Golden Melodies Of Tomorrow
album - 1 November 2008
01) Welcome To Electric City
02) Once I Had A Time Machine
03) Summer Hums In The Bee-Loud Glade
04) Frosty Lawns (Snowballs And Oranges)
05) God Glows Green In Small Town Park
06) My Empty Bowl Is Full Of Sky
07) When Aeroplanes Were Dragonflys
08) Night Is The Engine Of My Imagination
09) The Old Nebulosity Waltz
10) Help Us Magic Robot
11) Time's Quick-Spun Globe
12) Fountains Are Singing In Cities Of Light
13) The Emperor Of The Evening
14) I Saw Galaxies
15) Until All Our Lights Combine
16) Heaven Is A Haunted Realm
17) Golden Melodies Of Tomorrow
18) Golden Coda (Farewell To Electric City)
Golden Melodies of Tomorrow is a vocal album issued on the Sonoluxe label in a single print run of 1000 copies.
Work on the album coincided with writing material for that year's Nelsonica release, Clocks and Dials, with Nelson completing 64 tracks by July 2008, at which point he began the task of selecting track listings for each album. Golden Melodies of Tomorrow was issued at Nelsonica '08, with remaining stock then sold through SOS.
The album sold out on 7 March 2018.
The album is currently out of print, but may reappear as a digital download via Bandcamp at some point.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
The Alchemical Adventures of Sailor Bill, Fantasmatron, Clocks & Dials, Dreamshire Chronicles,
Fables and Dreamsongs, Songs of The Blossom Tree Optimists, New Northern Dream
"Golden Melodies of Tomorrow is, I think, destined to become one of my own personal favourite albums. One that defines me, here and now, in a very direct and special way.
It's an album that ignores whatever the current mainstream is pursuing. It approaches the listener from a very different musical universe. I was aiming for beauty and transcendence and quiet power too, something futuristic but also ancient, ultra-modern but timeless.
In keeping with recent themes, I think of the album as a sort of clock mechanism, a hand-made, bejeweled movement that, (hopefully), once set in motion, fascinates and intrigues the listener with its interlocking parts and shining, myriad cogs and wheels. A golden, whirring, dream factory of song."
"As you may know, for me, Golden Melodies is a special moment in my ongoing musical journey. And yes, there's a weird nostalgia and a kind of melancholy sweetness in there but it's deliberately intended...It's meant to be surreal, arch, kitsch, ironic, knowing.
It IS a fantasy album, it is escapism, it does refute the realm of aggressive truck drivers, it DOES try to steer away from the 'real' world. It does avoid rock and all its macho struttings, it is paradoxical and deceptive. Evasive even.
Golden Melodies is about an interior world, it's about the psyche and the desires and imagination of a man of my own age, sensibilities and background. It could also be said to be psychedelic, in the classical sense.
Its momentum is achieved by playing off my innocent inner nature against my cynical outer nature. I'm asking questions of myself about certain romantic, poetic impulses that motivate me. I'm also indulging those impulses, giving them full rein, seeing where they lead. I'm trying to be brave, to address the things that many men suppress for fear of feminising themselves. It's a sensual album, it's as much about sex as it is about spirituality. It's deliberately 'away with the fairies' with their transparent skirts, shapely legs and come-hither smiles. As my pal Hal once put it: "Butterflies with Tits".
Think Richard Gadd dining with Gilbert and Sullivan whilst Edward Elgar tries to get to grips with a Yamaha Motif keyboard in a Busby Berkley film set in tea-room off the coast of dreams. Somewhere in there sits Johnny Smith with a big Gibson archtop, filling the air with liquid silver improvisations guided by the ghost of Charlie Christian.
I'm trying to pile image on image, beauty on beauty, relentlessly, orgasmically, to the point of overload. It's a haunting, a view of somewhere beyond this world, yet sprung from it...
Aspects of the album are pure nostalgia, turned up to number 11, pushed and pushed until it becomes something else, something almost supernatural, maybe alien.
Like Sailor Bill, it is an alchemic act of composition.
Working on the album has transformed me in ways that are invisible to the outer world."
"The whole album runs like an epic movie from start to finish. Widescreen, Vista-vision, etc...I think this is a special one, a high point.
