Caliban And The Chrome Harmonium
album - 18 August 2001
02) Beautiful Big Boobies
03) American Moderne
04) Sweet Dead Bunny
05) My Pal Hal (For Mr. Budd)
06) Grand Arcade
08) Suburban Pearl
10) Years From Now
11) A Short History Of The Future
12) Bell Bird
13) Pink Poodle Parade (Organ Version)
14) Disneyland After Dark
An extremely limited item, Caliban and the Chrome Harmonium was a privately produced mini-album given to the artist's close friends and associates, some of whom had helped to organise the first of what would be an annual event called Nelsonica. Nelson then also rewarded around 20 fans with a copy of the album, in slightly revamped artwork, who had contributed funds to his transition from analogue to digital recording facilities. It is believed that the official production line of this CDR ran to somewhere around 30 copies, although unofficial copies have circulated. This release unveiled a new label in the shape of Almost Opaque, this release being a "Custom Culture Edition" for Almost Opaque Records. Almost Opaque would be reserved for the exclusive convention albums released over the period 2001-04.
At the Nelsonica 01 event, held in 2001, two further copies of Caliban and the Chrome Harmonium were auctioned and were purchased for several hundred pounds apiece. At least 1 copy of the official run of CDRs has appeared for sale on eBay and this too reached an impressive price.
Three of the tracks from Caliban, namely "American Moderne", "Filigree" and "A Short History of the Future" would re-appear on Noise Candy (2002), with another track, "Pink Poodle Parade", appearing in an alternate version on the same release.
As this mini-album was only ever intended to be a gift to Nelson's close friends and associates, as well as his analogue to digital patrons, it has understandably been kept that way, and no official reissue is planned. Aside from the few tracks that can be found on Noise Candy, it would seem unlikely that the material will ever find a wider official release.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Picture Post, Simplex, Chameleon, Map of Dreams, Excellent Spirits, Automatic,
Crimsworth, Chance Encounter in the Garden of Lights, Altar Pieces, Loom
"Caliban and the Chrome Harmonium will be issued properly/officially before too long as part of a projected box set of all the Nelsonica limited edition recordings. AND it will be given a proper mastering process, something which the original didn't receive. There will be no rarity value in any of my recordings, before long, as none of them will ever be permanently out of print."
"This is a special album, in many ways. Not only is it rare, having only been released in very limited quantities, but it stands apart in content as well. A collection of compositions for piano and vibraphone, it shows a side to Bill's creative genius that is glimpsed elsewhere, but seldom indulged to a large degree. The sparseness of the instrumentation lays bare the compositions, revealing their structures and raw beauty. A very interesting and rewarding look at Bill from another angle."