album - 20 July 2009
01) Fancy Planets
02) The Golden Days Of Radio (Compact Mix)
03) Kiss Me Goodnight, Captain Marvel
04) The Land Of Dreams Is Closed
05) This Leads To That Leads To This
06) Where Are We Now
07) Twice In A Blue Moon
08) Everyday Now Is Forever Again
09) She Dreams Of Fires
10) I Hear Electricity
11) Mysterious Object Overhead
12) Dream Cities Of The Heart
13) Mystery Engine
14) Golden Days Of Radio (Hypermix)
Fancy Planets is (mainly) a vocal album issued on the Sonoluxe label in a single print run of 1000 copies. The album had a working title of Sway and Swoon and was designed to complement another album then called Sparkle and Spin (which was issued as Theatre of Falling Leaves) which were being worked on in tandem. Eventually Nelson renamed the album Fancy Planets.
As the album was being mastered, Nelson noticed that the vocal track on "The Golden Days of Radio" wasn't coming through as clearly as he had wanted. Nelson therefore re-did the vocals on an alternate mix version (sub-titled Compact Mix) and added the original version (sub-titled Hypermix) as a bonus track. Additionally, to avoid having an album with 13 tracks, Nelson then created an extra track "Mystery Engine" from scratch on the eve of the final mastering session and added that to the album too.
The album was - alongside Here Comes Mr Mercury – the first Bill Nelson CD to feature 'CD text' allowing you to see the title of each track as it played on certain in car and hi-fi systems.
The album includes the 'A' side of the free digital single I Hear Electricity, issued previously on Nelson's 60th birthday (18 December 2008).
Available for purchase as a digital download here in the Dreamsville Store.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Joy Through Amplification, Orpheus in Ultraland, Kid Flip, Special Metal, Satellite Songs, Blip!, Blip 2,
Captain Future's Psychotronic Circus, Modern Moods for Mighty Atoms, Golden Melodies of Tomorrow
"Fancy Planets will have a rock/pop orientation, albeit with a twist. I'm not sure how to exactly describe the music to you as, even within one song, there are lots of ideas at play.
The music is very rich sounding, sometimes a 'wall of sound' with lots of guitars and crunchy, chunky drums and beats. It's big, tough and flamboyant, but beautiful too. A couple of tracks, (at least), conjure up the term 'retro-contempo psychedelic glam rock with poptone tints'. Yes, a weird and funny description but it fits some of the material like a glove!
Many of the songs offer an ironic and post-modernist tip of the hat to my rock band past whilst warmly embracing certain nostalgic elements. The material can be enjoyed on multiple levels and I'm sure many of you will have fun spotting the various musical references and cross-references contained on the album. For instance: The song "Dream Cities of the Heart" contains a reference to Be Bop Deluxe's "Night Creatures". In the same verse comes a mention of a much later solo album song of mine, "Fairyland Before the Fire". It's meant to hint at that ambiguous, bisexual, glam thing of first line-up Be Bop. (Later in the same song, there's a veiled reference to sexual magic/tantra too.)
The album is smart and dumb, subtle and flashy, gentle and ultra-violent, funny and serious, all at the same time. It's a terribly irresponsible album for a sixty year old to make!"
"That little zip-cut [in the beginning of the title track] is intentional, as if someone had spliced the tape. Also, the second repeat of one of the bridge sections, where the vocal sounds like tape cut-ups, ("all moments exist at once...") is also deliberately fractured...but not by digital, Pro-Tools style cutting and pasting. I actually sung it like that in real time to produce the sliced n' diced effect. Hopefully, it's the real time elements in all this music that separates it from the general software/sequenced/copy and paste methods used by every man and his dog these days."
"Wow. On first listen, love Fancy Planets...Bill, you can still rock, dude. And don't EVER believe the guy in the mirror or anyone else...there isn't an electric guitarist on the planet that can do what you do. And the songs? Again, wow!"
"Easily one of my favorite 21st century releases. With classics like "The Golden Days of Radio", "Where Are We Now", "She Dreams of Fires" and "I Hear Electricity", it's no wonder I feel like it ought to be required listening for anyone curious about the artist's recent output. If there's any album that could lure back fans of 70s guitar heroics or 80s/90s songcraft, it's certainly this one."
