Posts Tagged ‘Be-Bop Deluxe’

A closer look at the next title in the Esoteric Recordings Be Bop Deluxe reissue series: Modern Music, 4CD/1DVD Deluxe Boxset Edition, released December 6th! . For an artist registered and branded as one of guitar heroism’s most innovative players, Bill Nelson is not one to be stuck in the past or focused on the present. Always inventing, always evolving, and always looking to the next thing (and the thing after that) the Yorkshire, U.K.-based guitarist and songwriter made himself and his legendary first ensemble Be-Bop Deluxe into an anomaly from their first record. With 1974’s glam-era debut Axe Victim, Be Bop Deluxe added a progressive complexity and a daring density to the glittery genre, a dynamic previously unheard within Britpop’s most pomp and circumstantial sound. Nelson’s razor-sharp and soaring eletro-induced solos were a large part of that experimental esprit. Then and now, Nelson’s guitar scrawl sounds like no other. Increasingly catchy and chancy as time went on, 1976’s opulent Sunburst Finish and 1978’s Drastic Plastic are very much at one with their titles.

For all of its studio wizardry (produced by Nelson with John Leckie, eventually known for his work with Magazine and PiL), 1977’s Live! In the Air Age is Be-Bop Deluxe’s art-rock masterpiece: an elegant, sprawling mix of then-new, previously unrecorded and past work splayed across the dirtball nihilism of Brit-punk’s origin story. Recorded live on BBD’s 1977 tour just months before its release, “Live!” is fiery and hot wired for freshness. After they pressed their audacious 1977 concert LP, BBD stuck around for one more album (the aforementioned Drastic Plastic) before disappearing with Nelson moving forward and focusing on Cocteau-inspired solo work, another band (Red Noise), collaborations with fellow travellers in experimental electronic music (Yellow Magic Orchestra, David Sylvian, Roger Eno, Cabaret Voltaire), and an ongoing series of homemade ambient albums, previously unreleased epics, and other sonic explorations—all hung on a moon of fierce independence as an artist and as a releasing agent.

Nelson never looked back, until 2018’s four-album exploration of Sunburst Finish. That recently opened the door, thankfully, to a similarly sized four-LP “Axe Victim”, and now a whopping 15-CD/one DVD expansion of “Live! In the Air Age” to include every gig on that 1977 tour, along with freshly remixed and vividly remastered sound. Though an active blogging presence, Nelson doesn’t do many interviews, so our rare opportunity to speak with him is particularly choice.

Recorded in June and July 1976 at Abbey Road Studio Three, ” Modern Music” was the fourth album by Be Bop Deluxe and the second to feature the line-up of Bill Nelson (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Charles Tumahai (bass, vocals) ,Andy Clark (keyboards) and Simon Fox (drums). Following on from the success and critical praise for the band’s previous album Sunburst Finish, the album was once more co-produced by Bill Nelson and John Leckie.

Much of the material appearing on the album was conceived by Bill Nelson whilst Be Bop Deluxe were undertaking their first tour of the USA in March 1976. The wonderful and expansive Modern Music “suite” which dominated the album was inspired by Bill’s experiences of America, the disillusionment with the US music business and a longing for home. Beside the fine achievement of the suite, MODERN MUSIC also featured other fine songs such as Orphans of Babylon, Kiss of Light, The Bird Charmers Destiny and the epic Down on Terminal Street, all of which ensured that the album was a hit in both the UK and the USA.

This expanded reissue has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features an additional 55 bonus tracks drawn from a stunning new 5.1 surround sound & stereo mixes from the original multi-track tapes by award winning engineer Stephen W. Tayler, previously unreleased out-takes from the album sessions, a BBC Radio “In Concert” performance from October 1976, along with a bonus CD of a previously unreleased “official bootleg” of a performance at The Riviera Theater in Chicago in March 1976 recorded for FM Radio on Be Bop Deluxe’s first US tour which features a rare jam entitled Bill’s Blues. The set also includes visual material taken from a session for BBC TV’s “Old Grey Whistle Test” show broadcast in November 1976.

Another highlight of this limited-edition boxed set is the lavishly illustrated 68-page book with many previously unseen photographs and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. Additionally, the set includes postcards and a replica poster. This special deluxe limited-edition boxed set of MODERN MUSIC is a fitting tribute to a fine band and the creative vision of Bill Nelson.

