who has put out an amazing amount of material over the past three decades, much of it no longer in print due to money problems
battles. Throughout the 70s Bill led the glam-rock
band Be Bop Deluxe
, working on his own and with others after the band's demise. He has worked with many notables, including The Dream Academy
's Kate St. John
, Roger Eno
(yep, he's that other Eno
's little brother), and former comedian Laraaji
to release two albums as Channel Light Vessel
. Other collaborators include Harold Budd
, David Sylvian
, Gary Numan
and A Flock of Seagulls
Bill's later work--with which I am most familiar--is a curious amalgam of cheerful guitar, melancholy piano, and sampling from obscure (and not-so-obscure) recordings, including excerpts from The Day the Earth Stood Still and The Wizard of Oz. Sometimes the tracks decay into bizarre, random weirdness; most of the time they reflect musical genius. Part of the 6-volume My Secret Studio collection features tracks using simple equipment in Bill's home studio, with "first takes being used whenever possible." The resulting tracks sound raw, as if they were not quite finished, but highly appealing for that.
Part of the Bill's charm for me is the highly creative album artwork and song titles. Several albums follow a 50's sci-fi motif, with rockets, flying cadillacs,robot men (the robot men also show up in a song), scantily-clad 50's sci-fi babes, and secret agents.
If you can't get a feel for his music from the MP3s available at www.billnelson.com, try After the Satellite Sings or the instrumental Practically Wired...Or How I Became Guitarboy for an introduction.