If you're not staggered and amazed by this when you finally get to hear it, then there's no hope. If Sailor Bill was my 'Smile', then this is my 'Smile' plus 'Sgt. Pepper', wrapped up in one...but entirely different to either. It's post- post-modern, more fractured than a broken mirror, more delicate than a butterfly's wing, tougher and rougher than Richard Harris in 'This Sporting Life', more romantic and sexy than a kiss under a gaslamp in a cobbled street in a rainstorm...More 'me' than ever before. An entire pocket universe of sound and lyrics...you're going to LOVE it!"
"Sometimes, I approached the writing and recording of the album as if it were a sharp, clearly defined painting but then took a large, soft brush and blurred the edges, placing the music in a slightly foggy, twilight world, a world formed by the flickering amber glow of gaslamps and mysterious shadows.
Other times, (such as "Summer Hums", and "When Aeroplanes Were Dragonflys"), I threw the doors and windows wide open and let the Sun and birdsong stream in."
"The songs are constructed from the ground up...not just with surprise codas, but with contrasting and contradictory 'movements' that occur throughout the entire song.
I've often made the analogy of my music being like a kind of Frankenstein monster...lots of unrelated bits of lost or dead music stitched together, then thousands of crackling volts of electricity applied to them until they come to life, get up off the studio table and walk out the door to haunt the neighbours.
Maybe Golden Melodies is more of a 'Bride of Frankenstein', weirdly beautiful, shockingly sexy, a composite angel, part butterfly, part dark moth."
"The image of the lady on the front cover of Golden Melodies of Tomorrow is taken from the catalogue of the 1939 New York World's Fair. The designer of the dress forecast near nudity in the future and made this creation from cellophane and a synthetic opaque fabric called 'Teca'. The model's shoes are made from Dupont Lucite. The designer thought that, in the future, we'd all have better bodies and that there would be scientifically maintained temperatures, therefore clothes would be reduced to the minimum."
"The first thing that strikes me with this album is that it's so 'cinematic' in approach...filled to the brim with achingly beautiful melodies that disappear as quickly as they appeared.
Imagine taking your seat in a cinema, low lit and ready for dreamland, the curtain rises, the journey begins. The music acts as a roving eye would be, swooping and flying down from the hills into "Welcome to Electric City"...angelic keys, backwards loops, fanfares, chimes and Bill Nelson's spectral orchestra works its magic...
This album is stunning. My favourite Bill Nelson vocal album to date. Give yourself some quality listening time, relax (try candlelight) and let the music work its magic. The final track, "Golden Coda (Farewell to Electric City)" is a fanfare of symphony, drum and piano rolls, guitars and trumpets, the credits are now rolling and it"s back to now. Which isn't so bad, just press the play button again....
This album is....Lamplit seduction, moonlight kisses, fluted alabaster, soaring wurlitzers, bubbling static, English meadows and the girl or boy of your dreams."
"At the risk of sounding a bit over the top, this is possibly the best 'vocal' album BN has made in 25 years. Not simply because the vocals are wonderful, (and a lot of care has obviously gone into them), but it is chock full of simply GORGEOUS melodies. The word that keeps coming into my head is 'beautiful'. Check out the melody that kicks in at 1.28 on "My Empty Bowl is Full of Sky". Now THAT'S a gorgeous melody, and simply one of many...
The style, for want of a better word, is a curious mixture of past albums, such as Whimsy, Sailor Bill, Jazz of Lights, but is something very different and certainly, to my ears, more immediate and less 'thematic' than those. The structure of the tracks are often strange and unpredictable and have unexpected changes in melody and unexpected instrumental sections.
Finally, there are loads of new sounds and bleeps and whirls and it 'sounds' stunning, ie Very well produced and engineered. This is a veritable corker. BUY! BUY!! BUY!!!"
"Golden Melodies is possibly my fave BN album ever. Certainly in my top 3 or so. Absolutely brilliant from beginning to end."
"Well, right when I heard the opening chords of "Welcome to Electric City" I felt convinced that I was in for something very special and extraordinary, and I was right. Golden Melodies just doesn't compare to anything else in Bill's oeuvre, not even Sailor Bill. Each and every track has a complexity that I can't remember to have found in any other album by Bill (let alone other 'pop' artists). This is much more akin to classical composition than to 'pop' music, BUT it doesn't ever appear to be forced or 'experimental' for experimentalism's sake. There are indeed a lot of golden melodies here, and they are not hidden, but right on the surface to behold in all their glory. But they are graced with extremely well worked-out arrangements, and an ever-changing bustle of sound underneath, and the result is nothing short of magical.
