The Practice of Everyday Life: Celebrating 40 Years of Recordings by Bill Nelson | 5013929750265 | CD | Barnes & Noble
Practice of Everyday Life: Celebrating 40 Years of Recordings

The Practice of Everyday Life: Celebrating 40 Years of Recordings

by Bill Nelson
How does one annotate a four-decade-plus career as prolific -- and sometimes as obscure -- as guitarist, songwriter, composer, and pop conceptualist Bill Nelson's? With an enormous box set, of course. The founder of Be Bop Deluxe has released 51 solo albums under different monikers. His entire career to date has been documented by


How does one annotate a four-decade-plus career as prolific -- and sometimes as obscure -- as guitarist, songwriter, composer, and pop conceptualist Bill Nelson's? With an enormous box set, of course. The founder of Be Bop Deluxe has released 51 solo albums under different monikers. His entire career to date has been documented by Cherry Red's Esoteric Records via Nelson's own label Cocteau, in a lavishly designed, eight-CD box set, curated by Nelson and Esoteric label boss Mark Powell. It also includes an exhaustively annotated booklet filled not only with a liner essay, but loads of rare photos and reflections from Nelson. The first two discs in the set document selections from his very first album, Northern Dream, with Nelson as a singer/songwriter. It was recorded in 1970 and released in 1971. It's followed with tracks from every Be Bop Deluxe recording, and contains rare B-sides and extraneous material. Disc two ends with his first recordings after the breakup of Be Bop in 1978, when he emerged as Bill Nelson's Red Noise in 1979; the latter's only recordings were the album Sound on Sound and the EP Revolt Into Style. The final track on disc two is the A-side single, "Do You Dream I Colour," under Nelson's own name in 1980. Then begins a wondrously illuminating, four-disc trawl through Nelson's labyrinthine solo career. These discs are made up equally of '80s home studio tapes of his commissions for theater and cinema, ambient works and songs, and his more formally produced recordings, such as his two albums as Orchestra Arcana. They move into the '90s with his formal return to songwriting and recording with an ambition and execution that puts David Bowie to shame. There are cuts from the stellar Blue Moons and Laughing Guitars, Jukebox for Jet Boy, Practically Wired...Or How I Became Guitar Boy, After the Satellite Sings, and Atom Shop, to mention a few. There are numerous sides from 12" EPs and 7" singles provided as well. Disc seven is devoted to Nelson's material from the first decade of the new century, of which there were 15 albums! This disc offers tracks that display Nelson's requisite sense of humor (three album titles: Stargazing with Ranger Bill, Alchemical Adventures with Sailor Bill, Golden Memories of Tomorrow), as well as his vast experimentation with a wide array of styles, from shimmering acoustic guitar workouts to electro-jazz constructs to majestic ambient works to intimate classical tone poems, all infused with 21st century futurism. The final disc in the package compiles tracks from John Peel's and David "Kid" Jensen's shows at the BBC's Radio One in the '80s. In sum, while it's an intimidating amount of material, it is more than worth going through. Despite Nelson's relative obscurity in North America, he is followed and celebrated across the rest of the globe. Aside from his well-deserved reputation as a gifted guitarist, Nelson is one of Britain's most original and creative artists. His astonishing diversity and mastery of so many musical styles is singular in contemporary music.

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Disc 1

  1. Photograph (a Beginning)
  2. Northern Dreamer
  3. See It Through
  4. Love's a Way
  5. Teenage Archangel
  6. Jets At Dawn
  7. Axe Victim
  8. Adventures In a Yorkshire Landscape
  9. Darkness L'immoraliste
  10. Night Creatures
  11. Music In Dreamland
  12. Maid In Heaven
  13. Jean Cocteau
  14. Sister Seagull
  15. Between the Worlds
  16. Swan Song
  17. Crystal Gazing
  18. Heavenly Homes
  19. Ships In the Night
  20. Crying To the Sky
  21. Sleep That Burns

Disc 2

  1. Modern Music
  2. Dancing in the Moonlight (All Alone)
  3. Honeymoon on Mars
  4. Lost in the Neon World
  5. Dance of the Uncle Sam Humanoids
  6. Modern Music (Reprise)
  7. Kiss of Light
  8. Forbidden Lovers
  9. Down On Terminal Street
  10. Life In the Air Age
  11. Piece of Mine
  12. Blimps
  13. Futurist Manifesto
  14. Lovers Are Mortal
  15. Surreal Estate
  16. Visions of Endless Hope
  17. Panic In the World
  18. Don't Touch Me (I'm Electric)
  19. Revolt Into Style
  20. Furniture Music
  21. Stay Young
  22. Out of Touch
  23. Do You Dream In Colour?

Disc 3

  1. Banal
  2. Life Runs Out Like Sand
  3. Living In My Limousine
  4. Mr. Magnetism Himself
  5. Sleep
  6. Opium
  7. Near East
  8. The Funeral
  9. The Sonambulist and the Children
  10. The Dream Dance of Jane and the Somnambulist
  11. Beauty and the Beast
  12. The Enchanted Glove
  13. Eros Arriving
  14. Hope For the Heartbeat
  15. A Private View
  16. The October Man
  17. The Passion
  18. Echo in Her Eyes (The Lamps of Oblivion)
  19. Glow World
  20. The Real Adventure
  21. Acceleration
  22. Happily Addicted To You
  23. The Last Summer For Dancing
  24. Les Amoureux
  25. Another Kiss For Your Slender Neck

