Thursday, October 17, 2013

Bill Nelson: 40 Years & 906 Albums

It was a review of the record "Futurama" in a 1975 issue of Creem Magazine, or maybe it was Circus, that first opened my eyes and ears to Be Bop Deluxe. It was all I needed and I've been a fan ever since.

It's not easy to keep up with Bill Nelson. The guy has been flying under the radar for years, finding inspiration with each gust of wind, and recording what seems like hundreds and hundreds of records, varying in styles from the early guitar-based rock and glam of Be Bop Deluxe to electro-punk solo work soon after, to Hank Marvin inspired guitar instrumentals to adventures in classical and jazz.

Where to begin?

I would suggest the beginning.

The Be Bop Deluxe catalogue is essential. This inexpensive set is complete.

As for his solo work, if you've gotten as far as Be Bop and would like to go further, this recently released box is a fantastic overview of this unsung guitar hero.

I want to thank ASH for getting me in the mood. The clip up top is from a very rare live performance from 2012 of the Be Bop Deluxe classic "Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape" from their debut "Axe Victim." Seems like Bill's still got it.


Jeff Matthews said...

I was working as a stock boy in a record store when I came across the Axe Victim album and bought it because of the cover.Was a big fan in high school and college - only saw them once, opening for Iggy in probably the fall of 1977. Great to see he's still got it.

Gene Oberto said...

What a tone! Loud but distortion free. Chops, still got 'em.

Sal, a perfect segue from yesterday's post. Here's an artist who wouldn't allow himself to get pigeon holed who by following his whims makes all is catalog sound fresh. Great video.

BTW, we all seemed to forget Dylan who just adapted his songs to that cement maker voice and continues to fascinate us all.

Finally, is that THE Gale Storm (a name for porno if their ever was one) of "My Little Margie" fame?

Sal Nunziato said...

Yes Gene, the same Gale Storm. Loved this single when I was a kid and then recently heard a Chris Isaak cover of it.

buzzbabyjesus said...

It was the cover art of "Futurama" by Hipgnosis and George Hardie, the team responsible for "Dark Side Of The Moon" that caught my eye. The music rocked pretty hard, but still had enough prog to seem smart, which was important to me at the time. A close reading of the credits show it to be an early Roy Thomas baker production.

I'm also rather fond of some of his early '80's output, including "Love That Whirls", and "Chimera".
"October Man" comes immediately to mind.

buzzbabyjesus said...

Nice clip, but I didn't last all the way through the bass solo.

Anything Should Happen said...

Don't get me started on Bill Nelson, I'd have a holiday home if it weren't for his catalogue.

Nice post Sal!

Anonymous said...

yes sal - bill is/was a genius....
his sound was soooo unique (and
beautiful) - back in the day, my band would open with "fair exchange" (and people would be pissed they couldn't "dance to it").......but i could......
and still do!
thanks again for opening eyes & ears to this guy...he deserves it!