Belly “King” CD (1995)
Belly “King” CD (1995)
Belly “King” CD (1995)
Belly “King” CD (1995)
Sire/Reprise Records

Belly “King” CD (1995)

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Details: Belly’s final album before Donelly went solo (the band only recently reformed to record their most recent album, 2020’s “Dove”). Great condition used CD.

Description: “… slinky and loose in a way that records from Belly’s gruffer, leaden contemporaries were not. It rocked harder and more directly than Star, at times slipping into near-giddiness. And where Stardealt with the hauntings and fears of adolescence, King concerned itself with the doubts, worries, and pleasures that can come with a grown-up life. An album recorded in the standard two guitars, bass, and drums set-up, by the producer most responsible for the sound of classic rock, King was a completely modern, rock record that stripped away the hedonism, worn-down metaphors, and widely accepted aggression and sexism commonplace in rock music, and wondered instead about things like commitment, sacrifice, and spirituality; stuff for which few bands of the time could muster much enthusiasm.

The production is a showcase for Donelly’s singular vocals, and they’re clear and expressive throughout, on songs that can be disarmingly obtuse or so near to the bone they induce a shiver. Like Leonard Cohen, Donelly has never been afraid to dig to uncomfortable depths in her songwriting. She can get achingly close but at the same time, like Robyn Hitchcock, she employs symbols and abstractions that obscure the personal and the fantastical. It’s hard to sort out when she’s singing about “a neglected little kid praying for aliens to come get him,” as she explained the story behind “Red” to Billboard, or whether she’s hiding in plain sight, as on “The Bees”; “Now the bees behind my eyes sing ‘Beware’ but my bee-stung tongue wants in there/ You come at me with your mouth open wide and I, like a jerk, crawl inside. Beware, beware, beware of me.Many of the songs open with musical sectios that play hide and seek with the hooks that develop. The not-quite half-time dirge that opens “Now They’ll Sleep,” the album’s first single, almost dares you to skip ahead. “Red” begins as a slow 6/8 that alternates with a shooting double-time section that breaks into a middle section in 4/4, that finally leads back to the song’s original feel. King’s title track shifts from a frantic, rolling triplet feel in the verses, to a driving eighth note feel in the song’s second-half, and culminates in a repeated chorus of , “Baby I can’t fake it, I’d like to see you naked.” “Where most rock songs would repeat,” wrote Jon Pareles in the New York Times, “[Donelly’s] expand or mutate, bringing in new material or changing meter, as if the old walls of structure had dissolved.” “Kingdefinitely demands a little more participation from the listener,” Donelly told Melody Maker in 1995, “which I think is good.”—Aquarium Drunkard excerpt “Hail, Hail: Belly, and the Making of King” by Jon Langford

Grade: NM (Cover) / VG+ (CD)


1. Puberty
2. Seal My Fate
3. Red
4. Silverfish 
5. Superconnected
6. The Bees
7. King
8. Now They’ll Sleep
9. Untitled and Unsung
10. L’il Ennio
11. Judas My Heart