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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The story so far ..., 9 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
TPOEL is a must-have for anyone who has liked Bill Nelson at some point in their life, celebrating the career and work of one of the UK's most innovative, creative and workaholic musicians. Running at nearly 10 hours of remastered music, it comes in a really top-notch glossy thick card package that folds out to reveal all eight discs plus a pocket for the lavishly illustrated autobiographical booklet. A good chunk of the booklet describes his childhood and formative years, illustrated with lots of photos and copies of flyers, artwork, set-lists etc promoting his early bands like Gentle Revolution and his first solo album "Northern Dream" (some hilarious early Be-Bop Deluxe glam poses also stand out). Despite having been a Bill Nelson fan since BBD's "Futurama" LP and despite reading the excellent Paul Sutton Reeves biography "Music in Dreamland", this little booklet still reveals hitherto unknown gems of interest. For example, the title of TPOEL can be read as a neat summation of Bill's daily work ethos: into the studio at 10-30, a break in the afternoon, then a return to the studio to complete the day's work, allowing himself time off only for food, sleep, weekends or when he (temporarily) runs out of ideas. The need to create music has run quite simply through his veins everyday from a young age, clearly at the expense of taking a "proper" rock-biz career trajectory at times, which is why he maintains a faithful cult following and is not more widely known. But I guess Bill wouldn't have it any other way, and what a body of work he has given us. This personal selection covers a lot of ground, from his first solo recordings through his higher-profile BBD and Red Noise years to his later extensive "cottage industry" solo output, with whole albums represented by just one track by the time we get to Disc 7 (a good sampler of the later years, in fact, with several albums still available through Bill's Dreamsville website or elsewhere). Disc 8 contains eight unreleased BBC session tracks for the John Peel and Kid Jensen shows in the early 80s, including versions of well known songs such as "Rooms with Brittle Views", "Contemplation" and "Stay Young". "Jazz" from one of these sessions features former Skid Richard Jobson on vocals. A useful thing is that the discs aren't sub-coded disc one, disc two etc when you download into iTunes, so the entire 168 song set can be listened to in one go, allowing subtleties in the programming to shine through. For example, "Banal" and two others from "Quit Beaming" really do sound like the successors to Red Noise's "Sound on Sound", as they were always intened to be until EMI got cold feet following America's bewildered reaction to SOS. Japanese influences are also apparent running through his 80s work, of which the best examples are the collaborations with Yellow Magic Orchestra drummer Yukihiro Takahashi on the "Chimera" mini-album and the four cuts from "Getting the Holy Ghost Across".

TPOEL starts off with a few well-presented cuts from the independently released 1971 album "Northern Dream", including an 18 second hint of "Photograph" before going into "Northern Dreamer". Then we get the first BBD single "Teenage Archangel/Jets at Dawn", also released independently in 1973, before a spiky alternate take of the title track from "Axe Victim", a large chunk of Futurama and most of the first side of "Sunburst Finish", including an alternative mix of the sublime "Crying to the Sky". This is probably the best of the 11 unreleased items on the entire set, with an alternate guitar solo, much less choral Mellotron in the background and no backing vocals: all in all, far more intimate to these ears. Side 2 of "Modern Music" gets a complete outing, along with "Kiss of Light" from the same album cheekily inserted before "Forbidden Lovers". The Juan Les Pins mix of "Panic in the World" doesn't sound much different from the original version on "Drastic Plastic" to my ears though. (Note that these three BBD alternate tracks are not included on the recent EMI 5-disc BBD retrospective "Futurist Manifesto 1974-1978"). Some tracks were unknown to me such as 1982s B-side "The Passion" or "Illusions of You" (it's sometimes difficult to keep up with someone as prolific as Bill), and a nice touch is to represent some albums through the use of alternative, previously released material. Thus we get half of the Red Noise album, but two of those tracks are the live versions of "Stay Young" and "Out of Touch" taken from a 12" single B-side. In similar vein, we get a short edit of "Acceleration" from the 12" single, rather than the version found on the "Chimera". There's also a 3 minute edit of his Eno-esque two-part ambient piece "Crimsworth" from 1995. It's inevitable that some of one's personal faves aren't here. I would have loved to see BBD's "Blue as a Jewel" included as it features some sublime eBow work by Bill and I can listen to Red Noise over and over again. His eulogy for former Skid and Big Country guitarist Stuart Adamson "For Stuart" isn't here either and there's nothing from the rather good "Satellite Songs" album. And, probably due to licensing problems and the like, we get nothing from his ambient supergroup Channel Light Vessel, the Culturemix collaboration or the extremely-hard-to-find collaboration with Harold Budd & Fila Brazilia "Three White Roses and a Budd". All in all though, this is a very accessible set, with multiple points of entry to an extremely varied career for new listeners or those who may have lost touch with Bill's output and are curious to catch up. I'm not sure why Amazon are selling it for fifteen quid more than it cost me to get a new copy though.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic!, 31 Dec 2011
By 
P. Taylor - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
Any trawl through Amazon will reveal no shortage of box sets and retrospectives, some good , some bad, many very expensive. This set stands out from the crowd for a number of reasons. £48 for 8 packed discs represents good value for money in my book. The content, all chosen by Bill himself, charts 40 years in the business from Northern Dream, through Be-Bop Deluxe and on to the present. Be-Bop Deluxe, being one of the very first gigs I ever went to, were always a massive favourite of mine so for me, and anyone like me who, for whatever reason, didn't manage the transition into Bill's post Be-Bop output this collection offers a hugely enjoyable voyage of discovery. Finally the packaging is absolutely first rate. Bill's eye for the visual was always as sharp as his ear for the music and this doesn't disappoint. Top quality card, great photos and a clever design where the discs are arranged in a 2x4 layout which fold in on themselves to form a flattened house-brick shape. The eye for detail even extends to individual designs for each of the discs featuring some of his many guitars. The icing on the cake is a thick book packed with more great photos and a pretty detailed autobiography. I can't recommend this highly enough.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this!!, 15 Dec 2011
By 
K. W. Dandridge (Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
WOW!! arrived today & what surperb package it is, excellent artwork & a booklet full of interesting information covering Bill Nelson's 40 year recording history ( you won't get this neat presentation on downloading ), this box set is a MUST HAVE collection to any new fans or those fans who have lost trace of Bill's musical talents over the years.
Many of the tracks featured on this box set are off albums i do not have, so in this format they are a extra bonus to me, i'm not keen on Bill's Be-bop Deluxe years (apart from Sunburst Finish), but i must admit the BBD tracks on TPOEL will certainly appeal to BBD fans past & present ( i might even buy BBD box set Manifesto at some point ), i don't know how many TPOEL box set's have been pressed, but if Noise Candy was anything to go by, i would say don't delay but TPOEL box set today, because Noise Candy is very hard to find & sell's for silly money.
If you like what you hear on this box set, then you will be pleased to hear, many of the albums from which some tracks were sampled , are still available to buy on Bill Nelson's website via the friendly & helpful service of SOS.
If it's for Christmas, the New Year , your Birthday or what ever reason, GET THIS BOX SET!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music in Dreamland- What a joy!, 27 Dec 2011
By 
J. MOORE (Tokyo, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
This has just arrived and what a joy it is to any BN fan and what a year we are having with new material. After waiting for so long the activity around Bill in these last couple of years has been fab- started with the release of the Japanese paper mini LP jacket set, followed up by the book of Paul Sutton's, continued with his first DVD (earlier this year) and the new BBD Manifesto set- and now a bumper box set.

