6-CD box set - 7 June 2002
CD 1 - Old Man Future Blows The Blues:
01) Humming In The Void/Girl With The Thousand-Watt Smile
03) Behold Dumb Wonders
04) Dreamland Avenue
05) Jet Town
06) Atom Blasted Cadillac
07) Rocket Science Ranchboy
08) No Meaning
09) Whatever I Do
10) Emerald City
11) One Way Track
12) Nowhere Fast
13) Real Thing This Time
14) Buddha's Eyes Are Everywhere
16) Swing Song
17) Edge Of Recall
18) My Paranoia
19) Tomorrow's World
20) Blowin' The Dust Off The Book Of The Future
CD 3 - Sunflower Dairy Product:
01) Baby Ruth's Big Special
02) First Boy On The Moon
03) Down Comes The Rain
04) Don't Cry, Space-Guy
05) Peppermint Forever
06) Magic Hill
07) The World Wakes Up
09) Lay-Zee Boy Receiver
11) Bright 'N' Breezy
12) The Hipster Gimmick
14) Soakin’ In The Bathtub
15) Star Sugar Sky
16) Dreamboat Situation
17) God's Own Neighbourhood
18) Looking For A Lantern
20) Stars Will Shine
CD 2 - Stargazing With Ranger Bill:
01) Great Plains
02) Big Yellow Moon
03) Hot-Rod Racer
04) That Was Then
05) Space Ranch
07) Ghost Train
08) All This And A Girl Like You
09) More Rain
10) The Lonesome Cowboy Radio Show
11) Sleepy Snakes
12) Wild Lilac
13) Perdita Rose
14) World Of Dreams
15) Real Gone
16) Time Today
17) The Cowboy Club
18) High And Mighty
CD 4 - King Frankenstein:
01) Planet Of Guitars
02) Half-Man, Half-Static
03) Monster Over The Fence
04) Buddha Smoked My Cigarettes
05) The Invisible Venus Of New York City
06) Sunny Bungalows
07) Glittering Star
08) Elevated Railway
09) Luminous Intelligent Sexy Adults
10) Sweet Little Dreamer
11) My Luminous Planet
12) Zip, Boom, Bang
13) Reality Check
14) Somewhere, Nowhere, Everywhere
15) The Flower Thief
16) Art For Art's Sake
17) A Hat Like This
18) Blink Of An Eye
19) When Accident Became My Bride
20) Horse Eats Hat
21) King Frankenstein
CD 5 - Console:
01) Quietly Now (Manipulating The Phonograph No. 2)
02) Hello Children
03) Ethel's Attic (No. 3, Marriot's Building, 1948)
04) Clouds Above The Corn
05) Wonderful Weather In Woodgates Lane
07) Memo Recorder Dream Narrative No. 1
08) Pink Poodle Parade (Piano Version)
09) The Clock That Time Forgot
10) Holiday Express
11) No Bee In His Bonnet
12) Dust And Sunbeams And The Ticking Of A Clock
13) Adventure Annual
14) Dreamstate USA
15) Boy With Bubblepipe
16) American Moderne
17) Fuzzy Dux
18) Rain On A Caravan Roof
19) A Short History Of The Future
20) Ectoplasm Turbine
21) Painted Boats On Still Waters
CD 6 - Playtime:
02) Bakelite (The 50th Birthday Song)
03) Lucky Sometimes
04) Life Is Like This
05) The Astral Tramways Of England
06) Be Here Now
07) Aloha Niagra
08) My Elevated Sweetheart
09) Ladders Leading Nowhere
10) The Now That Never Was
13) Hieronymous Bosch Beyond
14) Being And Nothingness Land
15) Lights Of Kingdom Come
16) Before We Fall
17) World Still Turns
18) Dreaming Of A Girl
19) What We Wish For
20) Big Empty Sky
21) Endless Autumn
Noise Candy is undoubtedly one of the most impressively presented albums in Nelson's back catalogue. Housing 6 CDs of (mostly) previously unreleased material, the packaging and accompanying lyric booklet are awash with colour images and illustrations. The album was issued on the short lived Toneswoon label (reserved for this and a reissued Simplex).
