Adrian Belew

Adrian Belew

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Adrian Belew is an American guitarist
Guitarist
A guitarist is a musician who plays the guitar. Guitarists may play a variety of instruments such as classical guitars, acoustic guitars, electric guitars, and bass guitars. Some guitarists accompany themselves on the guitar while singing.- Versatility :The guitarist controls an extremely...

, singer, songwriter
Songwriter
A songwriter is an individual who writes both the lyrics and music to a song. Someone who solely writes lyrics may be called a lyricist, and someone who only writes music may be called a composer...

, multi-instrumentalist
Multi-instrumentalist
A multi-instrumentalist is a musician who plays a number of different instruments.The Bachelor of Music degree usually requires a second instrument to be learned , but people who double on another instrument are not usually seen as multi-instrumentalists.-Classical music:Music written for Symphony...

 and record producer
Record producer
A record producer is an individual working within the music industry, whose job is to oversee and manage the recording of an artist's music...

. He is perhaps best known for his work as a member of the progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 group King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

 (which he has fronted since 1981) and for his unusual impressionistic approach to guitar playing (involving arresting, yet frequently melodic sounds more akin to animals and machines than to standard instrumental tones).

Widely recognized as an "incredibly versatile player", Belew has released nearly twenty solo albums for Island Records
Island Records
Island Records is a record label that was founded by Chris Blackwell in Jamaica. It was based in the United Kingdom for many years and is now owned by Universal Music Group...

 and Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records
Atlantic Records is an American record label best known for its many recordings of rhythm and blues, rock and roll, and jazz...

 which blend Beatles-inspired pop-rock with more experimental fare. His 2005 single "Beat Box Guitar" was nominated for a Grammy
Grammy Award
A Grammy Award — or Grammy — is an accolade by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States to recognize outstanding achievement in the music industry...

 in the Best Rock Instrumental Performance
Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance
The Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance was an honor presented to recording artists for quality instrumental rock performances at the Grammy Awards, a ceremony that was established in 1958 and originally called the Gramophone Awards...

 category. In addition to being a member of King Crimson, he is also in the more straightforward pop band The Bears
The Bears (band)
The Bears is an American power pop band formed in 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It features the distinctive avant-garde guitar playing of Adrian Belew, the band's most prominent member....

 and fronted his own band, "Gaga", in the late 1970s and early 1980s. He has worked extensively as a session
Session musician
Session musicians are instrumental and vocal performers, musicians, who are available to work with others at live performances or recording sessions. Usually such musicians are not permanent members of a musical ensemble and often do not achieve fame in their own right as soloists or bandleaders...

 and touring musician, most famously with Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

, David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

, Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

, and Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

.

Belew has recently moved into instrument design, collaborating with Parker Guitars to help design his own Parker Fly
Parker Fly
The Parker Fly is a type of electric guitar built by Parker Guitars. It was designed by Ken Parker and Larry Fishman, and first produced in 1993. The Fly is unique among electric guitars in the way it uses composite materials. It is notable for its light weight and resonance...

 signature guitar. This guitar is noticeably different from the standard design, containing advanced electronics such as a sustainer pickup and a Line 6 Variax guitar modelling system. It is also MIDI-capable, allowing it to be used with any synthesizer
Synthesizer
A synthesizer is an electronic instrument capable of producing sounds by generating electrical signals of different frequencies. These electrical signals are played through a loudspeaker or set of headphones...

 with MIDI connectivity.

Early life and musical development


Born to a middle-class family - and initially known to friends and classmates as "Steve Belew" - Adrian Belew played drums in his teen years (playing with the Ludlow High School marching band) and later with the high-school covers band The Denems. Inspired by Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

, he took up guitar when he was bedridden for several months with mononucleosis
Infectious mononucleosis
Infectious mononucleosis is an infectious, widespread viral...

. Not inclined to formal music study, Belew was nonetheless a quick developer and rapidly became a high-school guitar hero. Mostly teaching himself by listening to records, he was ignorant of the studio trickery and sound manipulation used to create particular guitar lines, and so found ways of replicating them himself manually using unusual playing techniques and a growing interest in effects and treatments.

As he matured as a player and mastered various playing styles, Belew became increasingly preoccupied with finding his own sound rather than "sounding like everybody else". He eventually found his own style by learning how to make his guitar mimic sound effects (such as car horns, animal noises, or industrial sound) and then applying those sounds to relatively standard songs. (While Belew is frequently tagged as an "experimental" guitarist, he has a firm attachment to the traditional song which is rare among such musicians).

In the mid-1970s (and having now formally changed his first name to "Adrian", a name he had always liked and wanted to use), Belew moved to Nashville to pursue a full-time career as a professional musician. By 1977, he was playing with the regionally-popular cover band
Cover band
A cover band , is a band that plays mostly or exclusively cover songs. New or unknown bands often find the cover band format marketable for smaller gigs, and these bands may be known as a wedding band, party band and function band. A band whose covers consist mainly of songs that were chart hits is...

 Sweetheart, but wondering whether (at age 27) he had missed his chance to make a living with original music.

Work with Frank Zappa (1977-1978)


In 1977, while playing at a Sweetheart gig in Nashville, Belew was discovered by Frank Zappa
Frank Zappa
Frank Vincent Zappa was an American composer, singer-songwriter, electric guitarist, record producer and film director. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa wrote rock, jazz, orchestral and musique concrète works. He also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed...

, who had been tipped off regarding the band's talents by his chauffeur. Zappa approached Belew and discussed auditioning him for an upcoming tour, although he did not make good on this offer for the best part of a year, during which time Sweetheart split up. Once the formal invitation came, Belew flew out to Los Angeles and found himself auditioning alongside more formally-trained musicians. Believing that he'd messed up his first audition, Belew persuaded Zappa to give him a second one. Zappa was impressed enough to hire Belew on a handshake deal for a year.

Belew toured with the Zappa band and appeared on Zappa's 1979 album Sheik Yerbouti
Sheik Yerbouti
Sheik Yerbouti is a double vinyl album by Frank Zappa made up of material recorded in 1977 and 1978. It was first released on March 3 1979 as the first release on Zappa Records and re-issued on compact disc, first in unauthorized form by EMI in 1986 and then by Rykodisc in 1990 and then again in 1995...

- most notably performing a Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is an American singer-songwriter, musician, poet, film director and painter. He has been a major and profoundly influential figure in popular music and culture for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s when he was an informal chronicler and a seemingly...

 impersonation on the song "Flakes". He also appeared in Zappa's 1979 concert film
Concert film
A concert movie, or concert film, is a type of documentary film, the subject of which is an extended live performance or concert by a musician ....

 Baby Snakes
Baby Snakes
Baby Snakes is a movie which includes footage from Frank Zappa's 1977 Halloween concert at New York City's Palladium Theater, backstage antics from the crew, and stop motion clay animation from award-winning animator Bruce Bickford....

. While with Zappa, Belew was mostly credited as rhythm guitarist although he also played lead, melody or noise lines as well as singing lead on a couple of songs ("Jones Crusher" and "City of Tiny Lights"). Belew has described his year in Zappa's band as a "crash course" in music theory
Music theory
Music theory is the study of how music works. It examines the language and notation of music. It seeks to identify patterns and structures in composers' techniques across or within genres, styles, or historical periods...

 due to Zappa's rigorous rehearsals and often technically demanding music, and has commented "I went to the Frank Zappa School of Rock."

