no guitars please
― geeg, Friday, 4 October 2002 00:24 (10 years ago) Permalink
no guitars?, butSome of his guitar work is awesome: "Sound on Sound"and with Gary Numan on "Warriors"I'm not really sure what some of his better synthy works are.
― A Nairn (moretap), Friday, 4 October 2002 00:48 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Chris Krohn, Friday, 4 October 2002 03:03 (10 years ago) Permalink
Unfortunaltly very little of his '80's material seems to be available at the moment, although there is a nice little 2CD set called "What Now? What Next?" which gives an overview of all his 80's material for Cocteau Records, including tracks from a couple of unreleased albums.
― Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Friday, 4 October 2002 07:44 (10 years ago) Permalink
If it's the more synthpop/synth-fi aspects of his work you're after go for:Quit Dreaming & Get On The Beam (1981) - Do You Dream In Colour, Youth Of Nation On Fire, Life Runs Out Like Sand & the title track are all nearly or totally guitar-free.
The Love That Whirls (1982) - most tracks fit the bill (cough)
Chimera (1983) - some guitars on all the tracks, but they are used as another sound element, not some widdlywiddly-icing solo expressionist extravaganza.
He released a large amount of purely instrumental work in the first half of the 80's too - some of which was coupled as 'bonus' discs with the above LP's (or was the B-side of the 'extended cassette' release).He did 2 soundtracks for small theatre companies - 'Das Kabinet' & 'La Belle Et La Bette' - which as I recall are guitar-free, but have very short 'atmospheric accompaniment' tracks and are quite fragmented and generally unsatisfying to sit and listen to. They also sound quite cheap/primitive in the technology and recording - like cheap synth/home keyboards fed through a lot of fx (and imagination)to beef them up and recorded on a bedroom studio 4-track.The others are:'Sounding The Ritual Echo' (1981) - orig. coupled with the 'Quit Dreaming...' LP , this is a mixture of approx 3-min pieces, some guitar-free some not, that range from odd/quirky to what might later have been re-marketed as 'new age' (groan)
'A Catalogue Of Obsessions' (1984)'Pavilions Of The Heart & Soul'(1984)'Chamber Of Dreams' (1984) - these three were released as a box set, but can also be got individually. They pretty much cover the same ground as SRE, but have better production. The first two were works-in-themselves, but the last was also part of a different project, Bill Nelson's own description of which follows:In 1981 and 1983, I organised a series of live performances under the general title of The Invisibility Exhibition. This event toured throughout Great Britain and included contributions from the Yorkshire Actors Company, Richard Jobson, Frank Chickens and David Claridge as well as myself and Ian Nelson. Besides theatre, poetry, mime, and musical performances, there were eight TV screens and one large movie screen on which were shown films by Jean Cocteau and Man Ray. My own musical contribution included live improvisation of guitar, percussion and synthesizer over pre-recorded tapes from the archives of the Echo Observatory. Chamber of Dreams presents two facets of this event. Tracks 1-9 is a selection of the 'backing tapes' which were used as a basis for my performance. They are presented here in their virgin state without any live improvisation. Musicians owning this album might enjoy sketiching their own ideas over these tracks in the privacy of their own home. Tracks 10-18 represents a selection of the interval music which was played between the various performances during the Exhibition itself. These are complete and were not intended as part of the improvisational work. For those who attended the performances, this record is intended as a souvenir for the ear. For those who missed the Invisibility Exhibition perhaps Chamber of Dreams will make you curious enough to attend the next one. - W. Nelson '84
― Ray M (rdmanston), Friday, 4 October 2002 09:39 (10 years ago) Permalink
― your null fame (yournullfame), Friday, 4 October 2002 09:56 (10 years ago) Permalink
― dek1, Friday, 4 October 2002 12:09 (10 years ago) Permalink
― Ray M (rdmanston), Friday, 4 October 2002 13:49 (10 years ago) Permalink
― A Cracker Jack On Crack (Bimble...), Saturday, 19 August 2006 03:18 (6 years ago) Permalink
808 + vibes + samples:
― damo tsu tsuki (r1o natsume), Monday, 27 July 2009 17:21 (3 years ago) Permalink
I'm ambivalent about his Bebop Deluxe period (it has it's moments) and the stuff he's done the past 20 years hasn't moved me (his singing style changed and he needs an editor the way Robert Pollard needs one) - BUT from 79-89 he was as good as anyone else out there. The Red Noise album is insidiously great, "Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam" is the greatest new wave synth pop album no one's heard, "The Love That Whirls" is gorgeous, his Orchestra Arcana forways were ahead of their time, and "Getting The Holy Ghost Across" capped it off with an amazing amalgamation of sounds, textures and lyrics. Even the odds and ends comp, "The Two-Fold Aspect Of Everything" is full of throw-away gems that burrow into my skull and sit there for months. Are there any other worshippers of Mr. Nelson?
