[edit]

Helmet entered the studio in the fall of 1993 with producer T-Ray 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 City.

Release and reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic3/5 stars[6]
NME4/5 stars[7]
Rolling Stone4/5 stars[8]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide3.5/5 stars[9]

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.

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Page Hamilton, except where noted.

1."Wilma's Rainbow" 3:54
2."I Know" 3:40
3."Biscuits for Smut" 2:53
4."Milquetoast" 3:53
5."Tic" 3:40
6."Rollo"Bogdan, Hamilton2:38
7."Street Crab" 3:31
8."Clean" 2:26
9."Vaccination" 3:04
10."Beautiful Love" (instrumental)Haven Gillespie, Wayne King, Victor Young, Egbert Van Alstyne2:02
11."Speechless" 2:59
12."The Silver Hawaiian"Bogdan, Hamilton2:08
13."Overrated" 2:36
14."Sam Hell" 2:09
Total length:41:43
Japanese bonus track
Total length:43:59
Limited edition bonus CD; recorded July 30, 1994
1."Sinatra" (live)4:46
2."FBLA II" (live)3:29
3."Tic" (live)4:04
4."Just Another Victim" (live)2:19
5."In the Meantime" (live)3:39
2010 digital reissue bonus tracks
18."Biscuits for Smut" (Mutt Mix)3:07
19."Biscuits for Smut" (Pooch Mix)3:37

Amphetamine Reptile track listing[edit]

Side A
1."Wilma's Rainbow"3:54
2."I Know"3:40
3."Biscuits for Smut"2:53
Side B
3."Street Crab"3:31
Side C
4."Beautiful Love"2:02
Side D
3."The Silver Hawaiian"2:08

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".

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.)

In 2010, a 19-track digital only reissue of Betty was released. It included the bonus tracks: "Flushings", "Thick", "Pariah", "Biscuits for Smut (Mutt Mix)" and "Biscuits for Smut (Pooch Mix)".

Chart performance[edit]


Credits taken from the CD liner notes.



  • Helmet – production, all songs except "Milquetoast"
  • T-Ray – production, all songs except "Milquetoast"
  • Butch Vig – production, "Milquetoast"
  • Anton Pukshansky – engineering, all songs except "Milquetoast"
  • Martin Bisi – engineering, all songs except "Milquetoast"
  • John Siket – engineering, "Milquetoast"
  • Chris Curran, Anthony Gillis, Joe Hogan, Rich Piszker, Chris Albert – assistants
  • Andy Wallace – mixing
  • Howie Weinberg – mastering


  1. ^ Bienstock, Richard (February 17, 2015). "Helmet's Page Hamilton Breaks Down 'Betty' Track by Track". Rolling Stone. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  2. ^ Hill, Stephen (February 19, 2019). "10 essential alt-metal albums". Metal Hammer. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  3. ^ Ford, Chris (November 20, 2014). "Throwback Thursday: And Now, Ladies And Gentlemen, Helmet". Retrieved February 28, 2016.
  4. ^ Vice, Jeff (July 4, 1997). "Helmet's riff-heavy, smart sound hits S.L." Deseret News. Retrieved February 20, 2013.
  5. ^ "HELMET Rediscovery". X-Press Online. March 28, 2007. Archived from the original on August 31, 2007. Retrieved March 31, 2007. 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.
  6. ^ Franck, John. "Betty - Helmet | Songs, Reviews, Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  7. ^ 6/25/94, p.41
  8. ^ Wiederhorn, Jon (October 6, 1994). "Album Reviews - Helmet: Betty". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 20, 2009. Retrieved December 3, 2019.
  9. ^ Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian (2004). "Helmet". The New Rolling Stone Album Guide. Simon & Schuster. pp. 374. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.
  10. ^ "Helmet - Betty". Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  11. ^ "Helmet - Betty". Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  12. ^ a b "Helmet - Betty". Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  13. ^ "Helmet - Betty". Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  14. ^ "Official Charts Company". Retrieved August 6, 2009., UK charts page for Helmet
  15. ^ "Helmet album charts [albums]". Billboard. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  16. ^ "Helmet - Betty". Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  17. ^ "Helmet;– Billboard Singles". Retrieved August 5, 2009.

External links[edit]