Work with David Bowie (1979)


After seeing a Zappa concert, art-rock star David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

 offered to hire Belew once the Zappa tour was finished. Belew then played on Bowie's "Heroes" tour in 1978, recorded for the double live album Stage, and contributed to Bowie's next album, Lodger
Lodger (album)
Lodger is an album by British singer-songwriter David Bowie, released in 1979. The last of the 'Berlin Trilogy' recorded in collaboration with Brian Eno , it was more accessible than its immediate predecessors Low and "Heroes", having no instrumentals and being somewhat lighter and more pop-oriented...

. Twelve years later, he would return to working with Bowie, acting as musical director on the 1990 Sound+Vision Tour, while also playing guitar and singing.

Talking Heads, GaGa and The Tom Tom Club (1979-1982)


By now a frequent visitor to New York City, Belew became friends with the up-and-coming new wave/art-rock band Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

. Invited to join the band onstage for performances of their signature song "Psycho Killer", Belew impressed them with his wild and unorthodox guitar soloing and became an occasional guest performer at live concerts. Around this time, Belew also met King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

 guitarist Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 on Gibson.com’s "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique...

 at a Steve Reich
Steve Reich
Stephen Michael "Steve" Reich is an American composer who together with La Monte Young, Terry Riley, and Philip Glass is a pioneering composer of minimal music...

 concert.

In 1980, Belew formed a new band, GaGa (based in his then-current hometown of Springfield, Illinois) for which he served as the singer, guitarist and primary songwriter (as well as, via backing tapes, the drummer). In July of that year, GaGa was invited to open several New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

-area concerts for Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 on Gibson.com’s "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique...

's band The League of Gentlemen
League of Gentlemen (band)
The League of Gentlemen was a band active during March–December 1980 that featured guitarist Robert Fripp of King Crimson fame. Other members included bass guitarist Sara Lee , keyboardist Barry Andrews and percussionist Johnny Toobad, replaced late in the band's tenure by Kevin Wilkinson...

.

At the same time, Belew had been tapped by both Talking Heads and their producer Brian Eno
Brian Eno
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno , commonly known as Brian Eno or simply as Eno , is an English musician, composer, record producer, singer and visual artist, known as one of the principal innovators of ambient music.Eno studied at Colchester Institute art school in Essex,...

 to add guitar solos to several tracks on their new album Melody Attack (eventually renamed Remain in Light
Remain in Light
Remain in Light is the fourth studio album by American New Wave band Talking Heads, released on 8 October 1980 on Sire Records. It was recorded at locations in the Bahamas and the United States between July and August 1980 and was produced by the quartet's long-time collaborator...

). Belew was subsequently added to the expanded nine-piece Talking Heads live band for the subsequent tours in late 1980 and early 1981. These concerts were documented in the DVD Live in Roma and in the second half of the band's 1982 live album The Name of This Band is Talking Heads
The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads
The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads is a double live album by Talking Heads, originally released in 1982. The first album featured the original quartet in recordings from 1977 and 1979, and the second album the expanded ten-piece lineup that toured in 1980 and 1981...

. Belew's involvement with Talking Heads extended to playing on the band's spin-off projects - he played on keyboard player /guitarist Jerry Harrison
Jerry Harrison
Jerry Harrison is an American songwriter, musician and producer...

's debut album The Red and the Black
The Red and the Black (album)
The Red and the Black was the first solo album by Jerry Harrison, formerly of The Modern Lovers and Talking Heads.The album has been remastered and is available via download at Amazon MP3 and iTunes.-Track listing:...

and on several tracks on David Byrne
David Byrne (musician)
David Byrne is a musician and artist, best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography,...

's soundtrack to the Twyla Tharp
Twyla Tharp
Twyla Tharp is an American dancer and choreographer, who lives and works in New York City.-Early years:Tharp was born in 1941 on a farm in Portland, Indiana, and was named after Twila Thornburg, the "Pig Princess" of the 89th Annual Muncie Fair in Indiana.she spend hours working on it to help her...

 dance piece The Catherine Wheel
The Catherine Wheel (album)
The Catherine Wheel is David Byrne's musical score commissioned by Twyla Tharp for her dance project. The Catherine Wheel premiered September 22, 1981, at the Winter Garden Theatre in New York City....

(with his guitar noises credited, amongst other things, as "beasts").

At the time, the internal relationships in Talking Heads were particularly strained. The band's rhythm section, Tina Weymouth
Tina Weymouth
Martina Michèle "Tina" Weymouth is an American musician, best known as a founding member and bassist of the New Wave group Talking Heads and its side project Tom Tom Club .-Profile:Weymouth is of French heritage on her mother's side. Weymouth was a cheerleader in high school...

 and Chris Frantz
Chris Frantz
Chris Frantz is an American musician and record producer. He was the drummer for both Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club.-Career:...

, covertly approached Belew with the suggestion that he should replace Byrne as the band's frontman - an offer which Belew politely turned down. He did however go on to work with Weymouth and Frantz on their own spin-off project, Tom Tom Club
Tom Tom Club
Tom Tom Club is an American new wave band founded in 1981 by husband-and-wife team Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, both also known for being bandmembers of Talking Heads.-Biography:...

. Joining them for recordings in Compass Point, Nassau, Belew played rhythm guitar on the sessions for the band's debut album as well as adding his trademark processed solos (and even performing the entire instrumentation for the track "L'Elephant").

Unfortunately, Belew's experience with Tom Tom Club was less harmonious than his previous work with Talking Heads. Tom Tom Club's recording engineer, Steven Stanley
Steven Stanley
Steven J. C. Stanley , is a Jamaican audio engineer, record producer and keyboardist who has worked in the reggae, dub and rock music genres since 1975, most notably with Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club and Black Uhuru....

, was vocal about his dislike of distorted guitar and erased the majority of Belew's solos during the mixing sessions. Worse was to follow when Belew queried Weymouth about songwriting credits, having co-written several of the album's songs in addition to his playing. He was apparently blanked, with Weymouth no longer returning his phone calls. Belew did not play live with Tom Tom Club or contribute to any further sessions. Recalling the situation when interviewed twenty years later, he claimed that he had opted to pursue other work rather than involve himself in legal or personal struggles with Weymouth and Frantz; and that he had chosen not to let it bother him, as several other more promising projects were happening for him at the same time.

Beginning of solo career (1981)


By now Belew's rising profile had gained him a solo record contract with Island Records. During the record of the debut Tom Tom Club album, members of Gaga had joined Belew in Compass Point and backed him on a set of parallel sessions which would result in Belew's first solo album Lone Rhino
Lone Rhino
Lone Rhino is the first solo-career album by the artist Adrian Belew following years of playing in groups such as Talking Heads and as the new lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of King Crimson .- Track listing :-Contributors:...

(released in 1982). The album provided a home for various Gaga songs and blended various elements of Belew's work over the past decade, including snappy and noisy Zappa/Byrne-influenced songs, dabblings in world music, opportunities for animal/mechanical sounds on guitar, and sonic experiments reminiscent of Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

 or The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

. It also included an instrumental duet between Belew and his four-year-old daughter Audie (the latter improvising on acoustic piano, with Belew adding a processed guitar counterpoint).

King Crimson (1981-present)


Adrian Belew has been the singer, guitarist and frontman (as well as occasional drummer) in King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

 since 1981, and has maintained the position ever since despite several splits or hiatuses in group activity (and despite a very brief period in the early 1990s during which group leader Fripp
Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 on Gibson.com’s "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique...

 unsuccessfully invited singer David Sylvian
David Sylvian
David Sylvian is an English singer-songwriter and musician who came to prominence in the late 1970s as the lead vocalist and main songwriter in the group Japan...

 to front a possible new version of the band).