I'm surprised how 'visual' this album is, how much it conjures up images of early Hollywood musicals - Bill himself mentioned Busby Berkeley - or fashion shows of the era (at least for me). Of course these images are triggered by the cover designs, but they can be found in the music alone I believe; those swooping string cascades in many songs, for instance. It is all about elegance and a world past, but it's not nostalgia, but definitely a sort of futuristic recreation of that world. This could very well be the soundtrack to Fred and Ginger doing The Continental in the year 2050.
There's something exceedingly warm and pleasing about this music, something very emotionally satisfying. And it is so well constructed down in its tiniest details: no 'noodling', every sound is necessary and in its proper place. Great singing and production, too. Oh, and I liked the idea of a sort of 'double coda' that is formed by the last two tracks. An extended farewell to a world that I hope Bill will very soon re-visit."
Wasp In Aspic:
"I must add my voice to those who feel that Golden Melodies is quite possibly Bill's best album for 25 years. This is a magical work of art which makes everything else around seem inadequate. Even the timing of the release is great, sounding as it does like the ultimate dream of a favourite Christmas time musical from the past's future.
Bill - it just does not compute that someone in their sixtieth year has produced such a landmark in their career."
"Quite honestly must confess...I am simply mesmerized! Golden Melodies of Tomorrow is essentially the perfect title for this gem. The scope and majesty of this offering is simply beyond words. A masterpiece of musical landscape laid out right before your ears and mind, courtesy of the maestro of musical luster, Mr. Bill Nelson. My thanks to you are forever for this journey Bill and I just can't help but ask the million dollar question...Just how do you keep doing it??? I was wondering when you were going to top Sailor Bill. In my mind, we didn't have to wait too long!"
Man in the rexine pyjamas:
"Must just say that the tracks are epic. Not similar in style to Sailor Bill, but the same wide, sonic horizons. How the man has completed that many work-intense pieces is amazing."
"Its lovely...it's now...it's a record of a musician at the very height of his powers...I love it."
"Once I Had a Time Machine" - "How the hell was that recorded in a spare bedroom???? I'm boggled!"
"Beautiful, uplifting, complex, heartfelt music. There's a yearning right there in the vocals that really cuts through to my bones."
"I think the whole of Golden Melodies is a sort of poetic tonic, which never fails to raise my spirits. It should probably be available on the NHS."
"It makes pretty much everything else out there seem inadequate by comparison. Truly a magical, moving experience submerging yourself in this music. I think I've already exhausted the superlatives a few albums back, so I'll cut my "review" short (leaves more time for listening to the music)."
"Some of the best music Bill has ever made...the musicianship...songwriting composition and emotional brilliance of these pieces transcend time and space for me...there are not enough superlatives to describe how wonderfully grateful I am to be plugged in to Bill Nelson's musical Jukebox galaxy...Bill Nelson may you live forever. Cheers from Sycophantic Steve."
"It is without a doubt that this is some of the best Bill Nelson music I've ever heard. I'm completely delighted with the concept of Golden Melodies. These are some of the most potent melodies, sound effects, and arrangements to be delivered to my ears."
"Just when you think BN would some day run out of Inspirational Ideas like so many other greats have, he puts out Golden Melodies of Tomorrow. All I can say is WOW! a Big WOW!! This should be called Bill's White album, as it has all the ingredients that make it his Most complete music to date."
"I find that Bill's output of the last few years is amazing stuff. Dense & textured in ways no other artist is even attempting. And he's pulled elements from a huge array of sources, usually in small touches. One cannot absorb all of it in one go. It takes multiple listenings. You need to let it wash over you."
"A Great Big Onion!...by which I mean every time I listen I hear yet another layer to it, a new melody, a new texture, a new tone. If this was a film it would be a sleeper. Not as instantly catchy as others, I needed quite a few listens to start 'getting' it but repeated spins are wonderfully rewarding, sort of a different taste with every bite...really a remarkable work. Thanks, Bill."
"Golden Melodies of Tomorrow will blow you away."
"This is an absolute classic and really should be owned by everyone."
"I was once again struck by the sheer quality of the songwriting and performance of these songs, which are already so familiar to me - and how well they connect with me. So thanks again, Bill, for creating such beautiful music which at times touches us so deeply."
"Last night I put on Golden Melodies of Tomorrow and was once again reminded of what a wonderfully special one it is to me! Anyone who doesn't own it, should grab it IMMEDIATELY!
"Help Us Magic Robot", "I Saw Galaxies", so many fantastic compositions and enchanting lyrics. Not to mention, the CD artwork is a thing of beauty also!"