The 6 albums worth of material on Noise Candy were recorded over the period from 1990 to 2000, with the bulk of it hailing from the Atom Shop sessions. The box set was designed as a final farewell to Nelson's analogue recording, assembled ahead of his conversion to a digital home recording set up. It effectively draws a line under what had been his basic approach to home music making that in essence began in 1979/80 (with what became Sounding the Ritual Echo).
Issued in a limited edition of just 2000 copies, the set would remain on catalogue for approximately 18 months before copies started to dry up. For around 10 years the only way to acquire Noise Candy was to track down a second hand copy on eBay, Amazon etc, but eventually the long lost set came back into print.
Reissued by Esoteric/Cocteau Discs as part of the Cherry Red series of remasters in 2015. Cherry Red faithfully reproduced the original packaging, but without the gloss embossed bees on the front of the box. This box set is currently unavailable, although it is still available as a download via major online retailers.
None of the material issued after Noise Candy is included in the licensing deal with Cherry Red.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Noise Candy: Whistling While the World Turns, Confessions of a Hyperdreamer, Whimsy
Old Man Future Blows The Blues: After the Satellite Sings, Atom Shop, Astral Motel
Stargazing With Ranger Bill: Last of the Neon Cynics, After the Satellite Sings
Sunflower Dairy Product: Whimsy, Confessions of a Hyperdreamer
King Frankenstein: Joy Through Amplification, Fantastic Guitars, Atom Shop
Console: Map of Dreams, Chameleon, Caliban and the Chrome Harmonium
Playtime: Luxury Lodge, Satellite Songs
"Noise Candy isn't a retrospective compilation in the manner of The Practice of Everyday Life. When it was originally released, apart from a handful of tracks that had appeared on Whistling While the World Turns, it was all previously unavailable material. It rounded up lots of unreleased stray tracks from my analogue studio era and was a way of 'clearing the decks' prior to my shift to digital."
"I'm very proud of the collection. Not only does it gather together some of my favourite songs, it presents just about every facet and style of my music in one epic work. There's something for everyone on there and, for those who share my own broad listening tastes, there's something for every mood.
It's a collection that requires an ongoing involvement from the listener. You need to revisit it often, explore different parts of it in isolation from the other parts. Once you've got to grips with the 'sections', the whole picture starts to make sense."
"These tracks were, in the main, songs left over from earlier albums, one's that either didn't fit a particular album's concept or that physically could not be incorporated on the original parent album. I eventually gathered them all up and found that they could be slotted into concepts of their own, hence the structure of the discs in Noise Candy."
"One of my personal favourites from the set is: "The Astral Tramways Of England". It captures my childhood visits to Blackpool on the west coast of England in the 1950's, AND my fondness for 'The Eagle' comic that contained the adventures of 'Dan Dare, Pilot of the Future', drawn by Frank Hampson, who was a genuine genius of comic strip art and a huge inspiration to me."
"Another thing about Noise Candy is the packaging, which is the most detailed and elaborate of any project I've ever been involved in. It took months to get all of the images and design elements together."
"Noise Candy is one of the key recordings in the entire Nelson canon."
"An endless candy box of discovery. It's the Nelson I play the most, I'd say. And I play his music all the damn time. Years down the road, I'm still discovering creamy little centers I missed first time through."
Disc 1: Old Man Future Blows the Blues: Atom Shop-like techno blues-pop. Includes the sublime "Dreamland Avenue", plus "Jet Boy", "Atom Blasted Cadillac", and "One Way Track", which sounds to my ears like an outtake from After the Satellite Sings.
Disc 2: Stargazing with Ranger Bill: A futuristic outerspace cowboy campfire singalong, with lots of kitschy country twang. Here Nelson fully indulges in his Gene Autry, 1950s cowboy obsession. Also fascinating in its extended use of samples, mostly of old kids' records, over which Nelson layers his candy coated drums and guitars. Key tracks: "Big Yellow Moon", and "The Cowboy Club."