Belew's involvement with the band began while he was still involved with Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

, Having been impressed by Belew's work with Gaga and David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

, Fripp
Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 on Gibson.com’s "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique...

 asked Belew to join his new four-piece band (at that time called Discipline) as singer and second guitarist. At the time Belew was busy not just with Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

 but also with the imminent Tom Tom Club
Tom Tom Club
Tom Tom Club is an American new wave band founded in 1981 by husband-and-wife team Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, both also known for being bandmembers of Talking Heads.-Biography:...

 sessions and the recording of his debut solo album. However, he was realising that Talking Heads' internal politics would eventually either sideline or obstruct him (coupled with the fact that the band looked as if it would be on hiatus for a while). Belew opted to uncouple himself from Talking Heads and join Fripp, with whom he would have more opportunities to develop and express himself. One of his conditions for joining the new band was that he would be allowed time to continue and develop his new solo career, to which Fripp agreed.

The Discipline lineup was completed by the former King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

 drummer Bill Bruford
Bill Bruford
William Scott "Bill" Bruford is an English drummer, percussionist, composer, producer, and record label owner. He was the original drummer for the progressive rock group Yes, from 1968-1972. Bruford has performed for numerous popular acts since the early 1970s, including a stint as touring...

 and the New York session ace Tony Levin
Tony Levin
Tony Levin is an American progressive rock musician, specializing in bass guitar, Chapman stick and upright bass ....

 on bass guitar
Bass guitar
The bass guitar is a stringed instrument played primarily with the fingers or thumb , or by using a pick....

 and Chapman Stick
Chapman Stick
The Chapman Stick is an electric musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970s. A member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick usually has ten or twelve individually tuned strings and has been used on music recordings to play bass lines, melody lines, chords or textures...

. During initial touring, the members of the band discussed the possibility of renaming themselves King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

. This had not been the original intention for the band, but all members generally agreed that this would be both appropriate and useful. This made Belew the first guitarist to formally play alongside Fripp within King Crimson on an equal footing (although both Ian McDonald
Ian McDonald (musician)
Ian McDonald is an English multi-instrumental musician, best known as a founding member of progressive rock group King Crimson, formed in 1969, and of the hard rock band Foreigner in 1976. He is well-known as a rock session musician, predominantly as a saxophonist...

 and John Wetton
John Wetton
John Kenneth Wetton is an English bassist, guitarist, keyboardist, singer and songwriter. He was born in Willington, Derbyshire, and grew up in Bournemouth. He has been a professional musician since the late 1960s...

 had very occasionally contributed extra guitar to previous King Crimson recordings). He was also the first King Crimson singer to write all of his own lyrics.

The renamed band released and toured the well-received Discipline album later in 1981, bringing Belew further notoriety and acclaim. The follow-up, 1982's Beat
Beat (King Crimson album)
Beat is an album by the British rock band King Crimson, released in 1982.Of King Crimson's thirteen studio albums, this is the only album that does not have a title track, although its title is included in the name of the song "Heartbeat"....

, proved harder to record. Finding himself responsible for the bulk of the band's songwriting and dealing with the extra pressures of being the frontman in a high-level group, Belew squabbled with Fripp over group approach and sound. Disagreements were mostly resolved and the band continued to find success as a live act. However, 1984's Three of a Perfect Pair
Three of a Perfect Pair
Three of a Perfect Pair is an album by the band King Crimson, released in 1984. The album is the culmination of the band's 80s period and is a balance between the experimental sounds of the "Red" album, Discipline, and the accessibility of the "Blue" album, Beat. Robert Fripp and Adrian Belew took...

proved tortuous to write, and although King Crimson eventually created another successful album (including some Belew experiments with fretless guitar
Fretless guitar
A fretless guitar is a guitar without frets. It operates in the same manner as most other stringed instruments and traditional guitars, but does not have any frets to act as the lower end point of the vibrating string...

), Fripp opted to split the band in 1984. The live album Absent Lovers: Live in Montreal
Absent Lovers: Live in Montreal
Absent Lovers: Live in Montreal is a live album by the band King Crimson, recorded July 11, 1984 and released in 1998. This was taken from the final night of their 1984 tour and would subsequently be King Crimson's last performance until the THRAK warm-up shows in Argentina ten years later.-Track...

(released in 1998) captured the band in full force on their last gig.

Despite the disagreements of the time, the members of the 1981-1984 King Crimson maintained enough camaraderie and mutual respect to reunite in 1994 (adding second drummer Pat Mastellotto and Warr Guitar
Warr guitar
Warr Guitars is a company that manufactures the Warr Guitar, a guitar like musical instrument developed by the company's founder, Mark Warr.-Description:The Warr Guitar resembles a standard electric guitar, albeit with a very low action and more strings...

ist Trey Gunn
Trey Gunn
Trey Gunn is an American musician, known for his membership in progressive rock band King Crimson from 1994 to 2003, playing Warr Guitar and Chapman Stick.-Biography:...

) with Belew continuing as the band's singer, guitarist and frontman. The six-piece King Crimson toured successfully and lasted until 1997, releasing the THRAK
THRAK
THRAK is an album by the band King Crimson released in 1995, the successor to the preceding mini-album Vrooom . This album was recorded in the "double trio" format of King Crimson.-Track listing:...

album and several live recordings. Belew remained in the slimmed down quartet version of King Crimson (minus Bruford and Levin) which played and recorded between 2000 and 2004, releasing The ConstruKction of Light
The ConstruKction of Light
The ConstruKction of Light is an album by the band King Crimson, released in 2000. It has the distinction of being the first studio album to be released by King Crimson without Bill Bruford on drums since prior to the release of Lark's Tongues in Aspic . It also in notable for the absence of Tony...

and The Power to Believe
The Power to Believe
The Power to Believe is an album by the band King Crimson released in 2003, a companion to the preceding mini-album Happy With What You Have to Be Happy With ....

(in additional to several live albums and EPs). After a four-year hiatus, the band returned to active work in 2008 as a five-piece (with the addition of Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree is a progressive rock band formed by Steven Wilson in 1987 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. Their music is difficult to categorise, being associated with both psychedelic rock and progressive rock, yet having been influenced by trance, krautrock and ambient due to Steven...

 drummer Gavin Harrison
Gavin Harrison
Gavin Harrison is a British drummer and percussionist. He is best known for playing with the British progressive rock band Porcupine Tree which he joined in 2002. As of 2008, he also plays with the band King Crimson....

, and Levin returning to replace Gunn).

From 1997 until the present day, Belew has participated in several of the ProjeKcts
ProjeKcts
The ProjeKcts are a succession of spin-off projects associated with the band King Crimson.Devoted to instrumental and heavily improvised music, the ProjeKcts were most active from 1997 to 1999, but have performed intermittently since...

, a series of instrumental and experimental King Crimson side projects active during band hiatuses, in which he has predominantly played electronic drums.

King Crimson has used Belew's studio at his home outside Mount Juliet, Tennessee, for rehearsals and recording since 2000.

Solo career, part two (1983-1986)


Following the release of his first solo album Lone Rhino
Lone Rhino
Lone Rhino is the first solo-career album by the artist Adrian Belew following years of playing in groups such as Talking Heads and as the new lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of King Crimson .- Track listing :-Contributors:...

in 1982, Belew recorded a 1983 follow-up called Twang Bar King
Twang Bar King
Twang Bar King is the second solo album by Adrian Belew, released in 1983.-Track listing:All songs written and arranged by Adrian Belew except “I’m Down” written and arranged by John Lennon, Paul McCartney# "I'm Down" – 2:54# "I Wonder" – 4:39...

which once again featured Gaga as backing band (now augmented by former Elvis Presley
Elvis Presley
Elvis Aaron Presley was one of the most popular American singers of the 20th century. A cultural icon, he is widely known by the single name Elvis. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King"....

 drummer Larry Londin).

