打着混融Radiohead的迷幻音感、Oasis的Brit-Pop风潮、Beck的拼贴艺术等特色，深黯各世代先锋前辈的音乐内涵，将鲜明简单的音符线条，重新组合排列，为其音乐创意取材添入摇滚全新风貌，虽然如此，来自苏格兰的The Beta Band，音乐旅程一路走来，却也备感压力及艰辛！由主唱/吉他/打击乐手Steve Mason、贝斯/吉他/打击乐手Richard Greentree、鼓手/钢琴手Robin Jones、DJ取样/钢琴手John Maclean四人于1997年正式成军，每个人都有多样乐器演奏之才华，接连三张备受赞誉的EP，压倒性的赢得乐评连连赞誉，NME更强力引荐这组撼动曼彻斯特的摇滚新部队，1999年完整同名录音室作品问世后，陆续于2001及2004年发行【Hot Shots II】、【Heroes To Zeros】专辑，深具实验精神的解构出The Beta Band一再进步的音乐内涵，成为媒体笔下‘英国最嘻皮的乐团’、‘英国爱丁堡Art Rock最佳乐团’等好评推荐。
就在步入乐坛八年之际，The Beta Band却毅然决然的宣布解散，突如其来的举动，引起各界惋惜声四起，但这并不表示因此就结束四位团员的音乐生涯，Richard Greentree即将有个人单飞专辑问世，主唱Steve的分身乐团King Biscuit Time也在9月发行全新单曲，Robin与John则和Gordon Anderson共通激爆音乐新火花。这张最后精选大碟，完整收录The Beta Band历届优质佳作，虽然并没有亮眼的排行成绩撑腰，饶富趣味及音乐质感的”Broke”、”It’s Not Too Beautiful”、"Assessment"、”Easy”、”Squares”、”Smiling”等16首单曲，都值得让人再三玩味！
The Beta Band formed in 1996 around Edinburgh musicians Steve Mason (vocals, guitar) and Gordon Anderson. The two had plans to call their group The Pigeons but later changed their minds. As they pulled together songs for their debut EP, Champion Versions, they added Robin Jones (drums) and John Maclean (DJ, sampler, keyboards) Steve Duffield was the original bassist but quit the band soon after recording the Champion Versions EP. Not long after they were signed to Regal/Parlophone, Anderson became ill and decided to quit the band. He would later produce recordings under the name Lone Pigeon. The remaining members added Englishman Richard Greentree (bass) and solidified their lineup.
Champion Versions was released in July 1997 to critical acclaim not only for the music but also for the record's innovative cut-and-paste sleeve design (the work of John Maclean). Two further EPs followed in 1998: The Patty Patty Sound in March and Los Amigos del Beta Bandidos in July. The EPs were all subjects of widespread critical praise, and all three appeared on the appropriately titled The Three EPs collection in September 1998.
The band soon commenced work on their ambitious first full-length recording, pulling inspiration from sources as diverse as Jamaican reggae, Disney's movie The Black Hole and Bonnie Tyler's "Total Eclipse of the Heart." The record, simply titled The Beta Band, was released on 21 June 1999. The first track, "The Beta Band Rap," managed to tell the band's back story over alternating bubblegum pop, rap and rockabilly backing tracks. Its eclecticism was representative of the rest of the album, which was widely perceived to be more stylistically diverse than the initial EPs. The mixed press turned decidedly negative when the band announced their own disdain for the record. They claimed that Regal's unreasonable deadline and tight budgets kept them from refining their improvisations into coherent songs. Despite this, several of the songs arguably rank amongst the group's greatest works, namely "Brokenupadingdong" (later used in the film Igby Goes Down), "The Cow's Wrong" and the epic "The Hard One."
Nonetheless, the album had not generally been as well-received as the preceding EPs, and the band returned to the studio with something to prove. The result of that session was the double A-side single "To You Alone"/"Sequinsizer", released on 24 January 2000. As early as August the previous year, Mason had discussed the possibility of releasing the tracks as a single and had urged fans to lobby Regal for the release. The single was received favourably and was widely regarded as a return to form for the band. The NME made it their "Single of the Week", and would later select it as one of the 50 greatest singles of 2000 in their end-of-year awards. "To You Alone" was also included on the soundtrack of the 2000 remake of the television series Randall and Hopkirk (Deceased), released in March.
Even higher profile soundtrack exposure was to follow, with the band's music featuring prominently in a scene in the film High Fidelity (based on the Nick Hornby novel of the same name), released in late March 2000 in the U.S. and July in the UK. In the film, a record store owner played by John Cusack mentions the band by name ("I will now sell five copies of The Three EPs by The Beta Band") and plays a minute or so of the song "Dry the Rain." This exposed the band to a wide range of new listeners, particularly in the U.S., where the band's profile had previously been borderline nonexistent.
A hiatus followed, during which Mason released his second King Biscuit Time EP. The band gradually gravitated back into the studio, this time recruiting noted UK producer Colin Emmanuel, aka C-Swing, to oversee the process. The album, Hot Shots II, appeared in summer 2001, and was warmly received by critics and fans alike. It sacrificed much of the first album's experimentation for more boiled-down pop structure and hooks. The band had originally intended to release "Squares" (b/w "Won") as the leadoff single—a video had been filmed and promo discs issued—but when it transpired that another single ("Daydream in Blue" by I Monster) featuring a sample from the same obscure Gunter Kallmann Choir song was to be released at around the same time, the band opted to release "Broke" instead. Two other singles were released from the album: "Human Being" in October 2001 and "Squares" in February 2002 (with the I Monster track long out of the charts). The band embarked on a long tour to support the album. In August 2002, they made Q magazine's list of "50 Bands to See Before You Die".
The band began demo sessions for their third album in September 2002. They entered the studio with producer Tom Rothrock in 2003 and managed to complete a number of tracks. However, the band were not pleased with the results, and nor were Regal executives. So it was that the band themselves produced the album. Famed producer Nigel Godrich was called in to mix the album, which was finally completed in early 2004. Lead single, "Assessment," was released on 12 April 2004, followed by the album Heroes to Zeros on 26 April. A second single, "Out-Side", followed in July. To the surprise of most fans, the band announced their breakup on their official website on 2 August 2004. In November, they performed at the Summer Sundae festival and commenced a farewell tour. Their final show was at Edinburgh's Liquid Rooms venue on 5 December 2004.
On 3 October 2005, the band released a 2-disc DVD set, The Best of The Beta Band - Film, featuring most of the band's videos and a selection of short films, television footage, documentaries as well as four songs recorded live at the Shepherds Bush Empire on 29 November 2004, one of the band's final performances. Also released on the same day was a 2 CD set, The Best of The Beta Band - Music, comprising a compilation disc of studio recordings and a disc containing the Shepherds Bush gig.
Since the split, Steve Mason is continuing with his solo project King Biscuit Time, while Robin Jones and John Maclean have become The Aliens along with Gordon Anderson of Lone Pigeon. Richard Greentree is also working with Robin Jones in The General and Duchess Collins.
01. Dry The Rain
02. Inner Meet Me
03. She's The One
04. Dr. Baker
05. It's Not Too Beautiful
07. To You Alone
09. Human Being