Re-mastered from the original master tapes with 55 bonus tracks drawn from stunning new 5.1 surround sound & stereo mixes, previously unreleased out-takes, BBC In Concert sessions, live performances & more!

The final album from Be-Bop Deluxe, “Drastic Plastic”, is getting an expanded release. The 1978 recording is receiving a newly re-mastered, limited edition, 6-disc deluxe (naturally) boxed set (comprising four CDs and two NTSC – Region Free DVDs), including 43 previously unreleased tracks. The set arrives March 5th, 2021, via Cherry Red Records.

“Drastic Plastic” was recorded in the summer of 1978 in the south of France utilizing the Rolling Stones’ mobile studio, with final sessions taking place at The Manor Studio and Abbey Road Studios. The record saw Bill Nelson (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Charles Tumahai (bass, vocals), Andy Clark (keyboards) and Simon Fox (drums) venture into new musical styles, with the album being ground-breaking in its move to more art rock and new wave influences.

Co-produced by Nelson and John Leckie, the English progressive rock band’s Drastic Plastic featured such songs as “Electrical Language,” “Panic in the World,” “New Mysteries,” “Islands of the Dead” and “Surreal Estate.” The recording sessions produced many more tracks which would appear as singles and others that were originally planned for release as an EP set, all of which eventually appeared on the retrospective compilation The Best of & the Rest of, later that year.

This expanded deluxe reissue has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features an additional 88 tracks, drawn from new 5.1 surround sound and stereo mixes from the original multi-track tapes by award winning engineer Stephen W. Tayler, previously unreleased out-takes from the album sessions, a BBC Radio John Peel Show session from January 1978, along with a CD of Nelson’s previously unreleased demos for the album, A Feeling of Playing.

Also included is an additional DVD featuring Be-Bop Deluxe in the south of France, (a collection of Bill Nelson’s 8mm home movies shot while recording Drastic Plastic) and the band’s “Sight & Sound in Concert” performance for BBC TV from 1978.

“Drastic Plastic” (1978 album; remastered four-CD, two-DVD box set, featuring an additional 88 tracks, 43 of which are previously unreleased, drawn from new 5.1 surround sound and stereo mixes from the original multi-track tapes by engineer Stephen W. Tayler, etc.; Expanded & Remastered Edition, two CDs; Esoteric Recordings / Cherry Red)

The boxed set includes a lavishly illustrated 68-page book with many previously unseen photographs and an essay of recollections by Nelson. The set includes postcards and a replica poster.

The set arrives March 5th, 2021, via Cherry Red Records.

Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce the release of a new re-mastered four-disc deluxe expanded boxed set limited edition (comprising 3 CDs and a DVD) of Axe Victim the legendary 1974 debut album by Be Bop Deluxe.

Recorded in the Spring of 1974 at several studios in London, AXE VICTIM was released by EMI’s Harvest label in June 1974 to much critical praise and introduced Be Bop Deluxe to the record buying public. The album featured the band’s first line-up of Bill Nelson (vocals, lead guitar, acoustic guitar, piano), Ian Parkin (rhythm & acoustic guitars, organ), Rob Bryan (bass guitar, vocals) and Nicholas Chatterton-Dew (drums).

Axe Victim was a fine debut and was championed by DJ John Peel (who had been an advocate of Bill Nelson’s work since the release of the rudimentary self-released album “Northern Dream” in 1971) as one of his favourite releases of 1974. Although Bill Nelson was still finding his creative feet, Axe Victim featured some fine material including the classic ‘Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape’, along with other fine material such as ‘Night Creatures’, ‘Third Floor Heaven’ (which featured Babe Ruth vocalist Jenny Haan guesting), ‘Jets at Dawn’ and the superb ‘Darkness (L’Immoraliste)’.

This expanded reissue has been newly re-mastered from the original master tapes and features an additional 41 bonus tracks drawn from stunning new 5.1 surround sound & stereo mixes of the album from the original multi-track tapes by award winning engineer Stephen W. Tayler, along with two complete BBC Radio One sessions from November 1973 and May 1974 (including the previously unreleased “lost” John Peel session from November 1973), both sides of the rare Smile Records single ‘Teenage Archangel’ b/w ‘Jets at Dawn’ released by the band in 1973 prior to being signed to EMI. Also included is the complete previously unreleased Be Bop Deluxe audition session for Decca Records from December 1973 (mixed from the original 16 track tapes by Stephen W Tayler) & previously unreleased out-takes from the original album sessions.