His next solo album was recorded in 1986, and was an experimental all-instrumental album of processed guitar, guitar synthesizer and percussion called Desire Caught By the Tail. Belew has subsequently claimed that the record cost him his contract with Island Records due to its highly uncommercial nature.

From 1986 to 1989, Belew's solo career would be on hold while he concentrated on The Bears
The Bears (band)
The Bears is an American power pop band formed in 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It features the distinctive avant-garde guitar playing of Adrian Belew, the band's most prominent member....

.

The Bears (1985-1989, 1997-present)


Following King Crimson's breakup/entry into hiatus in 1984, Belew formed the pop band The Bears
The Bears (band)
The Bears is an American power pop band formed in 1985 in Cincinnati, Ohio. It features the distinctive avant-garde guitar playing of Adrian Belew, the band's most prominent member....

 with fellow guitarist and singer Rob Fetters, drummer Chris Arduser and bass guitarist Bob Nyswonger. All three were close friends of Belew's whom he'd met during his Sweetheart days in the mid-1970s, and were also ex-members of The Raisins (a Cincinnati-based band that had some local success in the early 1980s and had had an album produced by Belew).

As a band, The Bears was a conscious attempt to create a more unified and collective group, with Belew and Fetters sharing frontman and lead vocal duties. Although Belew's guitar skills were still in evidence, they took second place to the band's commitment to songs. Signing to the I.R.S. Records subsidiary Primitive Man Recording Company, The Bears recorded and released two albums, The Bears (1987) and Rise and Shine (1988). After three years of constant recording, promotion and touring the band broke up in 1989 following the collapse of PMRC. The success of Belew's solo hit single "Oh Daddy" led to him touring with David Bowie. The remaining three Bears regrouped as psychodots.

All four musicians remained friends, stayed in contact with each other and continued to help each other out. Arduser drummed on Belew's 1992 solo album Inner Revolution (with Fetters joining the 1992 touring band). On the tour supporting Belew's Here album in 1994, psychodots played as both the opening act and as Belew's backing band. Belew would also co-write two songs on Rob Fetters' Lefty Loose - Righty Tight album in 1998.

Since 1997, The Bears have regularly reunited in the studio for intermittent recording sessions. This has resulted in two further albums to date - 2001's Car Caught Fire and 2007's Eureka. The band perform short tours to promote the releases and continues to work together around the varied schedule of all four members.

Solo career, part three (1989-present)


Belew revived his solo career with 1989's Mr. Music Head
Mr. Music Head
Mr. Music Head is the first album on Atlantic Records by Adrian Belew, released in April 1989.-Track listing:All songs written by Adrian Belew, except where noted.# "Oh Daddy" – 3:05# "House of Cards" – 3:44# "One of Those Days" – 3:21...

on which he played virtually all the instruments (with the exception of double bass). The album was split between relatively straightforward pop and more experimental songs, with a strong emphasis on Belew's signature electric tones plus plenty of percussion and an unusual approach to acoustic production. Mr. Music Head also generated a hit single (number 5 on the US Modern Rock chart) in the shape of "Oh Daddy", on which Belew duetted with his 11-year-old daughter Audie.

In 1990, Belew produced a similar follow-up with Young Lions
Young Lions (album)
Young Lions, released in May 1990 , is the fifth solo album by Adrian Belew, and his second on Atlantic Records. Released by Atlantic while Belew was on tour with David Bowie serving as musical director as well as guitarist, the album features vocal assists from Bowie on two tracks Young Lions,...

. This featured a number of cover versions plus two guest appearances by his past and current employer David Bowie, who'd hired Belew as musical director for his then-current Sound+Vision Tour. The album generated another US Modern rock chart hit (number 2) with the Belew-and-Bowie duet "Pretty Pink Rose" and a minor hit on the same chart with the subsequent single "Men In Helicopters" (number 17).

The following year, Belew released Desire of the Rhino King
Desire of the Rhino King
Desire of the Rhino King is a compilation album released in 1991 by experimental rock musician and guitarist Adrian Belew. It compiles songs from Belew's first three solo albums: Lone Rhino, Twang Bar King, and Desire Caught By the Tail....

, a compilation of digitally-remastered material from his first three (now out-of-print) albums.

The next phase in Belew's career saw him pursuing a more traditional singing and songwriting style (albeit with his trademark unusual guitar tones) which owed a lot to his old heroes The Beatles. 1992's Inner Revolution
Inner Revolution
Inner Revolution is a 1992 album by Adrian Belew. It was re-released in 2003 by Wounded Bird Records.- Track listing :All tracks composed by Adrian Belew#"Inner Revolution"#"This Is What I Believe In"#"Standing In The Shadow"#"Big Blue Sun"...

and 1994's Here
Here (Adrian Belew album)
-Track listing:All songs by Adrian Belew unless otherwise noted.#"May 1, 1990" – 4:02#"I See You" – 2:42#"Survival in the Wild" – 4:09#"Fly" – 4:45#"Never Enough" – 3:43#"Peace on Earth" – 2:55#"Burned by the Fire We Make" – 3:10...

(as well as 1993's self-explanatory and back-catalogue-revisiting The Acoustic Adrian Belew
The Acoustic Adrian Belew
The Acoustic Adrian Belew is the seventh solo album by Adrian Belew, released in 1993.-Track listing:# "The Lone Rhinoceros" – 2:37# "Peace on Earth" – 2:49# "The Man in the Moon" – 2:12# "The Rail Song" - 3:42...

) were all heavily song-oriented and accessible, but sold less than Belew expected. 1996's Op Zop Too Wah
Op Zop Too Wah
Op Zop Too Wah is a concept album and studio album by Adrian Belew. The album's mood is reminiscent of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper"; a very avant-garde style album.- Reviews :Musician :...

blended Belew's solid songwriting approach with more avant-garde instrumental colouration.

In parallel to Belew's work with a revived King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

, he released the first in a proposed Experimental Guitar Series The Guitar as Orchestra: Experimental Guitar Series, Vol. 1 in 1997. A return to the all-instrumental avant-garde territories of Desire Caught By the Tail, this was an album of atonal contemporary classical music entirely realized on MIDI guitar using digital models of orchestral instruments. Belew has mentioned plans for releasing more records in the Experimental Guitar series, including one called The Animal Kingdom, but to date no more have been released (probably due to the modest sales of the first volume).

Belew's subsequent releases were two more acoustic albums (1998's Belew Prints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew, Vol. 2
Belew Prints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew, Vol. 2
Belew Prints is the 12th solo album by Adrian Belew, released in 1998. It is subtitled “The Acoustic Adrian Belew Volume Two”.-Track listing:# "Men in Helicopters" – 3:09# "Cage" – 2:25...

and the 1999 Salad Days
Salad Days (album)
Salad Days is a compilation-acoustic album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on February 9, 1999. It is a compilation of acoustic/unplugged compositions both old and new....

compilation) and the Coming Attractions
Coming Attractions (album)
Coming Attractions is a sort-of compilation album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on February 8th, 2000. It is a compilation of sneak previews of works in progress, which include a new solo album, an acoustic record, a series of experimental guitar compositions, and a box set of...

album of work-in-progress. In 2004, he collaborated on a spoken-word-and-instrumentation album with Kevin Max
Kevin Max
Kevin Max Smith is an American singer, songwriter, and poet. He is best known for being a member of the Christian pop group dc Talk...

