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Be Bop Deluxe

Crossover Prog

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Be Bop Deluxe Futurama album cover
3.73 | 80 ratings | 10 reviews | 28% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Stage Whispers (3:00)
2. Love With the Madman (3:05)
3. Maid in Heaven (2:26)
4. Sister Seagull (3:34)
5. Sound Track (6:09)
6. Music in Dreamland (4:44)
7. Jean Cocteau (2:47)
8. Between the Worlds (3:27)
9. Swan Song (5:51)

Total Time: 35:03

Bonus Tracks on 1990 CD release:
10. Between The Worlds (Original Single version) (3:19)
11. Maid In Heaven (Live, 1977) (2:33)
12. Speed Of The Wind 4:19)

Line-up / Musicians

- William Nelson / lead vocals, guitars, keyboards, percussion
- Charles Tumahai / bass, percussion, backing vocals
- Simon Fox / drums, percussion

- Peter Oxendale / brass arrangements (6)
- Grimethorpe Colliery Band / brass (6)
- John Berryman / conductor (6)
- Andy Evans / double bass (7)

Releases information

Artwork: George Hardie

LP Harvest - SHSP 4045 (1975, UK)

CD Harvest - CDP 7 92074 2 (1990, UK) With 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to golowin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BE BOP DELUXE Futurama Music

BE BOP DELUXE Futurama ratings distribution

(80 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(28%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(38%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)

BE BOP DELUXE Futurama reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
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!
Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Be Bop Deluxe second album Futurama isnīt really a prog rock album itīs rather a continuation of the guitar based rock music that was introduced on their debut Axe Victim. I liked Axe Victim and especially Bill Nelsonīs guitar playing. Itīs exactly the same with Futurama. The music isnīt that exciting and the vocals are below average but that guitar playing is worth a lot of attention.

The songs are generally not very proggy being mostly guitar driven rock but there are a few songs where prog tendencies are hinted at. Sound Track and Swan Song are the most prominent examples of that. Both songs employ keyboards to back the songs up and it gives a symphonic effect that are not present on most of the other songs.

The musicians are very good and definitely above average and especially guitarist Bill Nelson is a real talented musician. Just too bad he tries to sing too, because quite frankly it sounds very weak. The guitar playing is world class though. He plays a lot of different styles throughout the album and he has that special touch that makes the really great musicians stand out. His playing sometimes reminds me of a polished Jimmy Hendrix.

The production is very good and of course with a lot of emphazis on the guitar.

This is a good album and especially for guitar freaks there are plenty to listen to. Personally I think the album is missing a real good singer and therefore Iīll rate it 3 stars and not 4 which it could have been had Be Bop Deluxe had a better singer. Itīs much better than the debut though, so if your curious about Be Bop Deluxe start with this one.

Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This album perspires the freshness, fun, amusement, joy and . nostalgia. It is not really fitting the prog standards but it is a fine piece of good rock music again: a glam album in these post-glam years.

This was already the characteristics of their good debut album, and this one shouldn't be a deception for the fans who loved Axe Victim. The recipe is identical, which means that Bill Nelson is showing again his immense skills on the lead guitar and delivers a fantastic work on Futurama.

He might not be the best vocalist in the world, but he is fitting his role perfectly in this glam-rock style of music. This album is more personal than their debut one, which was reaaaaaally close to Bowie's work (Ziggy, A Lad Insane).

The album weakens a bit in the middle part (Sound Track and Music In Dreamland) but the whole remains pretty decent and appealing. I am not sure that progheads would be tempted in listening to such a work: and I am just confirmed in this feeling when I see the very few reviews from this album (and all their other ones as well).

There is some time to breathe with Jean Cocteau: a smooth and jazzy ballad with some fine and light percussions. It contrasts dramatically with the next and disjointed Between The Worlds which is a new wave track avant la lettre. Pastiche and decadent. I like it.

Some bonus tracks are available on the CD release: the single version of Between The Worlds, the very much Mott The Hoople oriented Maid In Heaven and an unreleased album track (featured on some compilation work). A nice addition to the original work which I rate with three stars.

Review by Evolver
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
3 stars I only have the LP version of this one, so alas, I can not judge the bonus tracks.

