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Belly


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Alternative pop

Status:

Band broke up in 1996. Tanya Donelly now recording solo.

See also:

Slumberland—Tanya Donelly's site

The Ectophiles' Guide entries for:

Comparisons:

The Breeders, Throwing Muses, Bettie Serveert, Veruca Salt.

Covers/own material:

Own with a few covers on singles.

General comments:

Basic alternative sound. Tanya Donelly has a childlike voice. More interesting than many similar bands are the melodic and lyrical hooks. The lyrics are a little surreal, but suit the music and are far more interesting than the mainstream. (Neile)

I love Belly and I love Tanya Donelly's Lovesongs for Underdogs. That said, they're comparable, but the stylistic differences are noticeable. I'd say Belly tends toward crunchier. I suspect that most ectophiles prefer the first one, Star, which is a little more, er, experimental, I guess. I probably listen to King more often, though. (burka@jeffrey.net)

Recommended first album:

Star

Recordings:


Slow Dust ep

Release info:

1993—4AD—BAD 2009 CD

Availability:

Wide on release in U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Belly fans

Group members:

Tanya Donelly—guitars, vocals
Thomas Gorman—guitars
Fred Abong—bass
Chris Gorman—drums

Comments:

On 'Slow Dust', the simple versions of 'Dusted' and 'Slow Dog' are a delight, and the delicate 'Dancing Gold', 'Dusted' reprise and 'Low Red Moon' (less gothic than on the album) make it my pick of the Perfect EP. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Gepetto EP

Release info:

1993—4AD—BAD 2018

Availability:

Wide on release in U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Belly fans

Group members:

Tanya Donelly—guitars, vocals
Thomas Gorman—guitar (1-4), bass (3)
Chris Gorman—drums

Guest artists:

Fred Abong—bass (1)
Dylan Roy—bass (4)

Comments:

The first 'Gepetto' ep has 'Sweet Ride', as swoonsome as later song 'Swoon'! (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Gepetto Remix single

Release info:

1993—4AD—BAD D 1028

Availability:

Wide on release in U.K.

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Belly fans

Group members:

Tanya Donelly—guitars, vocals
Thomas Gorman—guitar
Chris Gorman—drums

Guest artists:

Leslie Langston—bass (2)
Fred Abong—bass

Comments:

This disc has a remix of "Gepetto," demo versions of "Star" and "Dusted" (all from the Star album), plus a cover of the 60s pop hit, "It's Not Unusual," which is a really fun choice of cover. Delightful! (Neile)

Feed the Tree

Release info:

1993—4AD—BAD 3001 CD

Availability:

Wide on release

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended for Belly fans

Group members:

Tanya Donelly—guitars, vocals
Thomas Gorman—guitar
Chris Gorman—drums

Guest artists:

Fred Abong—bass (1)
Dylan Roy—bass (2) Leslie Langston—bass (3, 4)

Comments:

'Feed the tree' has paired a dreamy, untrustworthy cover of Disney's 'Trust in Me' with sweet besotted 'Dream on me'. (k_hester_k@yahoo.co.nz)

Star

Release info:

1993—Sire Reprise (U.S.)—9 45187-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Must have for lovers of "alternative" pop (Neile)

Group members:

Tanya Donelly—guitars, vocals
Thomas Gorman—guitars, organ
Fred Abong—bass
Chris Gorman—drums, percussion

Guest artists:

Chick Graning—slide guitar, guitar, vocals
John Douglas—violin

Produced by:

Tracy Chisholm & Belly

Comments:

Lively, catchy pop. Songs with lyrics/musical hooks that will stick in your head for years. (Neile)

Another album to overcome a certain amount of odds stacked against it (namely, I had not heard good things about Belly from my friends, plus the wondering doubt as to what's in store for Throwing Muses [whom I like a great deal]). I find that Star is somewhat addictive. I kind of have to make myself listen to something else or I'll keep listening to it. (MIHARKI@indsvax1.indstate.edu)

Tanya Donelly, ex-Throwing Muse put together an amazingly catchy batch of alternative pop songs. Lead song, "Feed the Tree" hooked me and reeled me in. I prefer Star to King because it's a little quirkier. (colford@chlotrudis.org)


King

Release info:

1995—Sire Reprise (U.S.)—9 45833-2

Availability:

wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended for lovers of "alternative" pop. (Neile)

Group members:

Tanya Donelly—guitars, vocals
Chris Gorman—drums, percussion
Thomas Gorman—guitar, piano
Gail Greenwood—bass and vocals

Comments:

King is a little darker than Star, and took longer to grow on me and I tired of it quickly. In fact, I don't think we own it anymore, while I still love Star. It just doesn't have the wonderful hooks of the previous release. (Neile)

after the disappointment of the initial ep release, i was really wary of this album, but i like it a lot. it sounds very little like throwing muses, or star, but it has its own appeal. the tunes seem a bit poppier, and Tanya Donelly's voice is almost pretty in places, which is strange to hear. i think it needs to grow on me more, but it's good. (clsriram@phoenix.Princeton.EDU)

Dunno, just not as weird as Star. Tanya Donelly won with that album over Throwing Muses' Red Heaven, but Kristin Hersh takes this round with Throwing Muses' University. (bossert@suddensound.com)

i think that King will have a lot more staying power than Star did. Star is a pop powerhouse, but it sugar-rots the brain after a while. King, on the other hand, is meaty and echoes nicely in the skull. (woj@smoe.org)

I feel in the minority about this disc: I feel it shows a great growth from Star (another very good album), and I like "Red", dammit! (cinnamon@one.net)


Thanks to Neal Copperman for work on this entry.

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Entry last updated 2012-02-19 16:16:25.
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