 - Raven Songs 101
Raven Songs 101
Raven Songs 101 is a spoken-word album by Kevin Max and Adrian Belew. It features Max reading several poems from his book The Detritus of Dorian Gray...

. Between 2005 and 2007, Belew released the "Side" series of albums - Side One
Side One
Side One is a 2005 album by Adrian Belew featuring Les Claypool , and Danny Carey on tracks 1, 2 and 3.The track "Beat Box Guitar" was nominated for a Grammy under the "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" in 2005...

(2005), Side Two
Side Two
Side Two is a 2005 album by Adrian Belew.It is part of a series of albums. The other three so far to be released are Side One , Side Three and Side Four. This album features the song "Dead Dog On Asphalt".- Cover Artwork :...

(2005), Side Three
Side Three
Side Three is a 2006 album by Adrian Belew.It is part of a series of albums. The other three so far to be released are Side One , Side Two and Side Four.-Track listing:All songs written by Adrian Belew.# "Troubles" - 3:14...

(2006) and Side Four
Side Four
Side Four is a live album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on November 16, 2007. The album was recorded live at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio onFebruary 16th, 2007...

(2007) - with a variety of guest performers including Tool
Tool (band)
Tool is an American rock band from Los Angeles, California. Formed in 1990, the group's line-up has included drummer Danny Carey, guitarist Adam Jones, and vocalist Maynard James Keenan. Since 1995, Justin Chancellor has been the band's bassist, replacing their original bassist Paul D'Amour...

's Danny Carey
Danny Carey
Daniel Edwin "Danny" Carey is an American drummer best known for his work in American Grammy Award-winning rock band Tool...

 and Primus
Primus (band)
Primus is an American rock band based in San Francisco, California, currently composed of bassist/vocalist Les Claypool, guitarist Larry "Ler" LaLonde and drummer Jay Lane. Primus originally formed in 1984 with Claypool and guitarist Todd Huth, later joined by Lane, though the latter two departed...

' Les Claypool
Les Claypool
Leslie Edward "Les" Claypool is an American musician and writer, best known as the lead vocalist and bassist in the band Primus. Claypool's playing style on the electric bass mixes tapping, flamenco-like strumming, whammy bar bends and slapping.Claypool has also self produced and engineered his...

.


In April and May 2006, Adrian toured Australia with local musicians John Prior
John Prior (musician)
John David Prior is an Australian drummer, composer and producer recognized for his work with Matt Finish, Adrian Belew , Mick Taylor , Roy Buchanan, Champion Jack Dupree, New Theatre, Coca-Cola, The Great Outdoors, iOTA, Wicked Beat Sound System, Kevin Borich and Dale Barlow.Sydney Morning Herald...

 from Matt Finish
Matt Finish
Matt Finish are an Australian rock band formed by singer-songwriter/guitarist Matt Moffitt and drummer/composer/producer John Prior in mid 1979....

 playing drums and Al Slavik playing bass guitar and Stick
Chapman Stick
The Chapman Stick is an electric musical instrument devised by Emmett Chapman in the early 1970s. A member of the guitar family, the Chapman Stick usually has ten or twelve individually tuned strings and has been used on music recordings to play bass lines, melody lines, chords or textures...

 (as well as singing backing vocals). In August 2006 in Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta, Georgia
Atlanta is the capital and most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia. According to the 2010 census, Atlanta's population is 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, which is home to 5,268,860 people and is the ninth largest metropolitan area in...

, he performed on The Acoustic Planet Tour with Bela Fleck & The Flecktones and Umphrey's McGee
Umphrey's McGee
Umphrey's McGee is an American progressive rock jam band based in Chicago whose music is often referred to as "progressive improvisation", or "improg" ....

.

Later in 2006, Belew formed a new long-term trio which his fans rapidly christened "The Adrian Belew Power Trio", featuring former Paul Green School of Rock
The Paul Green School of Rock Music
School of Rock is a performance-based music program for those between the ages of 8 and 18. This for-profit educational company operates and franchises after-school music instructional programs in the United States and Mexico...

 students Eric Slick on drums and Julie Slick on bass. This band featured on the 2007 live recording Side Four
Side Four
Side Four is a live album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on November 16, 2007. The album was recorded live at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio onFebruary 16th, 2007...

and the 2009 download-only (Live Overseas). In June 2009, the band released an all-new studio record titled simply e., featuring a five-part long-form Belew instrumental composition.

Also in June 2009, Belew released A Cup Of Coffee And A Slice of Time, an album credited to "Clay & Belew". This was an album of improvised classical-based interpretations of Belew songs (both solo and from King Crimson) mostly performed by pianist Michael Clay, with addition guitar, cello
Cello
The cello is a bowed string instrument with four strings tuned in perfect fifths. It is a member of the violin family of musical instruments, which also includes the violin, viola, and double bass. Old forms of the instrument in the Baroque era are baryton and viol .A person who plays a cello is...

 and music concrete contributions from Belew

Belew currently divides his time between the Power Trio and an intermittently-active King Crimson. The latter were last active between March and August 2008, when they played an 11-show tour of four cities in August. In the same year, Belew played at the Adelaide Guitar Festival.

Musical style


Belew is best known as an unorthodox but accessible guitarist, with a playing style featuring bizarre electronic tones, unorthodox playing techniques and a wide variety of sonic effects (including guitar-based impressions of animals, birds, insects, vehicles and mechanical noise). Among his best-known guitar playing is the riff to Tom Tom Club
Tom Tom Club
Tom Tom Club is an American new wave band founded in 1981 by husband-and-wife team Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz, both also known for being bandmembers of Talking Heads.-Biography:...

's "Genius of Love", the overdriven solos on Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

' "The Great Curve", the wild slide melodies on his own Top 10 hit "Oh Daddy" and the careening elephant impressions on King Crimson
King Crimson
King Crimson are a rock band founded in London, England in 1969. Often categorised as a foundational progressive rock group, the band have incorporated diverse influences and instrumentation during their history...

's "Elephant Talk".

Part of Belew's sound creation involves physical techniques including tapping
Tapping
Tapping is a guitar playing technique, where a string is fretted and set into vibration as part of a single motion of being pushed onto the fretboard, as opposed to the standard technique being fretted with one hand and picked with the other...

, pick scrapes, bending the neck, unorthodox use of the guitar slide and occasionally employment of objects (such as files) to attack the strings. In his riffs, he generally includes fret intonation work, and is even known to produce sounds from off the fret board, including the stringed portion of the nut and bridge. He is widely considered to be a master of the tremolo arm
Tremolo arm
A whammy bar, tremolo arm/bar, or vibrato arm/bar is a component of a guitar, used to add vibrato to the sound by changing the tension of the strings, typically at the bridge or tailpiece...

 (whammy bar), something which he humorously referred to in his song "Twang Bar King" (which itself features a particularly demented whammy-bar solo).

Belew also uses a wide variety of heavily synthesized and electronically altered guitar tones. Over the years he has become known for playing various guitars processed through an immense array of electronic effects devices ("I’m surrounded by guitar pedals though, I can’t step out the ring I’m surrounded in without stepping on a pedal," he told Adelaide.now in 2008.) He has also stated that he composes specifically for certain amps and effects. Lamenting the demise of one specific amplifier made by now-defunct Johnson Amplification
Johnson Amplification
Johnson Amplification was a subsidiary of Digitech by the Harman Music Group, which manufactured and sold amplifiers using a design by John Johnson. Johnson amplifiers used tube integrated modeling technology, a method of emulating the sounds of several different types of classic and modern...