Disc 3: Sunflower Dairy Product: Pure Pop for Tomorrow People. The theme here is Populuxe suburbia, as almost all the songs concentrate on suburban fantasies and household comfort. It's like a collection of snappy singles, this one. "First Boy on the Moon" is one of the more elegant numbers Nelson has done in ages, almost Roxy Music-esque.
Disc 4: King Frankenstein: Opening track here is called "Planet of Guitars," which pretty much covers it. "Sunny Bungalow" is the big number here, shoulda been on the radio, that one, but there's also a great sequence near the middle that includes "Glittering Star", "Elevated Railway", "Luminous Intelligent Sexy Adults", "Sweet Little Dreamer" and "My Luminous Planet".
Disc 5: Console: This is the ambient instrumental album, and for many, the prize inside the candy box. One of his better instrumental albums, I'd say. Features alternative versions of tunes that appeared on the sorely unavailable Caliban album.
Disc 6: Playtime: Supersonic space-age rock, with dense washes of lush ambience. Points forward to Luxury Lodge and Whimsy and Satellite Songs. My personal favorite CD of the six. Superb line up of melodic, intricately crafted, accessible pop songs, including "Futura" (sends shivers down my spine, this one), "Bakelite", "Ladders Leading Nowhere" and the gorgeous instrumental closer, "Endless Autumn"."
"Each record is much more than just a collection of tunes, but a flowing, thoughtful, beautifully sequenced ALBUM experience, which of course, is one of Bill's trademarks. Taken as a whole, it really does create an incredible tapestry of sound. It's hard to name a favorite but Ranger Bill is so weird and wonderful, it always makes me gleefully happy to listen to it.
Just absolutely amazing that Bill was able to produce and put out this much music and be so solidly consistent throughout. Prolific barely begins to describe it."
"Bill, it's common knowledge that what you often consider sketchbook and demo material, most of us would give our eye teeth to be able to produce music that good. I might contend though that perhaps the reason Noise Candy has stood the test of time for me all these years and is one of my favorites is that sense of anything-goes abandon and experimentation. I think a case could be made that, when you keep it loose like that, a certain joyfulness can sneak through that absolutely transcends any technical limitation or clunker note or whatever."
"To my ears, Noise Candy is the sound of a man falling in love with the pure joy of making music all over again, and works best when experienced full stop with all the weirdness and wildness intact."
"Holy moly! Wow. This "album" is SO much more...this is an stunning, amazing, overwhelming magnum opus - a veritable encyclopaedia of Nelsonia. Across these six CDs are found the entire breadth of Bill's unmatched versatility and talent. It is actually hard to describe how amazing Noise Candy is. Over a hundred great songs, stunning musicianship, creativity galore...all wrapped up in a physical package that is a work of art. No Bill Nelson collection is complete without it."
"It's a great piece of work. The music, the packaging, everything is exquisite. It has a wide range of music. The lyrics are included, along with fantastic art work. Everything you could wish for."
"Reality Check": "Am I the only person that thinks this is the most awesome track ever?"
"Luminous Intelligent Sexy Adults": "is atop my list for its...well, power and grace. "Big Yellow Moon" is atop another list, and "Buddha's Eyes" was one that crept up on me in a funky, fascinating rhythm (but I feel it's gone too far) kind of way."
"Bill's use of spoken word soundbites really shapes those songs and gives them a mood, if not a meaning. I especially like it when the cadence of the words fits in with the rhythm of the tune. Lots of songs on the Noise Candy albums have that pattern. Even when some words are spoken seemingly randomly (now there's a two word song title) over a rhythm, after a few repetitions, they 'fall into' the beat like they belong there along with the other instruments. 'More spoken word' in future songs, I say!"
"I actually didn't know what to make of Noise Candy at first, but there's this weird thing that happens one day while you're listening to it. A lightbulb comes on in your brain, and you're like "Oh, okay wait a minute". That doesn't happen very often to me; music that challenges your opinion of it. What I like about Noise Candy is that it is very cozy and safe, but it manages to be super eclectic and creative at the same time. I don't think I can say that about anyone else's music."
"I managed to wean myself off Mr Bill for a while in the early 90's but now I'm bleedin' hooked again...Nurse! Close the doors. I'm off on a Noisy-Candy-Bender till Monday."