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Be Bop Deluxe

Crossover Prog

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Be Bop Deluxe Drastic Plastic album cover
3.22 | 61 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Electrical Language (4:50)
2. New Precision (4:30)
3. New Mysteries (4:44)
4. Surreal Estate (5:00)
5. Love In Flames (4:09)
6. Panic In The World (5:04)
7. Dangerous Stranger (3:05)
8. Superenigmatix (2:10)
9. Visions Of Endless Hopes (2:23) *
10. Possession (2:34)
11. Island Of The Dead (3:45)

* US release switched track 9 for
9. Japan (2:34)

Total time 42:14

Bonus Tracks on 1990 CD release:
12. Blimps (2:46)
13. Lovers Are Mortal (4:54)
14. Lights (2:43)

Line-up / Musicians

- William Nelson / lead vocals, electric, acoustic (3,5,7,11), 12-string (8,9) & synth (1,8) guitars, mandolin (4,9), piano (3,4), percussion (tambourine, cowbell, bells, cabasa, finger cymbals, marimba, drums), FX, co-producer
- Andrew Clark / MiniMoog, PolyMoog, grand piano (4,6-8), Fender Rhodes (8,11), bass Moog (9)
- Charles Tumahai / bass, Fx, backing vocals
- Simon Fox / drums, percussion, military snare drum (2), loops (2), Fx

- Jan Nelson / whistling (4)
- Paul Bailey / whistling (4)

Releases information

Artwork: Hipgnosis (Peter Christopherson & Storm Thorgerson)

LP Harvest - SHSP 4091 (1978, UK)
LP Harvest - SW-11750 (1978, UK) Switched 1 track

CD Harvest - CDP 7 94733 2 (1990, UK) Original UK track list plus 3 bonus tracks

Thanks to kqwiet for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy BE BOP DELUXE Drastic Plastic Music

BE BOP DELUXE Drastic Plastic ratings distribution

(61 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(26%)
Good, but non-essential (49%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (2%)

BE BOP DELUXE Drastic Plastic reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
3 stars On this album, Bill Nelson took his band straight into new wave territory, which meant jettisoning all of Be Bop Deluxe's prog and glam tendencies. This was presumably connected with his interest in futurism, since the leaner sound of new wave and synth pop were considered the music of the coming techno age. There's a definite lack of warmth and passionate guitar heroics here, but the album does work as a whole. The manifesto is laid out in the first track, "Electrical Language", a robotic sounding ode to the possibilities of musical techonology. "Panic in the World' is a chugging rocker that wouldn't sound out of place on a Cars or Utopia album and is the best-known track on the record. The rest of the album is in a similar vein, and if it had been the band's debut, there's no doubt we'd be comparing them more to XTC and Talking Heads than to Bowie and Queen. The exception is the beautiful closing ballad, "Island of the Dead", which features some melodic guitar and dreamy lyrics that would have fit in well on Modern Music or Sunburst Finish. This ain't a prog album, but if you appreciate quality songwriting and new wave music, it could be a nice discovery. Not the place for a Nelson newbie to start, though. Feeling that he'd exhausted the commercial and artistic potential of the band, Nelson broke it up after this album and moved on to his next project, Bill Nelson' Red Noise, which took the post punk ideas of Drastic Plastic to greater extremes.
Review by ZowieZiggy
3 stars This album sounds quite different from their previous efforts.

The music is definitely more electronic, new-wave oriented (Electrical Language). In terms of new-wave, songs as New Precision or New Mysteries sound very much like Talking Heads tunes. The Heads became famous with their album 77 (and the single Psycho Killer) released in 1977 (would you believe) but the band was very popular on the New-York scene (CBGB) since 1975 already. The hectic beat sounds are similar, and some vocal parts (especially in New Mysteries) do have a Byrne feel.

I don't like this album very much. The spontaneity, the creative work, the fun seems a bit alien to this album; although it is rather present during the upbeat Love In Flames. I also miss very much the great guitar play from their leader Bill Nelson. But this tendency was already noticeable from Sunburst Finish which was their best album IMO.

The closing number is a fine ballad which seems to be a return to Bill's first love. Very much Bowie in my ears.

As usual with the CD re-editions of their albums, there will be some bonus tracks available. But I am not too enthusiastic about these ones. Electro-pop (Blimps), anecdotal (Lights), the only good one is the rock ballad Lovers Are Mortal.

When you listen to this album, it sounds as if the band jumped into the new-wave wagon like they did with the glam one some years prior to Drastic Plastic. This album is my least favourite from this very creative band. Three stars. This is still a good album.

Latest members reviews

4 stars Drastic Plastic was the regrettable swan song album for Be Bop Deluxe; Bill Nelson had seemingly exhausted his contributions for the band. The music was heavily electrical for sure, but the album has a combination of wonderful songs which, whilst are not prog per say, did nonetheless show expe ... (read more)

Report this review (#220040) | Posted by demolition man | Saturday, June 6, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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