Another highlight of this limited-edition boxed set is the lavishly illustrated 68-page book with many previously unseen photographs and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. Additionally, the set includes a facsimile Record Store poster and postcards. This special deluxe limited edition boxed set of Axe Victim is a fitting celebration of a wonderful debut album and a tribute to the creative vision of Bill Nelson.

 A DELUXE 4 DISC LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET OF THE CLASSIC 1974 DEBUT ALBUM BY BE BOP DELUXE COMPRISING
3 CDs and A DVD (NTSC / REGION FREE)
• NEWLY REMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES
• FEATURING AN ADDITIONAL 41 BONUS TRACKS DRAWN FROM NEW 5.1 SURROUND SOUND & STEREO MIXES FROM THE ORIGINAL MULTI-TRACK MASTER TAPES, BBC RADIO SESSIONS FROM 1973 / 1974, INCLUDING THE PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED “LOST” BBC JOHN PEEL SESSION FROM NOVEMBER 1973, BOTH SIDES OF THE RARE SMILE RECORDS ‘TEENAGE ARCHANGEL’ SINGLE FROM 1973, COMPLETE (& NEWLY RE-MIXED) PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED BE BOP DELUXE DECCA SESSION FROM DECEMBER 1973 & PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED OUT-TAKES FROM THE ALBUM SESSIONS
• INCLUDES A LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED 68 PAGE BOOK WITH MANY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS &
NEW ESSAY BY BILL NELSON / ALSO INCLUDES A REPLICA RECORD STORE POSTER & POSTCARDS

This November, Esoteric Recordings will reissue a four-disc box set edition of English prog rock group Be-Bop Deluxe‘s 1976 album Sunburst Finish

3CD+DVD box set • Remastered • Unreleased tracks • 5.1 mix
It was the band’s third album and featured the line-up of Bill Nelson (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Charlie Tumahai (bass, vocals), Andy Clark (keyboards) and Simon Fox (drums).

The first CD in this four-disc box delivers a newly remastered version of the original stereo mix, along with a bonus cut of the seven-inch version of  ‘Ships in the Night’, which was the band’s one and only top 30 hit in the UK. The second disc offers a brand new 2018 stereo remix of the album along with six previously unreleased bonus cuts, while the third and final CD brings together BBC Radio One radio sessions – ‘In Concert’ and John Peel (both from early 1976).

The DVD (region free, NTSC) includes a new 5. 1 surround sound mix by engineer Stephen W. Tayler and offers the new stereo mix and remastered original mix in hi-res. Some video content closes this disc: an appearance on BBC TV’s The Old Grey Whistle Test and a previously unreleased 1976 Harvest Records promotional video for ‘Ships in the Night’.

As can be seen by the image above, the presentation looks good; the set includes a 68-page book with unseen photos and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. You also get a replica tour programme, postcards and poster.

The Sunburst Finish box set is released on 16th November 2018. A 2CD edition features the first two CDs from the four-disc box set.

Sunburst Finish, the 1976 album from art rock quartet Be-Bop Deluxe, falls into this valley set between the major musical movements in the band’s native England. Prog rock and proto-metal were on the wane with the rising signs of punk and post-punk about to dominate the cultural conversation. Like the lyric of the album’s hit single “Ships In The Night,” it felt like a square peg stuck in a cultural landscape of round holes. Heard today, it feels like the perfect record for that time period. Singer/guitarist Bill Nelson adhered to a musical complexity that resulted in multi-tiered tunes like “Sleep That Burns,” which moves from ambling rock to cocktail jazz to full on bombast in a mere five minutes, and the searing rock of “Blazing Apostles” and the ether-drunk psychedelia of “Crying To The Sky.” this album has been fresh on the mind of longtime fans of Be-Bop Deluxe and new listeners thanks to a recent deluxe reissue of the album released by Cherry Red Records that marries a re-mastered version of the original recording with a new stereo mix, a batch of bonus tracks and radio sessions from the time. It’s a lovely package that does justice to an oft-overlooked album (at least here in the U.S.).

Here’s our unboxing video demonstration of the stunning new deluxe reissues of Sunburst Finish, in both the 3CD/1DVD limited edition and the 2CD formats!, couldn’t agree more with Bill, who says it looks “absolutely top notch” and is “a really fantastic package that does the album proud”.