Friday, July 21, 2017

Belly - Star - 1993

My worst and most embarrassing post. 

Back in the day, I did dabble some in the "grunge" thing.  I preferred to call the music that I liked "College Rock".  I was in college, it was Rock, and I would not admit to listening to grunge (although I still have some Nirvana and Soundgarden in my collection (no Pearl Jam!)).

To be completely clear, though, I liked the Pixies in the late 80s and had a lot of their music.  Obviously, Bossanova stands out as one of my favorite albums, probably in my top 200 (maybe).  So, with Frank going solo, and the Breeders taking shape, it was only natural for me to play into Kristen Hersh, Throwing Muses, Tanya Donelly, and of course, Belly.

I used to think this was a great album.  It was fun, catchy, and I loved the vocals.  Mind you, Curve and Lush were big with me at that time, too, so I was obviously drawn to those female vocals.  For the time period, though, the Breeders dominated my likes for this particular genre comparison, but Belly was a close second.

Looking back, I realize that Throwing Muses were so much better than Belly, and the Breeders were trying to hard to be different.  Of the three bands, I think Throwing Muses would be the only one that I would consider relevant.  Throwing Muses to the Breeders would be like the Beatles to Frank Zappa.  And Throwing Muses to Belly would be like Beatles to Strawberry Alarm Clock.  Fur sure.

But, Belly is still interesting to listen to every once in a while.  It brings back memories for me of simpler times in my life, when things were just starting for me and my freedoms were being fully explored.  For others who are new to them, I'm sure that it would be an interesting listen, and a definite niche for your repertoire. The pop songs are still pop songs, and they are still rather good, even though dated.

It would be interesting to see Belly get back together for a new set of tunes, just to see if they could do anything worthwhile or relevant.  Or, better yet, maybe not.  Whatever.


  1. Okay, I have to admit that I have a soft spot for this album. Like you said, some of the songs DO sound dated, but most of the album is still good solid pop songs. "Feed the Tree" is still one of my favorite songs from that era, and "Gepetto" is another track I really like. I have their second album, "King," and I have to say, it's not nearly as good as this one. And as for the Throwing Muses .... well, "Dizzy" is one of those songs that I find myself humming now and then without realizing it because it just pops unexpectedly into my head.

  2. Also loved this album back in the day but agree it doesn't hold up that well... but definitely curious for a repeat listen! Also Throwing Muses... I loved University back in the day, didn't seek out anything else though... what would you recommend as further listening by them? Any plans to feature them here in the future?

    1. @PeteRock,

      I'd recommend the "Hunkpapa" album by Throwing Muses. I think it's their most accessible record, and just an all-around great album. "Dizzy" is, in my opinion, the best song they've ever done.

  3. You have ZERO reason to be embarrassed by enjoying this album. Grunge was a blight on the world that's still causing problems to this day, but the outliers like Breeders and Pixies and Throwing Muses and, yes, Belly made some wonderful music that was able to just slip in around the edges of the grunge juggernaut. I can relate to how these tunes bring back a simpler time... they take me back to a WONDERFUL era in my life, when I was establishing myself post-college and post-divorce, just enjoying life and being happy for the first time in a long time. But take off those rose-colored glasses, and "Star" still sounds fresh and delightful. Thanks for the post.


  4. Funny you should ask...

    We very much appreciate all the patience regarding the new Belly material we’ve now promised several times! We really have been busy writing and demo’ing new songs since the conclusion of the reunion tour last year, and we’re happy to reveal that we’ll be going into the studio in just a couple of weeks with our old friend Paul Q. Kolderie working the knobs and faders. It is our hope that we’ll have a new Belly record ready for release sometime in 2018, and in the meantime we’re laying the ground-work for some touring to coincide!