Disc 4

  1. The Eternal Female
  2. Sleeplessness
  3. The Golden Bough
  4. Tomorrowland (The Threshold of 1947)
  5. Sacrament
  6. Over Ocean
  7. Perfido Incanto
  8. City One
  9. Blue Sky
  10. To the Sea In Ships
  11. Suvasini
  12. Contemplation
  13. Wildest Dreams
  14. The Hidden Flame
  15. Illusions of You
  16. Search and Listen
  17. Right Then Left
  18. Iconography
  19. Clock Conscious
  20. At the Gates of the Singing Garden
  21. Water of Life (Transfiguration)
  22. Spinning Creatures
  23. The Angel At the Western Window
  24. Day of Eternity
  25. Night Tides
  26. Finis Floria Mundi

Disc 5

  1. Calling Heaven, Calling Heaven
  2. Deva Dance
  3. Um, Ah Good Evening
  4. Short Wave
  5. Aqua Magica
  6. Heros De Lumiere
  7. Kiss Goodbye
  8. Dreams of Yesterday
  9. Playing Jesus To Her Judas
  10. Still Waiting
  11. Feels Like Up To Me
  12. Only Love Can Tell
  13. Broken
  14. Heartbreak Thru the Telephone
  15. Love's Immortal Shining Angel
  16. Man On Fire
  17. Aeroplane Wings
  18. Stay With Me
  19. A Luminous Kind of Guy
  20. Is This Alchemy
  21. Wait For Tomorrow
  22. God Man Slain
  23. Boat To Forever
  24. The Invisible Man and the Unforgettable Girl
  25. Dream Ships Set Sail
  26. Crimsworth Part One

Disc 6

  1. Big Noise In Twang Town
  2. Pink Buddah Blues
  3. Her Presence In Flowers
  4. Big River
  5. The Big Illumination
  6. Buddah Head
  7. Begin To Burn
  8. Heaven's Happy Hemisphere
  9. It's All True
  10. Year 44 (The Birthday Song)
  11. Dreamnoise and Angel
  12. No Fool for You
  13. On a Train I Never Boarded
  14. Hold on to Your Heart
  15. Deeply Dazzled
  16. Memory Babe
  17. Zoom Sequence
  18. Quarter Moons and Stars
  19. Candyland
  20. Sun At Six Windows
  21. Queer Weather
  22. The Girl I Never Forgot

Disc 7

  1. Pointing At the Moon
  2. Dreamland Avenue
  3. Humming In the Void/Girl With the Thousand Watt Smile
  4. Big Yellow Moon
  5. Planet of Guitars
  6. Wonderful Weather In Woodgates Lane
  7. The Ceremonial Arrival of the Great Golden Cloud
  8. Moments Catch Fire On the Crests of Waves
  9. Cascade
  10. Superserene
  11. Young Dreams Whirled Away
  12. Fearless Beauty (Kisses and Cream)
  13. The Golden Days of Radio
  14. The Trace We Left When All Was Gone
  15. Once I Had a Time Machine
  16. Music Spins My Globe
  17. Moon Gold Palladium

Disc 8

  1. Rooms With Brittle Views
  2. Stay Young
  3. Sleep Cycle
  4. Jazz
  5. Dancing on a Knife's Edge [David "Kid" Jensen Show, BBC Radio One, 1983
  6. Time Tracking
  7. Contemplation
  8. Indiscretion

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Nelson   Primary Artist,Synthesizer,Acoustic Guitar,Flute,Mandolin,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Bass Guitar,Electric Guitar,Keyboards,Marimbas,Recorder,Vocals,E-bow,Tubular Bells,Bottleneck Guitar,Vocal Harmony
Andy Davis   Keyboards
Mick Karn   Bass Guitar
Andrew Clark   Synthesizer,Percussion,Keyboards,Vocals
Gareth Eilledge   Bass Guitar
Simon Fox   Percussion,Drums
Dave Mattacks   Drums
Ian Nelson   Keyboards,Saxophone,Alto Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Jan Nelson   Background Vocals
Ian Parkin   Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar
Steve Peer   Percussion,Drums
Don Snow   Keyboards
Yukihiro Takahashi   Drums
Charlie Tumahai   Percussion,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Bogdan Wiczling   Drums
Iain Denby   Bass Guitar
Richard Brown   Drums
Rick Ford   Bass Guitar
Nicholas Chatterton-Dew   Percussion,Drums
John Berryman   Conductor
Preston Hayman   Percussion
Bogdan Jobson   Vocals
Andy Evans   String Bass
Alan Quinn   Bass Guitar,Vocals
Rob Bryan   Bass Guitar,Background Vocals
Peter Greeves   Violin

Technical Credits

Bill Nelson   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,drum machine,drum programming,Art Direction,Concept,Instrumentation,Drawing
Louie Austin   Engineer
Roy Thomas Baker   Producer
Haydn Bendall   Engineer
Nick Froome   Engineer
Dale "Buffin" Griffin   Producer
John Leckie   Producer,Engineer
Gary Lyons   Engineer
Ian McLintock   Producer
Steve Nye   Engineer
Ted Sharpe   Engineer
Nick Tauber   Producer
Rod Harper   Engineer
Pete Silver   Engineer
Leon Phillips   Engineer
Mike Engels   Engineer
John Spence   Engineer
Pat Moran   Engineer
Mike Ross   Engineer
Peter Oxendale   Arranger
Martin Bostock   Cover Photo
Anthony Denselow   Liner Notes
Peter Williams   Engineer
Mike Levon   Engineer
Joan Komlosy   Liner Notes

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