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 24 December 2009 13:24 (3 years ago) Permalink
"Are there any other worshippers of Mr. Nelson?"
and I'm also guilty of Be Bop Deluxe love!
― Marco Damiani, Thursday, 24 December 2009 14:48 (3 years ago) Permalink
i need way more bill nelson in my life. all i have right now is 'the love that whirls' plus companion ep, both of which i worship plenty
― psychgawsple, Thursday, 24 December 2009 15:15 (3 years ago) Permalink
They reissued some of the early Cocteau records in the past few years, scarf those up. And sadly the only CD release of "Getting The Holy Ghost Across" came and went in the blink of an eye and now goes for stupid money on Amazon et al. Has anyone dipped into his 90s/00s stuff? Thoughts?
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 24 December 2009 21:31 (3 years ago) Permalink
I loved Bill Nelson about 15 years ago. Love That Whirls was my fave, closely followed by the Chimera EP w Yukihiro Takahashi and Mick Karn. And certainly Red Noise was a helluva XTC record. But Love That Whirls w all the swirling synths, backwards tapes and drumboxes was where it all came together for him. Not a real "quality control" guy, but a lot of good stuff all the way into the 90's w him -- it was only when home studios became cheap & everyone could record as much as him that he seemed to fade. Or maybe I just stopped paying attention.
― Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 26 December 2009 19:08 (3 years ago) Permalink
I have a bunch of his stuff but I only really listen to Sound on Sound and Quit Dreaming...
― Nate Carson, Saturday, 26 December 2009 20:23 (3 years ago) Permalink
Love that Whirls is really good.
― orchestral manure in the dark (corey), Tuesday, 13 July 2010 04:17 (2 years ago) Permalink
My favorite tracks from that album:
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 18:46 (2 years ago) Permalink
I'm all about this one.
― Nate Carson, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 22:41 (2 years ago) Permalink
Is this about the senior senator from Florida?
― Filmmaker, Author, Radio Host Stephen Baldwin (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 13 July 2010 22:57 (2 years ago) Permalink
Nate - that's one of my faves as well. The combination of his crunchy guitar and synths is amazing.
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Tuesday, 13 July 2010 23:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
ugh, so much love for the Red Noise album. i just can't get into it. it's like glammy proggy new wave ska. like something oingo boingo would have done. i guess someone said it's like xtc, and that makes sense, but i don't like xtc, so there.
― jaxon, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 06:59 (2 years ago) Permalink
Not sure I hear the prog or the ska, but definitely glam new wave!
I love when this thread gets revived, though it's too few appreciators, and I doubt it's a list that will grow over time.
But Bill is still plugging away - he's got a coterie of supporters on his forum, where he frequently chimes in.
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 14:14 (2 years ago) Permalink
i'm definitely a fan. just not of that album. i've got a few others that i love. Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam & Chimera. i thought the rest of his stuff was gonna sound like john foxx meets japan, so was a lil shocked when it was so rocking
― jaxon, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 16:05 (2 years ago) Permalink
Surprised Gorge has not weighed in on this.
