Les Merton & the Moontones | Beat Reality

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Beat Reality

by Les Merton & the Moontones

From Cornwall comes the latest cry of the beat-generation: the lyrics are edgy; the voice brims with hard-won experience; the music is beat-ific.
Genre: Spoken Word: With Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Beat Reality
3:53 $0.99
2. Street
3:04 $0.99
3. Brag
2:44 $0.99
4. And the Children
3:36 $0.99
5. Monday Evening, Redruth
1:26 $0.99
6. Road Movie
2:59 $0.99
7. Smokey's Cafe Cameos
2:16 $0.99
8. Survivor
2:40 $0.99
9. Smoke Rings
2:48 $0.99
10. Fancy
2:36 $0.99
11. Lay-by
4:11 $0.99
12. Paint It Grey
2:52 $0.99
13. Ray
2:31 $0.99
14. Shebeen
1:40 $0.99
15. Yes
2:24 $0.99
16. Biography of a Generation
3:08 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Review by Jim Bennett,editor Poetry Kit:

This CD contains poems written and read by Les Merton and set to music by The Moontones. For a poetry put to music album to be successful, you have to have some great poetry being read by someone who can bring the best out of it and lay it bare before the listener and musicians who can interpret the mood of the poems and be sympathetic to the rhythm and cadences of the language being used. On Beat Reality Les Merton brings the very best from his poems and the band compliment it beautifully.

For me the outstanding track is the title track, which bears lots of repeated listening. The other tracks all have a lot to recommend them, not least the Brian Eno inspired ambience some of them create. As an introduction to Les Merton and his poetry this is an excellent sampler containing some very strong work including Smoke Rings and Biography of a Generation.

Review by Kate Edwards, REACH magazine:

Les Merton's soft Cornish voice blends beautifully with the mellow and engaging music of the Moontones. His lyrics are haunting and challenging, but also social comment, highlighting much that is wrong with our society today, but without condemnation, seeming to understand why some things are as they are. A no holds barred, almost impersonal commentary, but with a depth of feeling behind it. It is as though Les has taken a step back in order to record the scenes and people he describes more clearly, with an almost eerie clarity and poetic insight. The title poem, 'Beat Reality' is a compelling and perceptive description of what Beat Reality is, or can be. A sadness, almost despair, filters through the words and music in many of the lyrics; in others, a strong affirmation of the human spirit. The music is often moody and plaintive, evoking all the lost, lonely places and people Les conjures with his words, then changing to a more upbeat rhythm, catching the nuance and essence of his voice. Compelling and perceptive with its insights into other worlds and lives. Buy the CD, and step outside, or inside, yourself while it plays.

Review by Martin Holroyd, editor, Poetry Monthly:

Beat Reality (Les Merton and the Moontones) is a neat
and well produced CD of poems with specially composed
music, ‘and it’s different’, nothing like the
slugging, analogous beat of rap, these poems are
inspired, sometimes gentle, once removed thoughts all
people with a soul have. There are harsh moments that
provide a contrast, but it’s not a constant ramming of
social/political grudge, but an almost nostalgic visit
to what was and what might have been. The Moontones
provide some really interesting backing and is
(whoever the musical director is) also inspired. If
you have a leaning toward ‘Beat poetry’ you’ll love
this. I particularly loved the track ‘Ray’, it does
remind me of someone I used to know.



to write a review

david watson

beat reality
Les realy captures the beat genaration in his poems and songs and this cd is a must for any one who would like to get a feel of what the orignal beat poets were all about plus how it is today i will have to listen to the cd many times to get the meaning of all the tracks i would also recomend the book inspired by outlaws which is the perfect accompaniment to the cd a word about the moonstones yes they have just the right sound to complement the words

Eileen Carney Hulme

A great listening experience...
Gritty lyrics and mood music make the perfect combination in this new collaboration between prolific Cornish poet Les Merton and The Moontones. The poems tell of people and places, life’s highs and lows and completely capture the essence of Beat. So much so that the title track, Beat Reality appears in a new film by American Joe Speer entitled Off The Beaten Track. Every track on the CD has just the right blend of words and music to enhance the listening experience. I also recommend you buy the book entitled Inspired by Outlaws which contains all the poems on the CD plus another 36 poems, I’ve read it cover to cover and thought it excellent. This is Les Merton at his best, you won’t be disappointed.

Steve Langley

A great piece of work. It is adult, intelligent, entertaining, humorous, shockin
Dear People,
Just have to tell you that I've been listening to this CD - Beat Reality - a lot! I mean a hell of a lot! It is a great piece of work. It is adult, intelligent, entertaining, humorous, shocking and heartfelt!!!
I wouldn't be playing it for my own continued pleasure if it wasn't such a high scorer and Beat Reality isn't a 10 out of 10 - it's an 11 out of 10, at least!
It's now definitely lodged in my - "to play a again and again" - pile of CD's!
I haven't read all the Poems in the Book that accompanies the CD yet - over half I'd say, but I will, as I've found my appreciation of Les Merton's work has grown appreciatively from this latest release. The music of the Moontones compliments the words just perfectly. There is a definite chemistry of artistry going on here between the meaning of the word and the sound of the music - both are haunting, original and moving!
Bloody well done chaps! Keep that strong voice calling out -and those messagesvisions will be seen and heard by even the blind and the deaf!
All the best.
Steve Langley. Poet.

Ulf Bleyth Pendrivel

Recording's peak surpassed. This is Saffron Satori at its most compelling. A trip in itself. Merton has seen it all, Rock and Roll, hula hoops, the Revolutionary Party, YO-YOs but when the string broke he returned to visions of the dharma bums and their after image. Listen to this album, verse and music perfectly matched, so cool it's almost frigid. Not since Jake Carharrack and Wella Burras introduced Beatnik soup to the Slow Boat in StIves, and Larry Porlegassick and Alan Ginster unwrapped their bedrolls down Penzance has this measure of hip hopped here .....

Mick Paynter

Ass yw henna splann, man
Les Merton is a man of many talents. He has come a long way from his start on Medlyn Moor. As a writer he has mined the lodes of Blank and Structured Verse, Cornish Dialect Poetry,Agitprop for a Myriad of Cornish causes.
He is the editor and inspiration behind the successful Poetry Magazine Poetry Cornwall/Bardhonyeth Kernow.
He is also a man with a history and this CD is the result of his meditations on that history and its place in the world. The poems are well crafted and suitable rhythmic and the backing provided by his comrades in the Moontones is equally excellent in its subtlety.

Steven Alderson

Close the curtains, get a glass of your favourite poison...
Beat Reality - Les Merton and the Moontones

Close the curtains, get a glass of your favourite poison - let your mind wander. With a nod to the beat poet’s of old, the travelling crazies, the lost and the dispossessed, Les Merton’s verses, backed by the cool, smooth sounds of the Moontones will take you on the road. For those of you familiar with Merton’s work, this is a must; a journey taken together. Those of you lost in the maze of materialism and the tyranny of titleism’s need to take time out; listen, see the other realities that lay around you, yours is not the only one, spend some time on the road, open up.