Classic Album Review: Beat Happening



Artist
: Beat Happening
Full Title: Beat Happening
Year: 1985
Label: K
Track List
1) Our Secret– 8/9
2) What’s Important– 9
3) Down At the Sea– 9
4) I Love You- 8
5) Fourteen- 8
6) Run Down the Stairs– 9
7) Bad Seeds (Live)- 5
8) In My Memory-8/9
9) Honey Pot- 8
10) The Fall- 7/8
11) Youth- 8
12) Don’t Mix the Colors- 8
13) Foggy Eyes- 8
14) Bad Seeds– 9
15) I Let Him Get to Me- 8
16) I Spy– 9
17) Run Down the Stairs– 9
18) Christmas- 7/8
19) Fourteen- 8
20) Let’s Kiss– 9
21) 1, 2, 3- 7
22) In Love With You Thing- 7/8
23) Look Around- 8
24) Untitled- Ungraded

Comments: This is the unflinching, incredible debut from the seminal “twee pop” group Beat Happening. You can call it twee, lo-fi, noise, etc. but ultimately it is Punk Rock- at its finest. In this record, BH, known for their amateur quality/attitude, are at their most primitive; the production is about as lo-fi as it gets before it becomes simply rubbish. On this LP, most songs are astonishingly decent pop tunes, with passion taking the front seat over musicianship. One can hear a lot of 60s surf rock influence as well as the outsider feel of The Shaggs and Half Japanese. Lyrically, most numbers are innocent in nature- “Down at the Sea,” ” Run Down the Stairs,” etc. There are also more than a fair share of love ballads- “Our Secret,” “I Love You,” “Honey Pot,” and the classic “Let’s Kiss.” Admittedly, not every track is good and some do suffer from the lack of “quality” recording and perhaps would have sounded better with a finer studio. My two favorite tracks are definitely “Bad Seeds” ( the guitar riff reminds me of the music in the James Bond Films; a very bad ass song!) and “I Spy.” All in all, this is a pretty nice debut from Beat Happening and it certainly is amongst the annals of “YOU CAN DO IT TOO!” records.

Grade: B+

“Bad Seeds” with clips from Over the Edge (1979)

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