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Be Bop Deluxe

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Be Bop Deluxe Air Age Anthology album cover
3.42 | 9 ratings | 3 reviews | 29% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 1997

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc One - 73:38
1. Axe Victim (5:12)
2. Love With The Madman (3:12)
3. Sister Seagull (3:35)
4. Heavenly Homes (3:42)
5. Ships In The Night (4:25)
6. Twilight Capers (4:28)
7. Kiss Of Light (3:12)
8. Crying To The Sky (3:48)
9. Sleep That Burns (5:25)
10. Life In The Air Age (live) (4:21)
11. Electrical Language (4:49)
12. Panic In The World (5:02)
13. Maid In Heaven (2:27)
14. Between The Worlds (3:19)
15. Blazing Apostles (4:29)
16. Lovers Are Mortal (4:53)
17. Down On Terminal Street (4:06)
18. Darkness (L'immoraliste) (3:21)

Disc Two - 69:20
1. Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape (3:26)
2. Night Creatures (3:33)
3. Music In Dreamland (4:45)
4. Jean Cocteau (2:50)
5. Beauty Secrets (2:50)
6. Life In The Air Age (4:02)
7. Speed Of The Wind (4:19)
8. Modern Music (3:44)
9. Dancing In The Moonlight (All Alone) (2:11)
10. Honeymoon On Mars (1:21)
11. Lost In The Neon World 0:48)
12. Dance Of The Uncle Sam Humanoids (2:12)
13. Modern Music (1:40)
14. Fair Exchange (live) (4:55)
15. Autosexual (5:50)
16. New Mysteries (4:44)
17. Surreal Estate (5:00)
18. Islands Of The Dead (3:44)
19. Visions Of Endless Hopes (2:23)
20. Bird Charmers Destiny (1:20)
21. Gold At The End Of My Rainbow (3:55)

Total Time: 142:58

Line-up / Musicians

- Bill Nelson / guitar, vocals
- Charlie Tumahai / bass, vocals
- Andy Clarke / keyboards
- Simon Fox / drums
- Ian Parkin / guitar
- Robert Bryan / bass
- Nicholas Chatterton-Dew / drums

Releases information

2xCD EMI 7243 8 54730 2 9 (1997)

Thanks to chopper for the addition
and to ProgLucky for the last updates
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BE BOP DELUXE Air Age Anthology ratings distribution

(9 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(29%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(43%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (14%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

BE BOP DELUXE Air Age Anthology reviews

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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by chopper
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars There are quite a few Be Bop Deluxe compilations on the market but this is one of the best and, with a total of 39 tracks, probably the most complete. It has the best tracks from their 5 studio albums, plus some from the live album "Live in the Air Age". There are also a few non-album tracks such as "Speed of the Wind", some of which have since turned up on remasters. One could quibble about some of the selections - the live version of "Fair Exchange" instead of the studio one and there are better tracks than "New Mysteries" on Drastic Plastic - but on the whole this is a very comprehensive selection and a good introduction to this band who deserved to be bigger than they were. All their classics (all from the pen of their genius singer/guitarist Bill Nelson) are here - "Ships in the Night", "Sleep that Burns", "Blazing Apostles", "Life in the Air Age" and possibly the finest 2 minutes and 27 seconds to be found on a CD anywhere - "Maid In Heaven".

The accompanying booklet is quite good but I do find it annoying that there are no details as to which album each song comes from, however this is a good place to start for this excellent British band.

Review by fuxi

I never heard Be Bop Deluxe until 2006, when I bought this collection. Even though I was a teenager in the 1970s, I never met anyone who owned any of their records, or who recommended them to me. I have the impression they were never much noticed outside of the U.K., which is a shame, since they are one the freshest 1970s bands I've ever discovered.

Throughout the years I came across their name every now and then, and it was usually associated with "glam" or progressive rock. I read so many tributes to Bill Nelson's guitar playing that I finally gave in and bought this record, thinking: "They CANNOT POSSIBLY be bad!"

And sure enough they weren't. On many of their tunes, there's a strong Bowie influence (circa ZIGGY STARDUST and DIAMOND DOGS), both in the lyrics and the way of singing, which is mainly to the good as far as I'm concerned. On the other hand, Bill Nelson has an attractive voice and writes truly pleasant, romantic melodies, which can be as catchy as Paul McCartney's at his best. The kind of songs that make you feel young, hopeful and energetic.

And to top it all, yep, it's really true: Nelson plays the most amazing guitar solos, without ever trying to be flashy, i.e. every single one of his solos has substance, every note counts, he's a true musical poet. (The only other band I can think of which managed to enrich fresh but fairly traditional songs with the most virtuosic solos, is early Steely Dan, but their style is completely different from Be-Bop Deluxe's.)

So if you enjoy this funny genre called "Art Rock", you shouldn't miss this band. They will amaze you, complete your picture of the 1970s rock scene, and cheer you up no end.

Review by russellk
2 stars The only BE BOP DELUXE album I own, and the only album I intend to own. This anthology confirms what I remember from the 1970s: this band was simply competent at best, mediocre at worst.

I have a fairly broad definition of progressive music, but I hadn't imagined for a moment that the colourless glam/art rock of BILL NELSON and his competent (there's that word again) cohorts was in any way progressive. At their best, as showcased on this compilation, the songs are listenable and pleasant. 'Maid in Heaven' almost has a memorable riff and a catchy chorus. Most songs, however, are forgettable. There are neither shocks nor surprises, nothing to grab the listener's attention, nothing that counts even as good pop. The songs are vacuous, with nothing important to say. Just competent (sorry) music. I really wanted to like this band this time around, given the presence of CHARLIE TUMAHAI, later to become famous in New Zealand as a member of the political reggae band HERBS.

I'm constantly looking for music that stirs me. This doesn't. A band for the 1970s completionist only.

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