Building the Perfect Beast
|Building the Perfect Beast|
|Studio album by Don Henley|
|Released||November 19, 1984|
|Studio||Record One, Sherman Oaks, Los Angeles; Bill Schnee Studio, Universal City, C.A.; The Villa, North Hollywood, Los Angeles|
|Genre||Rock, pop rock, soft rock|
|Length||47:08 (CD and Cassette version)|
|Don Henley chronology|
Building the Perfect Beast is the second studio solo album by Don Henley, the lead vocalist and drummer for the Eagles. The album was released on 19 November 1984 on the Geffen label. A commercial and critical success, it is generally regarded as the culmination of the smoother, more adult-oriented sound of Henley's solo work.
For the album, Henley collaborated with members of the then line-up of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, who contributed to the writing of the songs: guitarist Mike Campbell, keyboardist Benmont Tench and drummer Stan Lynch, the last of which would later collaborate with Henley in composing the Eagles' song "Learn to Be Still", which was released on their live album Hell Freezes Over. The album also features contributions from Fleetwood Mac's guitarist, Lindsey Buckingham, The Go-Go's lead vocalist Belinda Carlisle, and features contributions from Randy Newman, Jim Keltner, Waddy Wachtel, Pino Palladino, Steve Porcaro, and Ian Wallace.
The album reached #13 on the Billboard 200 and was certified 3x Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The album spawned four singles which all reached the top forty on the Billboard Hot 100, including "The Boys of Summer", which would become one of Henley's most popular songs and win him numerous awards, including a Grammy Award and four MTV Video Music Awards.
In 1989, the album was ranked No. 73 on the Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "The 100 Greatest Albums of the 1980s".
The album has consistently been praised by rock critics. Reviewing the album in Rolling Stone, Kurt Loder wrote that Building the Perfect Beast is a meticulously crafted and programmed set of songs about love and politics. The first side is given to personal reflections on love and loss, such as the wistful, gorgeous "Boys of Summer." Side two is more issue-oriented, tackling subjects from genetic engineering ("Building the Perfect Beast") to America's reckless foreign policy ("All She Wants to Do Is Dance"). The album's longest and most ambitious piece, "Sunset Grill," describes in disturbingly vivid images a character's sense of entrapment in an evil, convulsive metropolis: "You see a lot more meanness in the city/It's the kind that eats you up inside/Hard to come away with anything that feels like dignity."
Reviewing for AllMusic, critic Vik Iyengar has written of the album, "After experimenting with synthesizers and a pop sound on his solo debut, Don Henley hits the mark on his sophomore release, Building the Perfect Beast. This album established Henley as an artist in his own right after many successful years with the Eagles, as it spawned numerous hits."
Reviewers for iTunes have praised the track "Sunset Grill" as "the greatest track," and written of the album, "Listening to Building the Perfect Beast, a newcomer to Don Henley's work might never have imagined that, as part of the Eagles, he'd been a key player in making country-rock a part of the mainstream." They also added that "Henley made a "Hotel California" for the whole country, but still rooted in LA. In an era of great radio pop, it was a standout among standouts."
The original mix of the album was reissued in Japan in a replica of the original Compact disc art work. The album was remastered, for this reissue using Direct Stream Digital (DSD) to transfer the digital files. The release was a limited edition in the SHM-CD format.
|1.||"The Boys of Summer" (Don Henley, Mike Campbell)||4:45|
|2.||"You Can't Make Love" (Henley, Danny Kortchmar)||3:34|
|3.||"Man With a Mission" (Henley, Kortchmar, J. D. Souther)||2:43|
|4.||"You're Not Drinking Enough" (Kortchmar)||4:40|
|5.||"Not Enough Love in the World" (Henley, Kortchmar, Benmont Tench)||3:54|
|6.||"Building the Perfect Beast" (Henley, Kortchmar)||4:59|
|7.||"All She Wants to Do Is Dance" (Kortchmar)||4:28|
|8.||"Sunset Grill" (Henley, Kortchmar, Tench)||6:22|
|9.||"Drivin' With Your Eyes Closed" (Henley, Kortchmar, Stan Lynch)||3:41|
|10.||"Land of the Living" (Henley, Kortchmar)||3:24|
Note: "A Month of Sundays" appeared on the cassette and compact disc versions of the album, but was not included on the LP format. On vinyl it was released as the B-side of the single "The Boys of Summer."
