This is a collection of live concert recordings of Be-Bop Deluxe from their hey-day in the mid 1970s. An album of un-missable quality: all the classic standards are here, but played live. And that's the key - for all the talk about their studio albums, Be-Bop Deluxe were at their best playing live. Listen to 'Fair Exchange' or 'Ships in the Night' on Sunburst Finish having heard this live version, and they appear painfully static and stilted by comparison, almost like demo tapes. Likewise, the live version of Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape is peerless. If you have even only half an interest in Be-Bop Deluxe, this album is the one you should add to your collection.
I hadn't heard this for 35 years. It was one of the favourite albums a bunch of friends and myself used to play in a shed we'd rebuilt and fitted out with all sorts of cool stuff. And yet, despite all this time when I played this album yesterday it came back with crystal clarity. Compared to some of the other nonsense we listened to at the time (Tarkus? What a load of garbage..) this still stands up. The songs are great, the performances are just fantastic and Bill Nelson's guitar is very, very good indeed.
On CD the listening experience has been robbed of a little of the ritual. When this album was on vinyl you got a 12 inch disc and a 7 inch disc, both 33rpm. You played side one of the 12 inch first. Side two was the first side of the 7 inch, side three was the second side of the 7 inch. Then for the last 3 songs of the set you played the second side of the 12 inch (labelled 'side four').
The track 'Sister Seagull' was a big favourite but actually this album is all good. It does sound like a product of its time but in this case that's just fine. It makes me yearn for that fabulous period between 1977 and 1979 when so much excellent music was being produced. There are touches of the Blockheads sound on 'Shine' and the whole set reels happily between rock, funk and even a little ska. And it's tight as hell. This band can spin on a sixpence and are clearly very well rehearsed. This is a classy recording and not without some proper thrills. I'm still astonished by the quality of 'Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape'.
Lyrically it's also excellent not least for the concept of the 'Phantom of the bingo hall'.
I quickly checked YouTube and was surprised to see Be Bop Deluxe looking so glam. Big lapels and some decidedly disco haircuts. You'd never guess from the stark, black and white Metropolis cover with its graffiti style lettering. We all just assumed these were ground breaking guys and of course they were.
In an age where pop has well and truly eaten itself and now mostly craps out pale imitations of the past it's stuff like this that shows that it's absolutely possible to create great sounds that raise the bar.
But in the end the most important thing about this album is that it's so rewarding. Repeated plays bring out more and more from it's lush melodic songs and nuanced performances. It's only rock 'n' roll, it's only entertainment but god, what good times can be had if you get it right.
I can still remember the first day I heard this album, it's a guitarists dream and a Live Classic. As a Leather Clad Biker in those days, I had a slight problem with Bill nelson's shirt and tie on stage ( and his semi-acoustic guitar)! but what fantastic tone he had. The solo in Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape is surely one of the most beautiful guitar sounds of all time. It still makes my socks roll up and down today!
I was a great fan of Be Bop Deluxe back in the late 70's. Needless to say my taste has moved on since then (to emo/screamo, world, ECM Jazz, GYBE ...). I bought this out of a sense of nostalgia - but was amazed to find it hadn't dated at all. I also remembered and rediscovered what a great guitarist Bill Nelson really was - "Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape" is just as good as I remembered it. So five stars from me - not for nostalgia but because this music still stands out 25 years on.
This album was released as a swan song just before the group, broke up, but manages to capture the essence of seventies rock. In Bill Nelson, perhaps the most underated six string genius of the seventies, they had a consumate front man and writer. Listen to the sublime solo on Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape, worth the price of this CD alone. The mix is not just guitar based, all instruments stand out on their own. There is clear seperation between drums bass and keyboards, without detriment to the atmosphere of the concerts they were taken from. A great selection of tracks from all albums, with two great tracks to finish Sister Seagull and Maid In Heaven. Absolutly Rocktastic Pop Pickers... Not Arf !!!
In terms of Live album greats this has got to be in the top ten (nothing can compare to my no. 1 UFO's "Strangers in the Night"). Beautiful guitar playing and song writing from the genius that was Bill Nelson. A timeless classic.
These live recordings couldn't have been made at a better time, because BBD were at their peak here, both in terms of creativity and popularity.
Among this great collection, 3 non-studio album tracks are performed, "Shine" "Mill Street Junction" and "Piece Of Mine" If your a BBD fan, you probably own this already, to the unconverted, this is a great rock band that sounds like no other, this is how rock music should sound, Bill Nelson's brilliant guitar work will blow you away, listen to the guitar solo on "Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape"....Wow!
Buy yourself this brill album, you won't regret it.