Be Bop Deluxe: In a class of their own...

Be Bop Deluxe: In a class of their own...
Authored By John Nicholson
It’s easy to never have heard of Be Bop Deluxe. They are most famous for Ships In The Night #23 in the UK singles chart. In fact the band usually charted albums. Four of their six albums made top thirty. They were a highly unusual, straddling heavy rock, art rock, new wave, folk and a kind of progressive rock. Basically if you like your rock built on shifting sands, BeBop are the band for you. They are often said to be too quirky to break America. They tried, but were fish out of water. They couldn’t be easily defined, which was part of the problem.
They were led by 6 string magician, Bill Nelson. A brilliant, but largely forgotten guitarist. When he tore loose, it was very moving. I highly recommend 'Scenes from a Yorkshire Landscape' on the live album for an example of sustained guitar excellence.
Be Bop DeluxeThey formed in glam rocks’ 1972 and were initially part of that scene. With their uncharting album Axe Victim, they debuted. It is a stunning mixture which presents all kinds of music in 1974.
But it was 1976s Sunburst Finish which was a hit on the back of the hit single. Their third album was probably their most fully realised. Nelson burns on Crying To The Sky. The album made #17 and they toured extensively. But Nelson was tiring of being the guitar hero, hating everything that went with it.
They made three more  albums including a stunning live record which unusually came with an EP.
Their last album, Drastic Plastic, embraces new wave and electronics, but even so is very much Be Bop Deluxe.
A good starting point for newbies is 1976’s first Hot Valves a 4-track EP which charted at #36. The live album is essential. 
They seem obscure to those who don’t fondly remember them, but Be Bop Deluxe remain in a class of their own.

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