A fact of life in the lower reaches of the rock & roll world is that it can be downright impossible to keep a band together for any length at all, as real-world commitments like the ability to pay the rent tend to interfere with the pursuit of the top of the pops. That the Beatifics have had their share of lineup troubles is unfortunately unsurprising, but the strength of leader Chris Dorn's power pop songs makes them a worthy addition to the Minneapolis music scene that started with the Suicide Commandos and the Suburbs, through the Replacements and Hüsker Dü to the Hang Ups and others.
The roots of the Beatifics were in a short-lived early-'90s power pop band called the Rockerfellers, which also included guitarist Andy Schultz. After a four-song appearance on the compilation SymPOPhony #1: A Collection of American Power Pop, the debut release on the influential Not Lame label, the Rockerfellers split up when the band's rhythm section left. Undaunted, Dorn and Schultz recruited bassist Paul Novak and drummer Randy Seals and renamed their new group the Beatifics. In 1995, the new band signed to No Alternative Records, a new label co-founded by Peter Jesperson of Twin/Tone fame. The Beatifics' garagey sounding debut, How I Learned to Stop Worrying, was released in 1996, but despite reviews that verged on rapture from the emergent power pop underground, the trouble started soon thereafter. Seals departed before the band could tour; he was quickly replaced by Keely Lane, but more troublingly, in early 1997, No Alternative Records announced that effective immediately they were changing their business and distribution model entirely, effectively becoming one of the very first record labels to distribute their recordings via only the Internet. Though the plan was admirably far-reaching, it was at least two or three years ahead of its time and the label quickly closed shop, leaving the Beatifics stranded without a label.
Dorn and Schultz amicably parted ways at that point, with the guitarist forming his own band, Betty Drake. Remarkably, the Beatifics did not actually break up, although the group did basically become a catch-all name covering Dorn and whoever was playing behind him at the time. Finally, after four years' woodshedding, the Beatifics returned quietly with a 7" EP on the Virginia-based indie Tallboy Records. The A-side of that single, "The Longest Days of Summer," appeared on a five-track EP, In the Meantime, in early 2002, after the group signed to the well-regarded indie Bus Stop Records. ~ Stewart Mason, Rovi