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Be Bop Deluxe - Futurama CD (album) cover

FUTURAMA

Be Bop Deluxe

 

Crossover Prog

3.70 | 36 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Heptade
Prog Reviewer
5 stars At last, Billy Nelson is accepted by the proggy. Not that he would care, I imagine. Regardless, Be Bop Deluxe did some great prog/glam fusion in the mid seventies. I would argue that Modern Music, which isn't listed here, is their best, but Futurama is one hell of an album. Nelson is definitely one of the giants of rock lead guitar, but despite what the All Music Guide may say, I never find on this record that his leads take away from the rest of the music. If you are a devotee of rock guitar and haven't heard him play, you are missing out on some awe-inspiring lead playing, fast but never shreddy. The songs are short, but they pack a melodic punch while still being fairly complex for rock music at the time. Nelson's vocals have also been criticized, but they sound very strong to me and he has a very pleasant tone. The mood of the record is unapologetically grandiose, not quite as pomp as Queen but in the same vein. This is "Big Music", to quote Mike Scott of the Waterboys, so snarky indie rockers need not apply. The lyrics are very intelligent as well, mostly dense but poetic, including a fond ode to Jean Cocteau, a major influence on Nelson. Instrumentally, though there was no keyboard player in the band at that time (Nelson played 'em), the sound is full, even featuring a silver band on "Dreamland", and the rhythm section of Tumahai and Fox is very impressive. This record is a joy, plain and simple, perhaps even the apex of glam rock. It's as good as Night at the Opera or any of Bowie's best works. What's really impressive is that the band would make two records as good or better before the decade was over. Yet today they are all but forgotten, except for the very knowledgable rock collector, and Nelson remains a cult figure. It's a real shame, but you can help redress the balance by obtaining this album!
Heptade | 5/5 |

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