Album review: ADRIAN BELEW – Mr Music Head/Inner Revolution

BGO Records [Release date 26.10.18]

Adrian Belew is a well respected guitarists having worked with the likes of Frank Zappa, Talking Heads, King Crimson and David Bowie amongst others. Even today he is forging ahead in music with his FLUX guitar effects system and his Power Trio who continue to perform regularly.

These two albums from Belew have been re-issued by BGO Records, adding extensive inlay notes by Charles Waring (MOJO/Record Collector) and digitally remastered. ‘Mr Music Head’ (***) was originally released in 1989, making the Billboard albums chart at no.114, plus ‘Oh Daddy’ was a hit single and featured his then eleven year old daughter on the song.

Overall it has a DIY studio feel with lots of special effects and sounds, none more so than on ‘Peaceable Kingdom’ and ‘Hot Zoo’. the aforementioned ‘Oh Daddy’ is a decent pop tune and ‘House Of Cards’ has an air of Talking Heads about it. The Beatles like ’1967′ is another stand out. It is a proper solo album as Adrian Belew sang and played all the instruments bar Mike Barnett adding string bass to two songs.

The other album on this double set is 1992′s ‘Inner Revolution’ (***1/2), where Belew is aided by a drummer (Chris Arduser), a string quartet and returning bassist Mike Barnett. A very melodic album, at times having the hi-tech AOR sound of Yes around their ‘Big Generator’ album, be it on ‘Only A Dream’ or the title track. The Beatles meets ELO on ‘Big Blue Sun’ is a divine piece of pop rock, showing he has a good ear for melody. ‘I’d Rather Be Right Here’ could easily sit nicely on a Travelling Wilburys album, a song with an sing-a-long chorus and a 60′s pop vibe.

The guitar effects and playing are highlighted on ‘Birds’, however this album has its focus on short, melodic based songs – only one clocks in at over four minutes.

A good re-issue package by BGO and whilst neither album is a ‘must have’, both contain enough music to warrant further investigation and listening.

Review by Jason Ritchie

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