Who is Bill Nelson you ask? Well, did you read our recent Be-Bop Deluxe feature written by one of our contributors Jim McCabe? Bill Nelson was the leader/guitarist/front man for them.
That piece triggered much discussion about Bill on the site and facebook. Many people were not aware of the long and prosperous solo career that Bill has had. So I’ve decided to come right back with one of his best solo efforts, The Love That Whirls (Diary of a Thinking Heart.)
Be-Bop Deluxe pretty much called it a day back in 1978 with the release Drastic Plastic. Bill went on the form Bill Nelson’s Red Noise (often just called Red Noise) and released one album, Sound on Sound in 1979. He released a few solo albums under his own name and then we get to 1982. 1982 saw the arrival of Love That Whirls.
While Be-Bop was more of a straight forward, four man typical rock and roll band, Bill Nelson solo was anything but. These were now his projects, no compromising, and no trying to make band members feel wanted or at least involved in the decision making. In fact, there weren’t really any other band members. On these tracks, the only other contributors were one drummer, Bogdan Wiczling and one percussionist, Jan Nelson. Bogdan was known as a member of the Scottish band, Fingerprintz that would somewhat evolve into The Silencers.
Everything else on these discs was all Bill. Much of the music has programmed drums and a ton of electronics added.
Tracks I’d suggest checking out include the opening number, “Empire of the Senses”, A Private View.” However two songs really stand out more than the others. The first would be “Flaming Desire.” This got a little airplay in the States. It was probably Bill first airplay since the mid-70s heyday of BBD, however, that’s not the best song on the disc. That honor would be for the very last track. If you only want to listen to one song here, make sure it’s the fantastic “October Man.” This would have been a big time FM track if it weren’t for the 6:45 length. It’s a great 80s song that still sounds great.
If you have a chance, go to Bill Nelson’s website. Also check out his Allmusic and Wikipedia entries. You’d be shocked at how much music this man has created over the last three decades. It’s quite the list!
– Larry Carta
- Empire of the Senses
- Hope for the Heartbeat
- Waiting for Voices
- A Private View
- Eros Arriving
- The Bride of Christ in Autumn
- He and Sleep Were Brothers
- When Your Dream of Perfect Beauty Comes True
- Flaming Desire
- Portrait of Jan With Flowers
- The Crystal Escalator in the Palace of God Department Store
- Echo in Her Eyes
- The October Man
- Bill Nelson – Composer, Guitar, Vocals
- Jan Nelson – Percussion
- Bogdan Wiczling – Drums
- See our feature on Bill’s Be-Bop Deluxe, Sunburst Finish
- See more from one of the best years in music, 1982