The album starts with the somewhat proggy, but over-produced Stage Whisper. This is a pretty good tune, but it gets lost in the aforementioned production. The swirling phasing on the guitar and drums ruins the entire affect of the piece. Love With The Madman is a fairly standard midtempo ballad, saved by some fine guitar by Bill Nelson. Maid In Heaven is a somewhat forgettable guitar heavy rock song. Sister Seagull is a slow, slightly psychedelic tune, again helped by Nelson's guitar, It almost sounds Hendrix inspired. . Sound Tracks brings back some prog, but not a whole lot of prog.

Side two begins with Music In Dreamland, that has sort of an early-Yes sound. Jean Cocteau sound a bit like Brazilian jazz. Between The Worlds may be the proggiest song on the album. And my favorite here. It sugues into Swan Song, another good proggy piece.

So about half of this album definitely has prog elements, and it deserves a place here. I would compare it to the middle years of Todd Rundgren's Utopia, before they became completely a pop band.

Review by Mellotron Storm
3 stars BE BOP DELUXE were quite active in the 70's releasing five studio albums but they never made it to the 80's. "Futurama" is album number two from 1975. They were a trio of guitar, bass and drums and Bill Nelson is the man in control here, the lead guitarist, composer, singer etc. I honestly thought with their band name that they would be all about the humour like OINGO BOINGO but no. This comes across like AOR material, they are tagged as Glam Rock by many. To over simplify it, it feels like your either hearing Bill sing or perform a flashy guitar solo. And this is more than that of course but there's a lot of radio friendly songs and I quite enjoyed my time with this one.

Nine tracks over 35 minutes and how about the first sounds that we hear on that opener "Stage Whispers" as in screaming guitar. The flashy solos will continue on this one. "Love With The Madman" is a top three for me. They slow it down after that energetic opener and the vocals sound different, better. Some emotion. "Maid In Heaven" sounds like a single. "Sister Seagull" is another top three. The melancholy does it for me along with the guitar solos.

"Sound Track" and the closer "Swan Song" are about the two proggiest songs on here which isn't saying a lot. Both the longest tunes here clocking in around 6 minutes. Some orchestral stuff on "Music In Dreamland", some brass. "Between The Worlds" is an uptempo rocker while "Jean Cocteau" is trippy and relaxed and I like it better than the rocker. The closer "Swan Song" is my final top three by the way.

I've seen Bill's name so often over the years so it's finally good to hear him play and sing. A solid 3 stars.

Latest members reviews

5 stars it was 1973/4 - I had had Ziggy and lost, I had had Roxy Mk1 and lost and was desperate to find another act that I could immerse myself in. Thank God for Radio1 staging late night sessions and Album reviews and I got to hear of Bill Nelson and his exquisite Gibson 345 fueled licks and riffs and a ... (read more)

Report this review (#1704736) | Posted by | Friday, March 24, 2017 | Review Permanlink

3 stars I have been listening to this CD for a while and I cannot get a hold of It. The music is beyond me, thereīs no one single track to put above the rest. What kind of music is this? I donīt know and I can see exactly why Be Bop Deluxe was never a mainstream act. There's no singles in here. The mu ... (read more)

Report this review (#289217) | Posted by steelyhead | Monday, July 5, 2010 | Review Permanlink

4 stars This 1975 release by Be Bop Deluxe finds the band moving beyond the grit of their debut album, Axe Victim. While still quite guitar-heavy, Futurama exhibits a grace and polish lending itself to a nice sonic sheen while showing the real beauty of Be Bop Deluxe, which is their inability to be pige ... (read more)

Report this review (#177113) | Posted by jimidom | Thursday, July 17, 2008 | Review Permanlink

4 stars I was surprised to see Be Bop Deluxe here but pleased all the same. Bill Nelson's guitar playing is nothing short of sublime and combined with his lyrics, made BBD one of my all time favourite bands. If you want to hear lead guitar without all the meaningless noodling then this is for you. I ... (read more)

Report this review (#112033) | Posted by Imaginos | Tuesday, February 13, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars I cannot believe that I am the first person to review this album! This has got to be one of the most overlooked bands ever along with The Enid and Greenslade. The quality of their music has nothing to do with that sad fact, however - they are top notch musicians and Bill Nelson's songwriting i ... (read more)

Report this review (#82036) | Posted by EMinkovitch | Monday, June 26, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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