The material is a joy for any serious fan and the star item is the book which has some amazing photos etc. This purchase is simply something you do not mull over if you are a fan you need this and I guess it will disappear quickly so perhaps buy two- yes I am going to buy another. Thanks to everyone who was involved in this project and it is great to see an artist get this type of packaging right as so many do not.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cryptic title explained inside, 26 Dec 2011
By 
Smitty Werbenjaegermanjensen (real name) (Thread rehab facility 37) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
First impressions of this uber trawl through the many label labyrinthian back catalogue of Bill Nelson is so obviously a work of the highest standard.

This impression starts with the absolutely magnificent gatefold cover. Housing 8 cds was never going to be easy, but this gatefold does it with style, being printed onto to good thick high quality card and liberally strewn with relevant and historical Bill Nelson associated gig poster/sci-fi imagery. A mini treasure trove in itself. The book, not small enough to be called a booklet, is again an open and honest, dealing with label dropping/divorce/changing band lineups/etc..., reappraisal of the material written by Bill and revealing the external/internal conditions that led to some of the music in the set. I found it all an education, even though I have been a fan for decades.

The music, the motherlode, is all chosen by Bill and has been mastered with the utmost care by Bill, Mark Powell(of Esoteric-a label that deserves further exploration based on the sterling job they did here) and Ben Wiseman. Any of the material that is also featured on the Futurist Manifesto 5 cd box set on EMI is, if anything even clearer here, although only by degrees, not day/night. There are also some new mixes/lost mixes of familiar tracks that are interesting and worthy of repeated listening. The BBC sessions on cd8 is magnificent to say the least. Two sessions that I missed at the time, so an unexpected treat to finish the set off with.

Every cd has at the least got 78 mins of music on it, so in a sense this top notch box set could be considered a bargain. If you are a fan of Bill Nelsons work at any level then this should certainly keep you going for quite a while, revisiting/getting introduced to a first class well presented collection that spans the period from his early demos right up to this year past.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's Enough To Make A Robot Cry, Dance and Sing, 25 Aug 2012
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This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
There are very few musicians who have carried on producing such good music for such a long time in such prolific quantities, 40 years and still going! Bill Nelson has to be one of the great all time electric guitar players, spanning rock, pop, new-wave, jazz and what one can only describe as "Bill Nelson" guitar. Add that to his ambient work (IMHO right up there with Brian Eno) then one can only be impressed.

The beauty of this chnonological set is the way it illustrates how his music has evolved (and continues to).

Bill has been so prolific in his output that whilst 8 discs-worth is just about sufficent to illustrate the 40 years, it by no means covers everything that I or other fans would include. You could easily double it - though this would mean locking Bill away for a couple of years to remaster them.... I'd rather he spend his time creating new work. The inclusion of the BBC recordings on the final disc are a bonus.

If you have lost touch with Bill since Be-Bop Deluxe or Red Noise then this is a good way to re-live those times and get aquainted with Bill's excellent work since then. Check his web site for samples of his later and latest work -[...]

My fervent hope is this set will re-ignite interest in his work and get him the recognition he desrves.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars cynical pricing, 7 Jan 2012
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
Added this to my shopping basket to buy on pay day to find it has increased in price presumably due to unforseen (by some) popularity.five stars for product but one for marketing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars tremendous, 10 Feb 2012
This review is from: The Practice Of Everyday Life (Audio CD)
An absolute treasure of sounds from a very most underated and talented artist that has never got the recognition that he justly deserves from his first recordings to his recent efforts.
This 8 disc package is superbly put together,a cracking booklet, and a lot of thought put into the folder it comes in,it is a great joy to listen to, well done Mr Nelson 10 out of 10 for an overview of your music tracks included in the discs
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