(All Album Reviews by Chuck AzEee!)
This is a review on one of the great art-rock/glam-rock bands that ever came of the genre, and here is a introductory to the band in the form of this great compilation simply called Air Age Anthology: The Very Best Of Be Bop Deluxe, a 39 song anthology taken from each of the band's album debut album, Axe Victim to the last album, Drastic Plastic.
This compilation covers the basis of many of the bands best songs, but the booklet fails to tell which songs came from which album, nor does it explain which musician played on what song, that is why I am writing this review, to give a basis of this great group, and this double CD.
Since all of the songs are thrown all over the place I will place each song in the groups of which album it came off of, and let the listener decide what album would be best to look further into.*
The Be Bop Deluxe's first album was Axe Victim and the songs represented here on Air Age from that album are:
a. "Axe Victim"
b. "Night Creatures"
b. "Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape"
Bill Nelson-Vocals, Guitar
Ian Paikin-Guitar, Keyboards
The second album by the group is Futurama. represented here by:
a. "Love With The Madman"
a. "Maid In Heaven"
a. "Sister Seagull"
b. "Music In Dreamland"
b. "Jean Cocteau"
a. "Between The Worlds"
Bill Nelson-Guitars, Vocals, Keyboards
From this album on the personnel from here until their demise will be:
Bill Nelson-Guitar, Vocals
Simon Andrew Clark-Keyboards
The Third album is often considered the band's best, Sunburst Finish, and the songs on Air Age are:
b. "Fair Exchange"
a. "Heavenly Homes"
a. "Ships In The Night"
a. "Crying To The Sky"
a. "Sleep That Burns"
b. "Beauty Secrets"
b. "Life In The Air Age"
a. "Blazing Apostles"
b. "Speed Of The Wind"
The fourth album is Modern Music:
a. "Twilight Capers"
a. "Kiss Of Light"
b. "The Bird Charmer's Destiny"
b. "The Gold At The End Of My Rainbow"
b. "Modern Music"
b. "Dancing In The Moonlight (All Alone)"
b. "Honeymoon On Mars"
b. "Lost In The Neon World"
b. "Dance Of The Uncle Sam Humanoids"
b. "Modern Music (reprise)"
b. "Down On Terminal Street"
This is nearly the complete album in it's suite form.
Album Number five is the great live album, Live! In The Air Age, sadly only represented by:
a. "Life In The Air Age "
b. "Fair Exchange"
This album is worth seeking out. For those that think Howe, Fripp, Hackett are amazing, check out Bill Nelson fretwork!
The last album the band would do is the excellent Drastic Plastic.
a. "Electrical Language"
b. "New Mysteries"
b. "Surreal Estate"
a. "Panic In The World"
b. "Island Of The Dead"
Hopefully this will clear up the haphazard mess that this otherwise great set of music from this wonderful band would scare away potential newcomers to Be Bop Deluxe.
*(songs denoted a are from disc one and b disc two)
There is no denying that this is great music... every bit of it! But this particular CD has been mixed and mastered so badly that it is a great disservice to this great band. Sounds like bad mp3 copies. The sound overall is just awful, almost unlistenable. Too bad.