- Don Henley – lead vocals, percussion, drums, keyboards, chant, harmony vocals
- Danny "Kootch" Kortchmar – organ, synthesizer, bass, guitar, percussion, keyboards, synthesizer guitar, chant, omnichord
- Additional musicians
- Lindsey Buckingham – guitar, backing vocals, harmony vocals
- Mike Campbell – synthesizer, guitar, percussion
- Charlie Sexton – guitar
- Tim Drummond – bass guitar
- Pino Palladino – bass guitar
- Larry Klein – bass guitar
- Jim Keltner – drums
- Ian Wallace – drums
- Kevin McCormick – African drums
- Randy Newman – synthesizer
- David Paich – synthesizer, piano, keyboards
- Steve Porcaro – synthesizer
- Benmont Tench – synthesizer, piano, keyboards
- Albhy Galuten – synthesizer, Synclavier
- Michael Boddicker – synthesizer
- Bill Cuomo – synthesizer, percussion
- Jerry Hey – horns
- Belinda Carlisle – backing vocals, harmony vocals
- Michael O'Donahue – backing vocals, chant
- Patty Smyth – backing vocals, chant, harmony vocals
- Waddy Wachtel – backing vocals, chant
- J. D. Souther – backing vocals, chant
- Martha Davis – backing vocals, chant, harmony vocals
- Marie-Pascale Elfman – backing vocals, ensemble
- Carla Olson – backing vocals, chant
- Dominique Mancinelli – backing vocals, ensemble
- Sam Moore – harmony vocals
- Don Henley – producer
- Mike Campbell – producer
- Danny Kortchmar – producer
- Greg Ladanyi – producer
- Greg Ladanyi – engineer, mixing
- Niko Bolas – engineer
- Richard Bosworth – engineer
- Tom Knox – engineer
- Allen Sides – engineer
- Richard Bosworth – assistant engineer
- Mark Ettel – assistant engineer
- Dan Garcia – assistant engineer
- David Schober – assistant engineer
- Duane Seykora – assistant engineer
- Niko Bolas – mixing
- Mike Reese – mastering
- Doug Sax – mastering
- Michael Boddicker – programming, sequencing, synthesizer arrangements, E-mu Emulator
- Steve Porcaro – programming
- Bill Cuomo – percussion programming
- Danny Kortchmar – synthesizer arrangements, Percussion arrangement
- Don Henley – synthesizer arrangements
- Randy Newman – synthesizer arrangements
- David Paich – synthesizer arrangements
- Benmont Tench – synthesizer arrangements
- Jerry Hey – horn arrangements
- Album artwork
|Australian Albums (ARIA)||4|
|Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)||23|
|New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)||18|
|Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)||15|
|Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)||24|
|UK Albums (OCC)||14|
|US Billboard 200||13|
|1984||"Sunset Grill"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||7|
|1984||"The Boys of Summer"||Adult Contemporary||33|
|1984||"The Boys of Summer"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1984||"The Boys of Summer"||The Billboard Hot 100||5|
|1985||"All She Wants to Do Is Dance"||Hot Dance Music/Club Play||10|
|1985||"All She Wants to Do Is Dance"||Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales||34|
|1985||"All She Wants to Do Is Dance"||Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks||65|
|1985||"All She Wants to Do Is Dance"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||1|
|1985||"All She Wants to Do Is Dance"||The Billboard Hot 100||9|
|1985||"Drivin' With Your Eyes Closed"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||9|
|1985||"Not Enough Love in the World"||Adult Contemporary||6|
|1985||"Not Enough Love in the World"||Mainstream Rock Tracks||17|
|1985||"Not Enough Love in the World"||The Billboard Hot 100||34|
|1985||"Sunset Grill"||Adult Contemporary||18|
|1985||"Sunset Grill"||The Billboard Hot 100||22|
|United States (RIAA)||3x Platinum||3,000,000^|
*sales figures based on certification alone
|1985||"The Boys of Summer"||Best Male Rock Vocal Performance|
- Building the Perfect Beast at AllMusic
- Don Henley, Building the Perfect Beast
- Robert Christgau
- Building the Perfect Beast
- "Don Henley Awards". allmusic.com. AllMusic. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
- "American album certifications – Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast". Recording Industry Association of America. If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH
- Don Henley: Building the Perfect Beast, retrieved 21 June 2014
- Building the Perfect Beast, retrieved 21 June 2014
- Building the Perfect Beast, retrieved 21 June 2014
- Giuranna Don Henley, Building the Perfect Beast the High Fidelity SCHCD Check
|url=scheme (help), retrieved 21 June 2014
- "Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast". Australiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 21, 2014.
- "Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast" (in Dutch). Dutchcharts.nl. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast". Charts.org.nz. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast". Norwegiancharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Don Henley – Building the Perfect Beast". Swedishcharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "1985-03-16 Top 40 UK Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Don Henley – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Don Henley. Retrieved October 18, 2012.