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Do You Dream in Colour?

Bill Nelson

single - 9 May 1980

Do You Dream In Colour? - Cover


A)  Do You Dream In Colour?

B1)  Ideal Homes

B2)  Instantly Yours

B3)  Atom Man Loves Radium Girl



A) appeared to be a non-album track upon release, but eventually (nearly 12 months later) ended up on the Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam album.

B-sides) were all non-album tracks.


Do You Dream in Colour? was the first release to be promoted solely under Nelson's name since the Northern Dream album in 1971. This 7" single was the debut release on Nelson's own Cocteau Records, and sold well enough on release to achieve a respectable No. 52 on the UK singles chart. It helped to raise Bill's profile after Red Noise were dropped by EMI, and led to a new solo deal with Mercury.

The single was promoted by a video that Nelson directed, made on a shoe string budget. Shot in a combination of colour and black and white, the video made imaginative use of mask, props (such as a rocking horse and various items of technology) with Nelson in bed seemingly connected to monitors being used to decipher his dreams.

The exact same 7" single was later included in the Permanent Flame box set of five 7" singles in 1982.


A) was included on Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam and on the What Now, What Next? compilation.
All 3 b-sides were available on The Two Fold Aspect of Everything comp (out of print).
B2) was also available on The Strangest Things compilation (out of print).


"Do You Dream in Colour?" is available on the remastered Quit Dreaming and Get on the Beam CD (Mercury, 2005). It is also available on The Practice of Everyday Life, which is out of print physically, but available as a digital download.  
All 3 b-sides are currently unavailable.



"I started Cocteau Records in retaliation to the dropping of my recordings by EMI. "Do You Dream In Colour?" (which I secured from the EMI contract), was the first ever Cocteau Records release. It was prior to Phonogram's involvement."


"You have to remember that Red Noise was intended to be a 'flexible' project, rather than a fixed band with a fixed style or line-up. The whole purpose of moving on from Be Bop Deluxe was to escape being stereotyped and to avoid the limitations imposed by product and audience expectations.

"In that respect, you might say that every album I've made since Be Bop has been a Red Noise album! So, yes, whilst many of the songs that were recorded immediately after the Sound-On-Sound album were somewhat different, they were, at that time, intended to be released under the 'Red Noise' umbrella. But, when the deal with EMI ended, I just thought, what the heck, just put it out under my own name."


"There was also a problem with the lyric 'video junkie looking for a fix' which the BBC interpreted, (quite wrongly), as being indicative of heroin addiction. It was merely about people who can't pull themselves away from their tv set, people whose lives exist only via an obsessive involvement with tv soap operas and suchlike. Anyway, the BBC refused to play the record with those lyrics and I seem to recall eventually having to make a mix with the offending line replaced by something else, purely for radio."

"Made the "Do You Dream in Colour?" video myself, way, way back in time. Filmed it on my super-8 home cine-camera in Haddlesey house which was then my home. My brother Ian is in the Monroe mask, me in the Superman and old man mask. My ex-wife Jan is the Pierrot on the rocking horse at the end. Lighting was done by borrowing a couple of old coal miner's pit lamps from a friend who worked as a mining engineer. I had no means of auto-synching the film to the soundtrack so the final edits were synched by hand, which took AGES. Nevertheless, it's a quirky, humorous and surreal piece of filmic art, is it not?"

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