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You Turn Me On

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Product details

  • Audio CD (10 Nov. 2008)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: K Records
  • ASIN: B000244F1E
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 348,838 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Tiger Trap
2. Nosie
3. Pinebox Derby
4. Teenage Caveman
5. Sleepy Head
6. You Turn Me On
7. Godsend
8. Hey Day
9. Bury The Hammer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Gorehound on 8 Sept. 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favourite albums of the early nineties.
Beat Happening were in my mind, a cross between early Cramps and th Velvets. Their dark sense of humour and Calvin's unique baritone are infectious. Calvin;s later bands, Halo Benders and Dub Narcotic Sound System have great moments, but i think he peaked with Beat Happening.
'Black Candy' and 'Dreamy ' are excellent too.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
A timely reminder of one of the great American indie acts of the late 80s early nineties. You turn me on is Beat Happenings last album and high lights include Godsend, Bury the Hammer, Teenage Caveman, Tiger Trap....... the whole lot! A must for any serious/beginer alternative lo-fi music fan.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Martin Driver on 23 April 2005
Format: Audio CD
I don't know anything about Beat Happening, so I won't pretend to. They get a (largely negative) name check in "Heavier than Heaven", and I tripped over a review of this album whilst looking for something else. Still, that review was good enough to encourage me to have look at this.
Firstly, this is not the record I expected - it hardly leaps out of the speakers at you. The overall ethos is a relaxed one, feeling a bit like the Meat Puppets, but without the instumental complexity. Guitars strum dreamily in a Sonic Youth way, but without the feedback. In places this reminds me of The Arcade Fire, but without the orchestration.
There are two voices here: a deep baritone and a much higher (female?) counterpart, and the variance works well as they saunter through vaguely psychedelic melodies that get deeper into your mind than you'd first think. Even the more "rocky" tracks, while having a garagey feel are delivered with a subdued simplicity of instrumentation and a deceptively light touch.
This is not a record which will change my life - but it has made my life a slightly more pleasant place to be.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 9 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Career zenith of a band with many great albums 17 Aug. 2004
By Craig Clarke - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Unlike many bands, the more albums Beat Happening made, the better they got. This is the way it is supposed to be, but unfortunately it doesn't usually happen that way. You Turn Me On, to date the final Beat Happening album, shows a level of maturity that the average listener would have had no right to expect, based on their previous, more fun-oriented, recordings. To start with, the songwriters have all but eschewed the three-minute song, and three tracks exceed six minutes, with "Godsend" topping out at nine.

Jangly guitar starts off "Tiger Trap" with a mellowness that we've not seen before in the Happening. Calvin restrains his signature baritone's usual forcefulness but keeps the loving disposition of yore during the one-line chorus of "when I saw you." This song, along with several others on You Turn Me On, have not one but two (count 'em: two!) guitars playing in harmony. The heavier production from regular producer Steve Fisk (with Stuart Moxham of the influential Young Marble Giants) benefits the band wonderfully, also giving Heather's "Noise" vocals an ethereal quality they lacked previously.

The subject matter has not changed dramatically from Beat Happening's previous releases: there are still the love songs and the death songs, sometimes in the same song. How Calvin connects the idea of a children's DIY race ("Pinebox Derby") into the death dirge of that other "pine box" is a prime example of the creativity that comes from this band, and a major reason that they are one of my favorites. The title track combines love and death in one with its Beatles "Paul is dead"-inspired chorus (reportedly what could be heard while playing the beginning of the White Album's "Revolution #9" backwards). Calvin growls "Turn me on dead man" repeatedly and with an intensity that belies the band's surface innocence. (For more dark songs, see Black Candy and selected songs from the rest of the BH oeuvre.)

During repeated listens of these albums, I have come to appreciate Heather's contributions to the band's mix (it's difficult to know what Bret adds, as his offering is understated). Her You Turn Me On songs are no different. "Sleepy Head" is beach music extraordinaire and "Godsend" is, quite simply, an epic of minimalist proportions. Had Calvin sung "Sleepy Head" (which would normally be expected, since he wrote it), it would be an entirely different song. This way, its inherent sweetness shines through. "Godsend" continues this tack, with lyrics that most folks would love to hear being sung about themselves by the one they love -- idealized portraits of love's rose-colored vision. Despite its extreme length, a shorter running time would not have achieved the same blissful effect. I'll even posit that it could go on for six more minutes will no ill effects. It represents the fruition of Beat Happening's musical progression. They have learned the persuasive power of repetition and are not afraid to use it.

"Teenage Caveman" is a rumbling beat-driven romp, featuring Heather's backing of Calvin on the chorus, that allows the band to truly "rise to the top" while they "trade spit till it hurts." Calvin sings Heather's lyrics on "Hey Day" and this is the first song that really sounds like a song from the 1990s, with its heavy melodic-yet-grinding groove. "Bury the Hammer" is solid as well, but I would have preferred it to be placed somewhere else in the mix. "Hey Day" is the ideal ender for this album.

