Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
What Now What Next
Genres: Alternative Rock, Pop, Rock
What Now What Next? Part retrospective, part futurespective
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This double CD package, complete with 4-level foldout case and 24 page booklet, is a "Cocteau Years Compendium". Cocteau, after artist Jean Cocteau of course, being Bill's independent label from 1980-1990 which released his various home studios' output. There are also 6 unreleased tracks from future albums and a couple previously unreleased compositions from a semi-unreleased album, "Simplex".There aren't so much glaring omissions (more from Bill's 63-cut, 1987 release Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights would have been nice) such as too many tracks from Bill's 1989 "Demonstrations of Affections" 4CD boxed set album, "Chimes and Rings", "Nudity", "Heartbreakland", and "Details". I've always felt that this period of Bill's songwriting was his creative nadir. While the tracks provided aren't necessarily Bill's worst, there are far better he could have used.That aside, the instrumental and "Orchestra Arcana" tracks from his 1980's output are some of his best. "Fellini's Picnic", "News From Nowhere" and "Um, Ah Good Evening" are good examples of this.The new vocal tracks, such as "The World Wakes Up", and "First Boy On The Moon" are fun and whimsical. The new instrumental "Bride of the Atom" is simply outstanding - it sounds like Danny Elfman on good drugs, if that can be imagined.Plus you get Bill's almost-hit-single "Do You Dream In Colour?" from 1980 (number 52 on the UK Top 100).All of it sounds remastered and of high quality, even if it was recorded on ancient analog equipment in his home.If you're a Bill Nelson fan, then it's a must-have, especially for the new tracks. If you're an old fan of Be Bop Deluxe and not so much of Bill's "instrumental and keyboard" years then there probably won't be too much you'll like."
What the heck?
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Not bad, and if you're a Bill Nelson fan, probably essential, but an eccentric collection of tracks, to say the least; having listened to some of the albums he's drawing from here, I *know* he's got stuff better than a lot of what's on here. The whole package is self-indulgent to the extreme, which is sort of cute in a way: the collection comes with a small booklet containing reproductions of drawing and collages Bill has done (he's a DIY kind of guy). The collages are ok, but the drawings (which are all proudly signed in big letters) are TERRIBLE, the sort of stuff you might see in a high school art class. Don't quit your day job, Bill."
From a dreamer
abj | Silver Spring, Maryland USA | 02/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Bill Nelson went from sometime guitar-hero in Be Bop Deluxe to one of the most eclectic and thereby most interesting musicians working today. This two-CD collection from his now-out-of-print Cocteau label really only scratches the surface of his work at that time (the 80s), but it shows a man plumbing the depths of (for lack of a better word) "ambience" and coming up with music which engages on a very subtle level. He uses the studio (most if not all of the material here was recorded at his various home studio setups over the years) as an aural notepad to jot down every thought that comes through his head; not every thought is a unvarnished gem, but the process and many of the results are fascinating to watch and listen to. There apparently are plans afoot to re-release the Cocteau catalogue in full over the next few years. If you like what you hear on this collection, you'll like a lot of the albums they're from."