Thursday, 22 April 2010

1980 Single of the Week

My I’ve been a lazy blogger. After a reasonable start to the year everything ground to a halt. This after I hatched my cunning plan for a regular 1980 Single of the Week post. To make up lost ground the rest of this month is going to be all 1980 all vinyl!

Starting with this…

Bill Nelson’s first post Be Bop Deluxe and Red Noise single and the first release on his own Cocteau label. Do You Dream In Colour was a preview of his forthcoming Quit Dreaming And Get On The Beam album. I remember it seemed to take forever for that LP to finally see the light of day, eventually arriving some two years after the Red Noise’s Sound-on-Sound. Two years between albums doesn’t sound like much these days but it was an eternity back then. At least we got four tracks – Bill’s singles from the early 80s were usually quite generous with non-album bonus tracks.

If you only know one Bill Nelson song chances are it’s Do You Dream In Colour. It got mostly favourable reviews, at least one pointing out a similarity to an old T-Rex song (I forget which one), and was a small hit, peaking at No 52 in the UK chart. It’s not really what I expected at the time, I had anticipated a more electronic sound, but I was won over by its jaunty poppy sound which is a bit at odds with the lyric.

The first two songs on side 2 are by the touring version of Red Noise, possibly destined for the planned but never released 2nd album. Neither would sound too out of place on Sound-on-Sound. If you’re familiar with that LP it’s easy to imagine Ideal Homes in the middle of side 2 and Instantly Yours has a similar vibe to Stop Go Stop.

Finally Atom Man Loves Radium Girl features Bill Nelson on all instruments and is probably nearer to the sound I was expecting.

The three side 2 songs are not currently available on CD even though they would have made ideal bonus tracks on the Quit Dreaming reissue.

Bill Nelson - Do You Dream In Colour (1980)
Bill Nelson - Ideal Homes (1980)
Bill Nelson - Instantly Yours (1980)
Bill Nelson - Atom Man Loves Radium Girl (1980)


tim said...

One of my favourite Bill Nelson tunes- I liked this period of his a lot. Don't buy much of his stuff now but he is pretty prolific still.

Mick said...

I love 80s era Bill Nelson from Quit Dreaming to Getting the Holy Ghost Across. The last CD I bought was Whimsy which I can't get into but I've been re-evaluating 'After The Satellite Sings' (from the 90s) in the car recently and it's better than I remember.

Anonymous said...

The T.Rex song which this was likened to is 'Get It On'.
I wasn't convinced by this track in 1980 and 30 years on it still pales by comparison to the Be Bop DeLux/Red Noise material.

(sorry, forgotten my password,could be age.)

Mick said...

Doesn't sound anything like 'Get It On' to me.

BrotheRay said...

I think it's just the intro the reviewer was refering to.It's not long before you're singing 'Your dirty sweet and your my girl'.

Peewit said...

I've always thought that Ideal Homes is a stronger song than Do you Dream.

Mick said...

I think as an A-side I'd have to go for Do You Dream but Ideal Homes is certainly the most 'Red Noise' of the four songs.