You Turn Me On is the qualitative hight point of Beat Happening output, showing that much more could have been expected from this Olympia trio, had they the interest to keep it going. In that case, we'll have to stick with what we've been given and see Beat Happening as the epitome of the understandably influential, utterly groundbreaking, never overstated, eros-thanatos indie punk band.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
My inclination would normally be... 24 Dec. 2005
By Todd Smith - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
God, I am a pretentious jerk I HATE the fact that I'm giving the one "other than minimally produced" Beat Happening record 5 Stars...but there it is. This record is brilliant. Though I love even the cutesiest Glasgolympia crap, this is another creature entirely: powerful, adult, redeeming. If you've tried other Beat Happening records and had difficulty tuning in, do try this one.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
What's forbidden; has been boldly bitten 21 Aug. 2006
By animate ~ - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
"Tiger Trap" starts out this album. Firstly, this album is a recent favorite, but I find myself finding more and more inside of it during each listen. Calvin's vocals took warming up to (the "creak of a coffin" is a good analogy as any), but tracks like "Noise" and "Sleepy Head" immediately took me in. Concerning the first track now, there's much to take in. Being nearly seven minutes, it breaks the usual twee-pop standard of short tracks populated by quick choruses. Not here, though. The lyrics stroll out and I have to say I really respect the group for putting this track first, as it's quite an appreciated listen; it sets the stage for the rest of the album and what is to be said.

"Pinebox Derby" revolves around a simple drum beat strummed chords, but behind them you can faintly hear a soaring of feedback which compliments the monotone vocals nicely. "Teenage Caveman" picks up where it leaves off (I'd bet money these are the same chords, here)--its upbeat, but sappy and gets even sadder on repeated listens. This may just be my perception talking here, but I think this is slowly becoming the least favorite track for me solely because of how depressed it makes me feel. Still, it's not without its moments. Lewis' vocal harmonies during the choruses are so uplifting as to give an entirely different attitude to the song. She's upfront for the next track, "Sleepy Head", once again with simple lyrics that are the embodiment of the indie twee spirit. ("So get up you sleepy head/ It's time to make the bed/ At least get partially dressed.") Like all of the tracks on this album, this one provides something unique and familiar at once, and it's so lovable. Not to skip over the title track, but I'd rather talk about "Godsend". At over nine minutes, this is Beat Happenings longest, and also best, song. The guitars fill whatever void this album had, or whatever void I feel as I listen to it. Again, Lewis' vocals and lyrics are truly a godsend; they're warm and they make me want to raise a large glowing object into the sky. The vocals go from being nearly a whisper to being lifted by a crane above anything else here. ("I see a tear in your eye/ you don't know why/ you're a godsend.")

"Hey Day" and "Bury the Hammer" I feel should be coupled together, with the latter being another highlight of their entire catalogue. By this point you will realize that the whole album is probably made of four chords, but you also won't care because of how much of a masterpiece of a pop album this is. The title is sung over and over again at the end, and it's weight is so objective that you'll feel that this is the best pop album ever made. It probably is.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
"Turn Me On - Deadman" 2 May 2007
By Chris G. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Ahhh...Beat Happening! Fun. Deep & Lazy(beach-like)Music.
They just kept getting better with each album they released. Although I do Love their s/t debut with the Bonus tracks - "You Turn Me On" may be my Favorite - all songs just sound warm and full of life!
All throughout Beat Happening's catalauge you notice the same subject matter, which hasn't changed much: Love and loss and Death - kind of similiar to The Vaselines. Both bands have a guy/girl duo with wonderful vocals. Although The Vaselines bring up drugs and religion a bit more. Both bands at times sound Punk to me. The Vaselines sound a bit more Poppy and grungy.

"Tiger Trap" starts off this album with a Grunge shinin'-shoegazin'- guitar sound and Calvin Johnson's mellow inviting voice, not seen as much in earlier releases.
- Although Calvin wrote "Sleepy Head" - Heather sings this song so beautifully. Definitely one of my Favorite Beat Happening songs. A simple & beautiful indie song and a trademark for the Band at least IMO after hearing all of their albums.
Another reviewer wrote the fact that "Hey Day" should close this album and I would agree. It just seems like the Perfect closer. That would be my only gripe on this otherwise perfect release.
"Godsend" and "Noise" may be my other favorite songs; both also sung by Heather who really adds beauty to Calvin's deep vocals.
"You Turn Me On" released in 1992 is Beat Happening's Final album and to me it is their Best!
This Olympia trio begun in the early '80s and released their debut in '85.
Beginning with a lo-fi minimalist sound and slightly progressed with each LP after.
-"You Turn Me On" just sounds more complete with substance and maturity. Simply Beautiful and Oh so Relaxing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
You Turn Me On...and it's true 6 Mar. 2014
By Gregorius - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Somewhere beside the dark recess of music's under rated bands there is "Beat Happening" now I know that the band Interpol is not really original because they sounded the same (i mean the voice) "You Turn Me On" is one of those overlooked album of the 90's and certainly it sounds magnificent, but as they say great bands remain somewhere under the popular critical reception and it always will be because if it's not then we can't be explorers reaching new heights of musical eargasm.
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