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Be Bop Deluxe


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Be Bop Deluxe were formed in the early 1970s in Wakefield, England. Fronted by singer and virtuoso guitarist Bill Nelson, the band went through several albums changing their style of music, with Nelson using newly available technology to create unusual sounds and guitar effects. Be Bop Deluxe’s sound ranges from the blues rock influenced early work of ‘Axe Victim’, to the more electronic based work of ‘Drastic Plastic’.

During the comparatively barren times for progressive music in the early 70s, guitarist Bill Nelson (William Nelson, 18 December 1948, Wakefield, West Yorkshire, England) recorded the limited edition Northern Dream. Tapes of this collector’s item were played by the pioneering disc jockey John Peel on his legendary BBC Radio programme, Top Gear. The line-up of Nelson, Nicholas Chatterton-Dew (drums), Robert Bryan (bass, vocals) and Ian Parkin (d. July 1995; guitar) recorded Axe Victim as BE-BOP DELUXE. Nelson soon disbanded the outfit, and following a tour supporting Cockney Rebel, he formed a new band, taking members from that fragmented unit. This short-lived combo also broke up. With the addition of bass player Charles Tumahai (b. New Zealand, d. 21 December 1995) and drummer Simon Fox, Nelson released Futurama and Sunburst Finish. The latter included a surprise hit single, “Ships In The Night”. Nelsons art-school sensibilities and his use of themes from such diverse sources as Jean Cocteau, 1950’s sci-fi and the surroundings of his native Yorkshire gave the group a unique character.


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  • cadavreflex

    They remind me how impossibly marvelous life is... and that there's no greater gift than the present.

    1 Jul 7:55pm Reply
  • roldki

    They remind me of Cockney Rebel, but I like Cockney Rebel so that's a good thing.

    1 Oct 2014 Reply
  • TriptheLight

    too much guitar shredding going on sometimes

    11 Sep 2014 Reply
  • porcelain_tree

    BBD were not unknown during their lifetime. I remember big displays in record stores of the Live in the Air Age LP in 1977. The record company was really pushing them at the time.

    25 Feb 2014 Reply
  • BatooqSupersoul

    1374 times in love

    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • BatooqSupersoul

    I'm 1000 times in love

    30 Oct 2013 Reply
  • porcelain_tree

    One of the great forgotten bands.

    29 Jul 2013 Reply
  • jerry900i

    Can thoroughly recommend this, Classic Rock Legends: Bill Nelson DVD. Just got it a week ago. Thanks to weirdcritter for the heads-up

    27 Oct 2011 Reply
  • alexia_N

    i've noticed that their albums sound MUCH better on vinyl..

    27 Oct 2011 Reply
  • jerry900i

    Thankyou that was splendid.

    7 Oct 2011 Reply
  • scentdesigner

    Nelson is a hero, so clever music and nice lyrics. Wow

    9 Jun 2011 Reply
  • weirdcritter

    Excellent new DVD "Classic Rock Legends: Bill Nelson". ** Filmed March 2011 at Metropolis Studios West London. Bill opened with a solo set of four tracks and then blasted into an eighty minute concert with the band including Do You Dream In Colour?, Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape, and The October Man. The DVD contains both sets and an extensive interview. Tracks: 1. The October Man 2. Night Creatures 3. God Man Slain 4. Contemplation 5. Lady You're A Strange Girl 6. Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape 7. Furniture Music 8. Do You Dream In Colour? 9. Ships In The Night 10. Lovers Are Mortal 11. Maid In Heaven 12. Sister Seagull 13. Wonder Of The Moment 14 Panic In The World (Solo Set) 1. Above These Clouds The Sweetest Dream 2. Golden Dreams Of Circus Horses 3. A Dream For Ian 4. For Stuart - LPCM stereo and DTS 5:1 sound. All regions NTSC.

    30 May 2011 Reply
  • academyofrock

    New video now available - including audio of Bill's appearance on Johnnie Walker show on BBC 2

    14 Mar 2011 Reply
  • weirdcritter

    Bill Nelson - Live ITV Legends series of shows. At Metropolis Studios in West London on Saturday, March 26. See for ticket details.

    6 Mar 2011 Reply
  • weirdcritter

    New Bill Nelson song - "Holey Moley, It's A Parallel World" - is now available to download. The proceeds of sale are for a Children's Cancer Charity. See for more details.

    3 Jan 2011 Reply
  • The_Albion

    Hey folks, I'm a massive fan of Roxy Music, David Bowie and Brian Eno etc. and I've recently been suggested to listen to this band. Any idea where to start? Hit me with some of their top arty albums. Answers on my page will be greatly appreciated. Cheers. :)

    21 Jun 2010 Reply
  • maxwellhousefol

    Nice guitar work, My fave!

    1 Jun 2010 Reply
  • manonadune

    I've been listening to a lot of Be Bop Deluxe recently. They were one of the very best bands of the 70s and are much too litlle known today. Hopefully social music sites like will lead to many more listeners discovering one of the great rock bands.

    27 Apr 2010 Reply
  • flexmens

    Just discovered them. I truly like their "New Wave"-like album "Drastic Plastic"

    14 Feb 2010 Reply
  • spidrwegian

    Wonders if anyone else sees the similarity between Be Bop Deluxe and Muse? Both great sci-fi rock bands in my opinion. :)

    27 Dec 2009 Reply
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