― the steen-propelled HOOS (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 9 February 2011 16:07 (2 years ago) Permalink
the only album of his i've heard is love that whirls, which i love. everything else i've heard from youtube hasn't really inspired me to seek out more
― dynamicinterface, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 19:41 (2 years ago) Permalink
jaxon you need to hear love that whirls. definitely synthy, not rocking at all really, and better than the 2 albums you listed (though they are pretty good too!)
fwiw i can't get into red noise or much of the other stuff either
― a lagoon par la mer (psychgawsple), Wednesday, 9 February 2011 19:54 (2 years ago) Permalink
I prefer Live in the Air Age. His solo stuff sounds like almost-inspired noodling to me. There are exceptions, but . . .
― UndoneTone, Wednesday, 9 February 2011 20:38 (2 years ago) Permalink
>>Surprised Gorge has not weighed in on this.
Since you asked. Like almost everything he did in the band format including Red Noise. Not so much afterward.
I think he just felt he'd done everything he could do with the big noise in twang town. Fair enough.
"Crying to the Sky" has his best guitar solo/work in hard rock. Thought I might have read he admistted the same in interview, plus the fact that it's his most Hendrixian thing. It's from the Sunburst Finish album, my favorite. The Live in the Air Age piece is also a good place to start. Some of the material, if lesser produced, works a bit better for being live.
Always liked "Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape" and "Blazing Apostles." Futurama is a fairly heavy record, a bit hilarious because of the bad move of putting two of the band members in Waffen SS uniforms for promotional photos.
The BeBop Deluxe material got tagged with faux Bowie criticisms. Sort of because of Nelson's lookmm even more because of a single from the Axe Victim album that aped the Spiders from Mars. It's not one of my favorites but it's not bad as far as pre-Goth glam.
Modern Music is his half-album rock opera. It's all about his fascination with B-movie sci movies, models and memorabilia.
― Gorge, Thursday, 10 February 2011 02:55 (2 years ago) Permalink
someone should of done this guy for the ILX anthology project and as long as there was more stuff in the vein of "tender is the night" I would have been pretty happy
― homeless romantic (CaptainLorax), Thursday, 10 February 2011 03:34 (2 years ago) Permalink
I could only do 79-88 or so but would welcome a 90s and 00s anthology suggestion as well!
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Thursday, 10 February 2011 16:37 (2 years ago) Permalink
Well, looks like my request is being answered by the man himself:
"The Practice Of Everyday Life", an 8 CD box set!
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 12 November 2011 15:15 (1 year ago) Permalink
been listening to lots of his stuff again after years of not. be bop I'm really only loving drastic plastic; agree with jaxon a bit on the red noise album, I have a hard time with it, but love/dreaming/chimera are wonderful.
― akm, Friday, 28 September 2012 05:09 (7 months ago) Permalink
Those three would be my choices as well. I see that Cherry Red are reissuing the Trial By Intimacy 4CD box set. Not sure if I'm hardcore enough to pick it up, but the ambition alone is appealing.
― doug watson, Friday, 28 September 2012 15:38 (7 months ago) Permalink
kinda of a useless senator imo
― taking tiger mountain (up the butt) (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 28 September 2012 15:40 (7 months ago) Permalink
Thanks to the box set, I've come around big-time on his Be Bop Deluxe period as well as the 80s instrumental albums. I'm definitely picking up the "Trial By Intimacy" reissue (I remember fondling the vinyl in Main St. Records back in the day) and will likely get the Be Bop 5cd box as well.
― Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 29 September 2012 00:06 (7 months ago) Permalink
I'm seriously thinking about "Trial by intimacy" - I've still got the original set somewhere, book and postcards... Would really enjoy hearing it properly again, "Sex party six" - the first track on the fourth LP - was a very trance-y song iirc.
― Rob M Revisited, Saturday, 29 September 2012 06:21 (7 months ago) Permalink
I've never heard his debut, Northern Dream, which IIRC Trouser Press compared to Neil Young(!!). Since its one of the BN records in Spotify, I'll check it out.
― Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 1 October 2012 04:22 (7 months ago) Permalink
Sounds like I already own all the essential albums. Of the Trial By Intimacy stuff (none of which I've heard beyond needle drops in a record store), the Catalogue of Obsessions sounds like the most interesting of the bunch.
― Nate Carson, Monday, 1 October 2012 07:29 (7 months ago) Permalink