, he said, "I wrote specific sounds and types of looping and things that I just can’t seem to make other amps do." While he uses many brands, Electro Harmonix is one of his mainstays.

Belew is a pioneer of guitar synthesizers, having been one of the first players to bring them to (and consistently use them in) popular music. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he was a user of the Roland GR300 (alongside Andy Summers
Andy Summers
Andy Summers is an English guitarist born in Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, England. Best known as the guitarist for rock band The Police, he has also recorded twelve solo albums, collaborated with many other artists, toured extensively under his own name, published several books, and composed...

, Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Patrick Bruce "Pat" Metheny is an American jazz guitarist and composer.One of the most successful and critically acclaimed jazz musicians to come to prominence in the 1970s and '80s, he is the leader of the Pat Metheny Group and is also involved in duets, solo works and other side projects...

 and Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp
Robert Fripp is an English guitarist, composer and record producer. He was ranked 42nd on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time" and #47 on Gibson.com’s "Top 50 Guitarists of All Time". Among rock guitarists, Fripp is a master of crosspicking, a technique...

). In the late 1980s and the 1990s, he used the Roland GR1. He now favours the Line 6 Variax digital modelling system. In the early 1980s, Belew was notable for owning and using a rare Roland GR505 fretless guitar synthesizer.

Belew's first guitar was a Gibson Firebird
Gibson Firebird
The Gibson Firebird is a solid-body electric guitar manufactured by Gibson from 1963 to the present.-History:The Gibson Guitar Corporation released several new styles during the 1950s to compete with Fender's instruments, such as the Telecaster and Stratocaster. After success with the Les Paul in...

 that he bought for $170. Belew now has a signature Parker Fly
Parker Fly
The Parker Fly is a type of electric guitar built by Parker Guitars. It was designed by Ken Parker and Larry Fishman, and first produced in 1993. The Fly is unique among electric guitars in the way it uses composite materials. It is notable for its light weight and resonance...

 guitar, the company's first.

Belew has also been seen playing an extraordinarily flexible rubber-neck guitar in the Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson
Laura Phillips "Laurie" Anderson is an American experimental performance artist, composer and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s...

 film Home Of The Brave and in the video clip for his 1989 single "Oh Daddy". In 2007, he revealed that the guitar's neck was rubber containing "metal vertebrae" and that it was solely a visual (and unplayable) prop.

In addition to his readily recognisable guitar sounds, Belew is noted for the distinct, nasal, sometimes manic feel of his vocals. His singing voice is often compared to that of David Byrne
David Byrne (musician)
David Byrne is a musician and artist, best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography,...

, singer with Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

, with whom Belew worked between 1979 and 1981. (During a particularly fraught period of Talking Heads
Talking Heads
Talking Heads were an American New Wave and avant-garde band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison...

' history, Belew was invited to replace Byrne but declined.)

Belew has cited Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

, The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

, Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck
Geoffrey Arnold "Jeff" Beck is an English rock guitarist. He is one of three noted guitarists to have played with The Yardbirds...

, Igor Stravinsky
Igor Stravinsky
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky ; 6 April 1971) was a Russian, later naturalized French, and then naturalized American composer, pianist, and conductor....

 and George Gershwin
George Gershwin
George Gershwin was an American composer and pianist. Gershwin's compositions spanned both popular and classical genres, and his most popular melodies are widely known...

 as particular influences.

Session credits and other work


Belew is well regarded for his contributions, particularly on guitar, to various other artists' recordings.

In the 1980s, following his work with Talking Heads, he became a much in-demand session player. Among the albums he contributed to during this period were Ryuichi Sakamoto
Ryuichi Sakamoto
After working as a session musician with Haruomi Hosono and Yukihiro Takahashi in 1977, the trio formed the internationally successful electronic music band Yellow Magic Orchestra in 1978. Known for their seminal influence on electronic music, the group helped pioneer electronic genres such as...

's Left-handed Dream (1981), Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf
Peter Wolf is an American Rhythm and Blues, Soul and Rock and Roll musician, best known as the lead vocalist for the J. Geils Band from 1967 to 1983; and for a successful musical solo career to date with writing partner Will Jennings.- Life and career :Wolf was born in the Bronx, New York...

's Lights Out
Lights Out (Peter Wolf album)
Lights Out is the debut solo album by Peter Wolf, released in 1984 .-Track listing:#"Lights Out" - 4:27#"I Need You Tonight" - 3:39...

and Jean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel Jarre
Jean Michel André Jarre is a French composer, performer and music producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient and New Age genres, and known as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his music featuring lights, laser displays, and fireworks.Jarre was raised in Lyon by his mother and...

's Zoolook
Zoolook
Zoolook is the fourth overall mainstream studio album by Jean Michel Jarre, and released on Disques Dreyfus in 1984. It makes extensive use of digital recording techniques and sampling. It is considered by many fans as one of Jarre's most experimental albums to date...

(both 1984), Cyndi Lauper
Cyndi Lauper
Cynthia Ann Stephanie "Cyndi" Lauper is an American singer, songwriter, actress and LGBT rights activist. She achieved success in the mid-1980s with the release of the album She's So Unusual and became the first female singer to have four top-five singles released from one album...

's True Colors (1986), Mike Oldfield
Mike Oldfield
Michael Gordon Oldfield is an English multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, working a style that blends progressive rock, folk, ethnic or world music, classical music, electronic music, New Age, and more recently, dance. His music is often elaborate and complex in nature...

's Earth Moving
Earth Moving
Earth Moving is the 12th record album by Mike Oldfield, released in 1989.- Album analysis :Oldfield used several vocalists on the album, including his then girlfriend, Anita Hegerland. The album's music was performed mainly with synthesizers...

(1989) and Paul Simon
Paul Simon
Paul Frederic Simon is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist.Simon is best known for his success, beginning in 1965, as part of the duo Simon & Garfunkel, with musical partner Art Garfunkel. Simon wrote most of the pair's songs, including three that reached number one on the US singles...

's landmark Graceland
Graceland (album)
Graceland was Paul Simon's highest charting album in the U.S. in over a decade, reaching #3 in the national Billboard charts, receiving a certification of 5× Platinum by the RIAA and eventually selling over 14 million copies, making it Simon's most commercially successful album...

(1986). During the mid-1980s he frequently worked with Laurie Anderson
Laurie Anderson
Laura Phillips "Laurie" Anderson is an American experimental performance artist, composer and musician who plays violin and keyboards and sings in a variety of experimental music and art rock styles. Initially trained as a sculptor, Anderson did her first performance-art piece in the late 1960s...

, appearing on 1983's Mister Heartbreak
Mister Heartbreak
Mister Heartbreak is the second album by avant-garde artist, singer and composer Laurie Anderson, released in 1984.Considered more mainstream than its predecessor, Big Science, the album's lead track, "Sharkey's Day" formed the basis of a popular music video. Author William S...

album and her subsequent concert film Home of the Brave
Home of the Brave (1986 film)
Home of the Brave is a 1986 American concert film featuring the music of Laurie Anderson, who also directed the movie. The film's full on-screen title is Home of the Brave: A Film by Laurie Anderson. The performances were filmed at the Park Theater in Union City, NJ during the summer of 1985.The...

(in which, among other things, he mimed playing on a specially constructed rubber-neck guitar and wore a paper bag over his head). In his 1984 instructional video Electronic Guitar, Belew explained and demonstrated the technology and techniques used to create some of his signature music.