"A real gem which is bound to resonate with all BN fans, a very satisfying listen...all the more amazing when you consider its all one (overworked) hyper-perfectionist playing everything. As a guitar freak I especially appreciated the pics/liner notes."
knight on the tiles:
"It's not a Be-Bop Deluxe album, which I didn't really expect it to be, or want it to be - sometimes the past is best left alone. But the heritage is clear and that works for me. The same sort of things that attracted me to BBD are there; the guitars, the distinctive phrasing Bill has, the subject matter, the balance of pace, the sweet tunes, the staccato rhythms but there's a lot of new stuff too.
I also love the retro futurism setting that the cover artwork sets the scene for and the music backs up."
"Holy Crap!!! This is some potent stuff. Thank you sooo much Bill for bringing this to the outside world.
If this planet had any brains, "The Golden Days of Radio" would be a top ten hit right now. Give it time and maybe it will.
The guitar solo on "She Dreams of Fires" is the most brilliant guitar solo I have heard in quite some time.
"Mysterious Objects Overhead" totally blew me away.
And "Mystery Engine" is a very beautiful piece of sonic artwork that I am very happy to have hanging in my musical gallery.
You have outdone yourself once more, Bill. Again the fact that this music is being made by one man in a room upstairs should make a lot of musicians feel REALLY embarrassed to be walking into high priced studios today.
Pure magic. Go buy this album now. Can't wait to sit down with this album over and over."
"HOW on earth did Bill fit that band into his bedroom, for surely that can't all be him...But what an amazing album, only had time for a couple of listens so far but I love it, and with all the nods to the past it's a bit of a trip down memory lane too."
"Fancy Planets is bloody amazing! Got it this morning and I can honestly say that every track is a beauty. Bill's playing is exquisite, especially on "Dream Cities of the Heart", and as for "Mysterious Object Overhead"...WOW!!"
"These are 13 incredibly catchy and beautifully melodic songs. After quite a few plays they are whirling round and staying in BK's conscious!
Lots of retro nods to the past, in the playing, tone and lyrics which are fun spotting.
Easy to underestimate how tough it is writing a great melody or a great song. Take a listen to the guitar intro to "Land of Dreams", simple(ish) to play, maybe, but dammed gorgeous and try coming up with something as good as that yourself - few artists do.
This is a terrific set of songs!"
"I am really loving this one. Right now the two favourites are "Where Are We Now" and "Mysterious Object Overhead".
"Where Are We Now" is dreamy, beautiful. Almost a lullaby. The warmth in Bill's voice is perfect. It justs wafts me away.
"Mysterious Object Overhead" just rocks gloriously. Licks abound. GEEETAR. An instant classic."
A Favorite Track of Bill's?: "I'd have to say "Twice in a Blue Moon" from 'Fancy Planets'. Like most of Bill's songs, a rollercoaster ride in the dark. You never know when the twists and turns are coming. Pure adrenaline joy!"
"Thanks for this album. It's as Little Richard once said about Jimi Hendrix - you have made our toes shoot up in our boots once more.
You've always been at your best when you are getting down and dirty, and Rocking. Now what's my favorite track again?!"
"Where Are We Now": "has totally blown me away. I got really emotional listening to this today. Ten times. I can honestly say I have never been so choked listening to a track in my entire life. Absolutely beautiful."
"Oh!...at the end of the alternate mix of "Golden Days of Radio" Bill plays the riff from "Sister Seagull" as it was and then plays it slowed well down, as if it is dying and struggling for breath. Symbolic I'd say......there won't be another album like it."
"Caught myself whistling "Kiss Me Goodnight, Captain Marvel", in that whistling to yourself through the teeth stylee whilst in Sainsbugs this morning."
"His best in years - and I thought Clocks & Dials was extraordinary.
I have nearly all of the past 15-20 Sound on Sound discs and this is way up top already. Lots of nods to the past - the guitar is riveting and way up front (short, sharp shades of Red Noise in some of the faster rhythm guitar parts).
If you downloaded the "I Hear Electricity" free download and thought Bill was onto something, then this album not only contains that song but also an amazing collection of similarly catchy tunes.
Nice one Bill!"
"Just listening to Fancy Planets for the first time...shivers up and down my spine. I love them all, but I think this album is going to be one of my favourites. Thanks, Bill, for thrilling my ears, painting pictures in my mind, and feelings in my heart for over 30 years."
"Fancy Planets is a classic...I can't stop playing it. I was going to burn a copy for a friend of mine...but couldn't bring myself to thievery, so I ordered him a copy through SOS."
"From some other thread in this forum I saw someone give someone else the advice to start with Fancy Planets if you like the BBD sound and want a way in. So I followed it, too, and ordered Fancy Planets from SOS. It arrived in the post a few days ago, and I just can't stop playing it. It's that good."