Tonight I'm learning how to poll and I surrender: David Sylvian's Dead Bees on a Cake Poll

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Poll Closing Date: Saturday, 25 April 2020 00:00 (in 2 weeks)

All right, as someone else suggested I do on the thread about Japan/David Sylvian, here's a poll to determine what is the favorite track of all the ones on David Sylvian's 1999 magnum opus (or so I believe) Dead Bees on a Cake. Since we're all doing as little socializing as possible I'm sure you'll find the time to select your favorite. BTW, this and Brilliant Trees are my two absolute favorite DS albums and y'all already did a Brilliant Trees poll, so.

I Surrender
Dobro #1
Midnight Sun
Thalheim
God Man
Alphabet Angel
Krishna Blue
The Shining of Things
Cafe Europa
Pollen Path
All of My Mother's Names (Summers with Amma)
Wanderlust
Praise (Pratah Smarami)
Darkest Dreaming


We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Saturday, 21 March 2020 12:09 (two weeks ago) link

Easy: Krishna Blue, one of my most favourite songs of his.

Valentijn, Saturday, 21 March 2020 12:23 (two weeks ago) link

Easy: Krishna Blue, one of my most favourite songs of his.

Ooh, solid choice and definitely among my top five favorites on the album.

We Live as We Dee, Alone (deethelurker), Saturday, 21 March 2020 13:00 (two weeks ago) link

He re-jiggered the running order and added 4 tracks that had previously been released on "Everything & Nothing" when it was reissued in 2018:

I Surrender
*The Scent Of Magnolia
Dobro #1
Midnight Sun
*Cover Me With Flowers
Krishna Blue
*Albuquerque (Dobro #6)
Thalhiem
Alphabet Angel
Godman
Café Europa
*Aparna And Nimisha (Dobro #5)
Pollen Path
The Shining Of Things
Wanderlust
All Of My Mother's Names (Summers With Amma)
Praise (Pratah Smarami)
Darkest Dreaming

Anyone prefer this version?

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:04 (two weeks ago) link

i think it was already long enough so that doesn't sound as appealing even if the new tracks are good

ciderpress, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:11 (two weeks ago) link

Darkest Dreaming gets my vote. Possibly my favourite song he's ever done including Japan. A stunning end to the album.

kitchen person, Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:19 (two weeks ago) link

Had a relisten this afternoon...it was on iTunes so it was l the rejigged version...don’t know if this made a difference but It was much better than I remembered...probably between
‘I Surrender’ and ‘Wonderlust’ for me...what’s undisputed for me is that ‘Godman’ is the worst thing he ever recorded...even worse than ‘Don’t Rain On My Parade’..

X-Prince Protégé (sonnyboy), Saturday, 21 March 2020 16:53 (two weeks ago) link

He sustains the atmosphere wonderfully throughout the whole album, but it's hard to top "I Surrender". It gives me similar vibes to New Grass: either a thousand spirits falling into jazz repose, or a single man.

Nabozo, Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:07 (two weeks ago) link

It just took me 15min to find this record. The last time I moved house I put 80% of the CDs into binders and junked the jewel cases and sleeves; I kept scanning the shelf back and forth... surely I kept all the Sylvian intact? I mean, if the two-part Jean the Birdman single is there, and Approaching Silence and even Damage ffs... But, no, seems it's in a binder and I flipped past it twice.

Anyway, I really didn't much like this in '99 but I'll give it another go (instead of just voting for I Surrender now... I'll vote for I Surrender in 71min instead :) ).

Michael Jones, Saturday, 21 March 2020 19:44 (two weeks ago) link

Ah, it's Darkest Dreaming.

Michael Jones, Sunday, 22 March 2020 17:29 (two weeks ago) link

these titles look like perfumes no one would wear

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 22 March 2020 17:34 (two weeks ago) link

The two-disc comp released at the dawn of the century did a poor job choosing track from this thing. I pick "I Surrender."

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 22 March 2020 17:34 (two weeks ago) link

"A Victim Of Stars" is the best career overview.

Gerald McBoing-Boing, Sunday, 22 March 2020 20:01 (two weeks ago) link

The Scent of Magnolia is maybe one of my absolute favourites.

Maresn3st, Sunday, 22 March 2020 21:54 (two weeks ago) link

It’s telling, I think, that there’s no real consensus on which track is the best on this. When Dead Bees came out, Sylvian professed to be extremely proud of it – but even at the time it felt uncomfortably derivative of his previous work.

There were elevator music-y things like I Surrender that kind of reminded of his mushier moments on GTE. Darkest Dreaming used the soundbed from his second collaboration with Czukay while Praise cast a similar vibe to Alchemy. God Man, a nod to his dissonant Fripp record. The Shining of Things sounds like any number of his Sakamoto cowrites over the years. And so on.

Looking back, the closest things pointing to a new direction were the bluesy Midnight Sun, which he never really followed up on, and the vocal and dobro tracks he did with Bill Frisell, which are clearly a precursor to his work with Derek Bailey on Blemish. I suppose you could say the gloopy spirituality, free jazz bits and nods to trip hop were new as well but they felt more like crutches than a new direction – ways of reassuring fans that all his twists and turns the previous decade—and melodic bits resting uncomfortably against dissonance—were part of some divine master plan.

One of the criticisms of Everything and Nothing, the two-disc comp that came out a year or so later, was that Sylvian had remixed and re-recorded previous work to sound contemporaneous – as if Sylvian were trying to convince the listener that a song like Ghost and The Scent of Magnolia had sprung from the same font of inspiration. I didn’t necessarily agree with that perspective—E&N’s scope and sequencing made for an engaging listen—but it may be a fair criticism on this record.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 23 March 2020 00:00 (two weeks ago) link


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