In 1993, Belew played "synthesized guitar" on the song "God Shuffled His Feet
God Shuffled His Feet (song)
"God Shuffled His Feet" is a song by Canadian folk-rock group Crash Test Dummies and was the fourth and final single from their 1993 album God Shuffled His Feet.The synthesized guitar solo is performed by guest artist Adrian Belew.-Music video:...

" by Crash Test Dummies
Crash Test Dummies
The Crash Test Dummies is a Canadian folk rock/alternative rock band from Winnipeg, Manitoba, widely known for their 1993 single "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm".The band is most identifiable through Brad Roberts and his distinctive bass-baritone voice...

 and also contributed to Sara Hickman's Necessary Angels album. In 1994 he first established himself as Trent Reznor
Trent Reznor
Michael Trent Reznor is an American multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer, and leader of industrial rock band Nine Inch Nails. Reznor is also a member of How to Destroy Angels alongside his wife, Mariqueen Maandig, and Atticus Ross. He was previously associated with bands Option 30,...

's guest guitarist of choice, contributing to three Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails
Nine Inch Nails is an American industrial rock project, founded in 1988 by Trent Reznor in Cleveland, Ohio. As its main producer, singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist, Reznor is the only official member of Nine Inch Nails and remains solely responsible for its direction...

 albums over the next fourteen years (The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral
The Downward Spiral is the second studio album by American industrial rock act Nine Inch Nails, released March 8, 1994, on Interscope Records. It is a concept album detailing the destruction of a man, from the beginning of his "downward spiral" to his climactic attempt at suicide...

, The Fragile
The Fragile
In terms of narrative, virtually no references are made to the aspects depicted in The Downward Spiral. Like The Downward Spiral, The Fragile is a concept album, but, as a double album, is nearly twice the length of its predecessor. Reznor's vocals, for the most part, are much more melodic and...

, and Ghosts I-IV). He worked again with Laurie Anderson on her 1994 album Bright Red
Bright Red
Bright Red is the title of performance artist Laurie Anderson's sixth album, released by Warner Bros. in 1994.The album continues the more pop-oriented direction Anderson launched with Strange Angels...

.
During the 2000s, Belew was prominently featured on Tori Amos
Tori Amos
Tori Amos is an American pianist, singer-songwriter and composer. She was at the forefront of a number of female singer-songwriters in the early 1990s and was noteworthy early in her career as one of the few alternative rock performers to use a piano as her primary instrument...

's 2001 album of cover versions, Strange Little Girls
Strange Little Girls
Strange Little Girls is a concept album released by singer-songwriter Tori Amos in 2001. The album's 12 tracks are covers of songs written and originally performed by men, reinterpreted by Amos from a female's point of view. Amos created female personae for each track and was photographed as...

, and played on William Shatner
William Shatner
William Alan Shatner is a Canadian actor, musician, recording artist, and author. He gained worldwide fame and became a cultural icon for his portrayal of James T...

's second musical album Has Been
Has Been
Has Been is William Shatner's second musical album after 1968's The Transformed Man.The album was produced and arranged by Ben Folds and most of the songs are co-written by Folds and Shatner, with Folds creating arrangements for Shatner's prose-poems, and feature guest appearances from Joe Jackson...

in 2004. In 2005, he featured as "primary guitarist" on the album Habitat by progressive rock
Progressive rock
Progressive rock is a subgenre of rock music that developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s as part of a "mostly British attempt to elevate rock music to new levels of artistic credibility." John Covach, in Contemporary Music Review, says that many thought it would not just "succeed the pop of...

 band Man on Fire and contributed a solo to Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree
Porcupine Tree is a progressive rock band formed by Steven Wilson in 1987 in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. Their music is difficult to categorise, being associated with both psychedelic rock and progressive rock, yet having been influenced by trance, krautrock and ambient due to Steven...

's Deadwing
Deadwing
American edition10. "Shesmovedon " – 4:59DVD-A edition10. "Revenant" – 3:04 11. "Mother and Child Divided" – 4:59 12. "Half-Light" – 6:20 13. "Shesmovedon " - 4:59 LP edition...

(2005). In 2006 and 2007 Belew contributed to two Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

 tribute albums produced by Billy Sherwood
Billy Sherwood
William "Billy" Wyman Sherwood is a musician, record producer, and engineer.-Family:Sherwood comes from a musical family which includes his father Bobby Sherwood, who was an actor, musician, and big band leader, his mother Phyllis, a singer and drummer, and brother Michael, a keyboardist and...

: Back Against The Wall
Back Against The Wall
Back Against the Wall is an album released in 2005 by Billy Sherwood in collaboration with a number of progressive rock artists as a tribute to Pink Floyd's album The Wall...

, and Return to the Dark Side of the Moon
Return to the Dark Side of the Moon
Not to be confused with the covermount album of the same name with Mojo magazine in 2011Return to the Dark Side of the Moon is a tribute album organised by Billy Sherwood, and released in 2006 on Purple Pyramid. It is a re-creation of Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon, and a sequel to...

.

Belew as producer


In 1983, Belew produced the eponymous debut album for The Raisins. In 1985, he produced The Elvis Brothers
The Elvis Brothers
The Elvis Brothers were a power pop trio that got its start in Champaign, IL, in the late 70's & early 80's. The members were Rob Elvis , Graham Elvis and Brad Elvis . The band released two albums with Portrait Records: Movin' Up and Adventure Time...

's second album Adventure Time.

During the 1990s, he began making more of a name for himself as a producer, most notably producing two tracks on Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay
Jars of Clay is a Christian rock band from Nashville, Tennessee. They met at Greenville College in Greenville, Illinois.Jars of Clay consists of Dan Haseltine on vocals, Charlie Lowell on piano and keyboards, Stephen Mason on lead guitars and Matthew Odmark on rhythm guitars...

's debut album in 1995 (including the crossover Christian hit "Flood
Flood (song)
"Flood" is a song written and performed by Jars of Clay. It is considered to be their breakthrough song due to airplay on contemporary Christian music and alternative rock radio stations, two radio formats which rarely interact with one another. It was released in 1995 on their self-titled debut...

"), but also producing The Irresponsibles 1999 album When Pigs Fly.

Belew has also produced and played on albums by three Mexican rock bands - Caifanes
Caifanes
Caifanes is a Spanish-language rock band from Mexico City formed in 1987. They achieved fame throughout the late 80’s and early 90’s. The original lineup consisted of Saúl Hernández , Sabo Romo , Alfonso André and Diego Herrera . Argentine guitarist Alejandro Marcovich joined in 1989...

 (1992's El silencio
El silencio
-Caifanes:*Saúl Hernández - vocals, electric guitar*Diego Herrera - keyboards, saxophones, percussion, jarana*Alfonso André - drums, percussion*Sabo Romo - electric bass, acoustic guitar*Alejandro Marcovich - electric and acoustic guitars, requinto jarocho...

), Santa Sabina
Santa Sabina
The Basilica of Saint Sabina at the Aventine is a titular minor basilica and mother church of the Roman Catholic Dominican order in Rome, Italy. Santa Sabina lies high on the Aventine Hill, beside the Tiber, close to the headquarters of theKnights of Malta....

 (1994's Símbolos) and Jaguares (2005's Cronicas de un Laberinto
Cronicas de un Laberinto
Cronicas de un Laberinto is the fifth album recorded by Mexican rock band Jaguares. The LP was released on May 27, 2005 under the label Sony Music International.Jaguares are:* Saul Hernández...

