# A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Beat Happening - Crashing Through : Box Set

  by Tommy Gunnarsson

published: 5 / 6 / 2002

Beat Happening - Crashing Through : Box Set
Label: K Records
Format: CD


Sprawling 7 CD box set and retrospective of influential Olympia based pop punk group, Beat Happening, which was fronted by K Records founder, Calvin Johnson

From time to time, you stumble upon band name a that you recognise, and think “hey, why haven’t I checked them out yet?”. Beat Happening is one of those bands, and maybe you think it’s outrageous that I, who writes about indiepop every month in this magazine, haven’t heard anything by this influential trio. Well, the fact is that I actually own a 7” by them, 'Nancy Sin', but as I didn’t like that very much, I decided to leave them aside for a while, and maybe to listen them some more later on. And now it is later on, and I sit here with a sampler CD of their brand new box set, 'Crashing Through'. This box set includes all five of their original studio albums, released from 1985 to 1992, a CD with singles and compilation tracks, and finally a CD-ROM with live performances and other nice stuff. As I mentioned, I have only had the opportunity to listen to selected tracks off these 6 CDs of music, so I can’t write a review of each individual record, but I suppose that’s not the point either. Anyway, my first impression of this band is that their first years of recording are the most interesting ones. All the songs I like best on this 17-track CD, for example 'I Let Him Get To Me' and 'In Love With You Thing', are taken from their first, self titled album, released back in 1985. On that album, Beat Happening were very amateurish and the songs are very twee and very naïve, which is a good thing in my world. But already on these songs, you can hear the heavy influences of New York’s the Velvet Underground. The songs are quite monotonous and are often just one or two chords are used throughout the song, and even the deep vocals of Calvin Johnson (also a member of bands like the Halo Benders and Dub Narcotic Sound System, and founder of K Records) are quite similar to those of Lou Reed. And if this wasn’t enough, drummer Heather Dunn’s voice is quite similar to that of the Velvet Underground drummer Moe Tucker ( who also sang on a few of the Velvet Underground's latter songs). Of course, your singing voice is something you often can’t control, but it’s quite funny that it has turned out that way. The songs dating from later albums are more varied in their appearance. Some are quite charming in the same way as the debut effort, but some are just ramshackle songs with no real melody or structure. I have said it before, and I say it again: a song must have a melody! If not, I’ll be happy to press the Skip-button on my remote. The full box set apparently comes with a nice book too, and if you are a real Beat Happening fan I suppose this is a must! But I think that it’s a bit too much for a boy like me, who just wanted to hear what they sounded like, to buy a 7 CD box set for a large pile of dollar bills. But, hey, sometimes it’s nice to take a chance.

Track Listing:-
1 Our Secret
2 What's Important
3 Down At The Sea
4 I Love You
5 Fourteen
6 Run Down The Stairs
7 Bad Seeds (Live)
8 In My Memory
9 Honey Pot
10 The Fall
11 Youth
12 Don't Mix The Colors
13 Foggy Eyes
14 Bad Seeds
15 Let Him Get To Me
16 I Spy
17 Run Down The Stairs
18 Christmas
19 Fourteen
20 Let's Kiss
21 1, 2, 3
22 In Love With You Thing
23 Look Around
24 Bonus Track 1
25 Bewitched
26 In Between
27 Indian Summer
28 Hangman
29 Jamboree
30 Ask Me
31 Crashing Through
32 Cat Walk
33 Drive Car Girl
34 Midnight A Go-Go
35 The This Many Boyfriends Club
36 Other Side
37 Black Candy
38 Knick Knack
39 Pajama Party In A Haunted Hive
40 Gravedigger Blues
41 Cast A Shadow
42 Bonfire
43 T.V. Girl
44 Playhouse
45 Ponytail
46 Me Untamed

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