Friday, January 25, 2013


Belly made a beautiful noise with the dreamy jangle pop and foreboding folk of this stellar sanctification. Tanya Donelly had always been the pop counterpoint to her stepsister Kristin Hersh's more intense visions in the Throwing Muses. She had worked with 4AD labelmates the Pixies' Kim Deal to form the Breeders; but after 'The Real Ramona' (her last album with the Muses), she found herself ready to start her own group.

Donelly recalls:   "Throwing Muses started out as a Rhode Island band with Gary Smith who produced us at the time, he’s actually my manger now. He was a Rhode Islander as well and he kind of urged us to go north because there just seemed to be more of a music scene going on in Boston at that time. We were getting a lot of press in Boston already even though we hadn’t reached out yet...And then we got signed to 4AD and things started to really pick up and it became full time for us... I was there a long time. You know, my sense of chronology is very poor. We recorded four records and then a few EPs as well. And I left in 1990...Kim and I formed the Breeders while I was still in the Muses. Originally it was supposed to be a side project. The way we were going to work it was Kim would write the first record and then I would write the second record. But then I left the Muses, and I wanted to find something else full time. Kim stayed in The Pixies for another year. So the group of songs that was going to be the Breeders second record ended up being Belly’s first record."

Donelly got together with her childhood friends Tom and Chris Gordon, who had been in Newport hardcore bands. She also brought in Muses bassist Fred Abong. The sessions were produced by Belly, Tracy Chisolm, and Gil Norton at Sound Emporium Studios in Nashville, Tennessee and Amazon Studios in Liverpool, England with Tanya Donelly on vocals and guitar; Thomas Gorman on guitar and organ; Fred Abong on bass; Chris Gorman on drums and percussion; with Chick Graning on guitar, slide guitar, and vocals and John Douglass on violin. Donelly says:   "Nashville, that was to be near Chick (Graning, former lead singer of Anastasia Screamed and her betrothed) and we recorded in Liverpool because the studio there was one that Gil Norton wanted to use, so...” After the recording of the album, Abong left and was replaced by Gail Greenwood on bass.

'Star' sold more than fifty thousand copies in the first week, eventually moving eight hundred thousand copies in the US and two million worldwide. The album was nominated for the Grammy for Best Alternative Album and Belly was nominated for Best New Artist. 'Star' went to number two on the UK album chart and number one on the US independent chart. Donelly considers:   “I think that the moments the album songs are not necessary the darker moments of my childhood. I mean a couple of songs, a couple of instances. I am not really obsessed with my childhood feelings but I do pay attention to other children. In a way, all of the childishness and stuff I never let go, I mean I never forced it out of our system, the way some adults are forced to force out of their system. There are only one or two tracks that refer to childhood, one refers to my childhood but, the other track is about other children that I know.”

"Feed the Tree" went to ninety-five on the US pop chart, number forty in the UK, and spent six weeks at number one on the US modern rock tracks chart. The video was nominated at the MTV awards for Best Alternative Video VMA and the band got a nomination for Best New Artist VMA. 

"Gepetto" carved its way to number eight on the US modern rock tracks chart. 

"Slow Dog" ran to number seventeen on the US modern rock tracks chart. 


"Low Red Moon" 


full album:

Belly-Star (Full Album) by dm_502099d9e14de

All songs written by Tanya Donelly, except where noted.

1.Someone to die for
4.Every Word
7.Slow Dog
8.Low Red Moon
9.Feed the Tree
10.Full moon
11.White Belly (Fred Abong/Donelly)
14.Sad Dress

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