).

Appearances in other media


Belew has appeared in a series of Japanese advertisements promoting the chemical and electronics company Daikin in which he emulated animal noises with his guitar and appeared as the conductor, conducting a symphony in which all the members were versions of himself playing guitar.

Studio albums

  • Lone Rhino
    Lone Rhino
    Lone Rhino is the first solo-career album by the artist Adrian Belew following years of playing in groups such as Talking Heads and as the new lead singer, songwriter, and guitarist of King Crimson .- Track listing :-Contributors:...

    (1982)
  • Twang Bar King
    Twang Bar King
    Twang Bar King is the second solo album by Adrian Belew, released in 1983.-Track listing:All songs written and arranged by Adrian Belew except “I’m Down” written and arranged by John Lennon, Paul McCartney# "I'm Down" – 2:54# "I Wonder" – 4:39...

    (1983)
  • Desire Caught By the Tail (1986)
  • Mr. Music Head
    Mr. Music Head
    Mr. Music Head is the first album on Atlantic Records by Adrian Belew, released in April 1989.-Track listing:All songs written by Adrian Belew, except where noted.# "Oh Daddy" – 3:05# "House of Cards" – 3:44# "One of Those Days" – 3:21...

    (1989)
  • Young Lions
    Young Lions (album)
    Young Lions, released in May 1990 , is the fifth solo album by Adrian Belew, and his second on Atlantic Records. Released by Atlantic while Belew was on tour with David Bowie serving as musical director as well as guitarist, the album features vocal assists from Bowie on two tracks Young Lions,...

    (1990)
  • Inner Revolution
    Inner Revolution
    Inner Revolution is a 1992 album by Adrian Belew. It was re-released in 2003 by Wounded Bird Records.- Track listing :All tracks composed by Adrian Belew#"Inner Revolution"#"This Is What I Believe In"#"Standing In The Shadow"#"Big Blue Sun"...

    (1992)
  • The Acoustic Adrian Belew
    The Acoustic Adrian Belew
    The Acoustic Adrian Belew is the seventh solo album by Adrian Belew, released in 1993.-Track listing:# "The Lone Rhinoceros" – 2:37# "Peace on Earth" – 2:49# "The Man in the Moon" – 2:12# "The Rail Song" - 3:42...

    (1993)
  • Here
    Here (Adrian Belew album)
    -Track listing:All songs by Adrian Belew unless otherwise noted.#"May 1, 1990" – 4:02#"I See You" – 2:42#"Survival in the Wild" – 4:09#"Fly" – 4:45#"Never Enough" – 3:43#"Peace on Earth" – 2:55#"Burned by the Fire We Make" – 3:10...

    (1994)
  • The Experimental Guitar Series Volume 1: The Guitar as Orchestra (1995)
  • Op Zop Too Wah
    Op Zop Too Wah
    Op Zop Too Wah is a concept album and studio album by Adrian Belew. The album's mood is reminiscent of The Beatles' "Sgt. Pepper"; a very avant-garde style album.- Reviews :Musician :...

    (1996)
  • Belew Prints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew, Vol. 2
    Belew Prints: The Acoustic Adrian Belew, Vol. 2
    Belew Prints is the 12th solo album by Adrian Belew, released in 1998. It is subtitled “The Acoustic Adrian Belew Volume Two”.-Track listing:# "Men in Helicopters" – 3:09# "Cage" – 2:25...

    (1998)
  • Side One
    Side One
    Side One is a 2005 album by Adrian Belew featuring Les Claypool , and Danny Carey on tracks 1, 2 and 3.The track "Beat Box Guitar" was nominated for a Grammy under the "Best Rock Instrumental Performance" in 2005...

    (2005)
  • Side Two
    Side Two
    Side Two is a 2005 album by Adrian Belew.It is part of a series of albums. The other three so far to be released are Side One , Side Three and Side Four. This album features the song "Dead Dog On Asphalt".- Cover Artwork :...

    (2005)
  • Side Three
    Side Three
    Side Three is a 2006 album by Adrian Belew.It is part of a series of albums. The other three so far to be released are Side One , Side Two and Side Four.-Track listing:All songs written by Adrian Belew.# "Troubles" - 3:14...

    (2006)
  • Side Four
    Side Four
    Side Four is a live album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on November 16, 2007. The album was recorded live at Canal Street Tavern in Dayton, Ohio onFebruary 16th, 2007...

    (2007)
  • e
    E (Adrian Belew album)
    e is a 2009 studio album by Adrian Belew and his first studio recording with the Adrian Belew Power Trio. It consists of a single extended instrumental piece, presented as a suite in five parts. Belew performed the entire piece with an orchestra in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, on 28 February...

    (2009)

Compilations

  • Desire of the Rhino King
    Desire of the Rhino King
    Desire of the Rhino King is a compilation album released in 1991 by experimental rock musician and guitarist Adrian Belew. It compiles songs from Belew's first three solo albums: Lone Rhino, Twang Bar King, and Desire Caught By the Tail....

    (1991) - compilation derived from first three albums
  • Salad Days
    Salad Days (album)
    Salad Days is a compilation-acoustic album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on February 9, 1999. It is a compilation of acoustic/unplugged compositions both old and new....

    (1999)
  • Coming Attractions
    Coming Attractions (album)
    Coming Attractions is a sort-of compilation album by the artist Adrian Belew, originally released on February 8th, 2000. It is a compilation of sneak previews of works in progress, which include a new solo album, an acoustic record, a series of experimental guitar compositions, and a box set of...

    (2000)

Other releases

  • with Kevin Max
    Kevin Max
    Kevin Max Smith is an American singer, songwriter, and poet. He is best known for being a member of the Christian pop group dc Talk...

    : Raven Songs 101
    Raven Songs 101
    Raven Songs 101 is a spoken-word album by Kevin Max and Adrian Belew. It features Max reading several poems from his book The Detritus of Dorian Gray...

    (2004)
  • as Clay & Belew: A Cup Of Coffee And A Slice of Time (2009)

Singles

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100
Billboard Hot 100
The Billboard Hot 100 is the United States music industry standard singles popularity chart issued weekly by Billboard magazine. Chart rankings are based on radio play and sales; the tracking-week for sales begins on Monday and ends on Sunday, while the radio play tracking-week runs from Wednesday...

US Modern Rock US Mainstream Rock UK
UK Singles Chart
The UK Singles Chart is compiled by The Official Charts Company on behalf of the British record-industry. The full chart contains the top selling 200 singles in the United Kingdom based upon combined record sales and download numbers, though some media outlets only list the Top 40 or the Top 75 ...

1989 "Oh Daddy" 58 5 - - Mr. Music Head
Mr. Music Head
Mr. Music Head is the first album on Atlantic Records by Adrian Belew, released in April 1989.-Track listing:All songs written by Adrian Belew, except where noted.# "Oh Daddy" – 3:05# "House of Cards" – 3:44# "One of Those Days" – 3:21...

1990 "Pretty Pink Rose" (with David Bowie
David Bowie
David Bowie is an English musician, actor, record producer and arranger. A major figure for over four decades in the world of popular music, Bowie is widely regarded as an innovator, particularly for his work in the 1970s...

)
- 2 24 89 Young Lions
Young Lions (album)
Young Lions, released in May 1990 , is the fifth solo album by Adrian Belew, and his second on Atlantic Records. Released by Atlantic while Belew was on tour with David Bowie serving as musical director as well as guitarist, the album features vocal assists from Bowie on two tracks Young Lions,...

"Men in Helicopters" - 17 - -

External links