Orpheus In Ultraland
album - 22 October 2005
01) The Man Who Haunted Himself
03) Suburban Mermaid One Twenty Three
04) Dreams Run Wild On Ghost Train Tracks
05) Tin Sings Bones
07) Every Tiny Atom
08) And Now The Rain
09) Super Noodle Number One
10) Moments Catch Fire On The Crests Of Waves (Alternative Mix)
11) Big Broken Buick
12) The Whirlpool Into Which Everything Must Whirl
Orpheus in Ultraland is an album of mainly vocal pieces issued exclusively for Nelsonica '05 in the then customary limited pressing of 500 copies, on the newly created Discs of Ancient Odeon label. Due to problems with delivery of the artwork, Nelsonica 05 attendees were issued copies of the album in a plain jewel case with the artwork distributed by post on 23 November. The past practice of offering second copies for sale was ceased for this event, which meant that the remaining 250 copies or so were available (with complete artwork) on the merchandise desk on Nelson's UK tour, which commenced on 6 November.
After the tour, the small number of copies that remained were sold through SOS, although within a day or so these were snapped up. On November 28 an announcement was made on the Dreamsville Forum that the album had completely sold out.
Available for purchase as a digital download here in the Dreamsville Store.
"Amongst the album's 12 tracks are some personal favourites of mine such as "Suburban Mermaid One Twenty Three", "Tin Sings Bones", (which has featured in my live concerts in recent years), "Tantramatic", "And Now the Rain". Plus an alternative mix of "Moments Catch Fire on the Crests of Waves". It's an accessible album which will appeal both to guitar fans and those who enjoy my vocals/songwriting."
"[The title] "Duraflame" comes from a cigarette lighter that my Dad had, back in the '50s, a 'Ronson Duraflame'. A nice design, chrome modernist/deco style. Very cool. I actually have one that I picked up from somewhere many years ago...it sits on a shelf in my little study, next to Dad's old Bolex clockwork cine camera, his (now vintage) Automobile Association enamel badge, his RAF official issue shoe brushes, and the Westminster Electric Door Chimes that sat inside the front door of 28, Conistone Cresecent, Eastmoor Estate when I was a wide-eyed, dreaming boy."
"Tin Sings Bones": "is about mortality and identity. 'Tin Sings Bones' refers to the human machine, the fact that we're almost like tin toy robots who dream of being human. The verses with their 'Maybe I'm a fly upon your wall, maybe you're the pride before my fall' lines, (and the rest), refer to a personal uncertainty about myself and things in general. My mid-life crisis hasn't ended, 'though I should be well past that point by now as I'm only three years away from my 60th birthday! But even at my supposedly settled and mature age, things can happen that test one's understanding of whom one is, and where one is in life. I'm as mixed up as I was as a teenager and very little wiser, I'm afraid. The song, whilst chirpy and poppy enough, is actually all about the fear of growing older and loss of certainty."
"The extended 'intros' and 'outros,' (or preludes and codas), are somehow, for various reasons unknown to me, set deep into my creative psyche. Hard to escape.
The intros are a warm red carpet laid down a narrow corridor into the compositional heart of each piece. The codas are a reflection of possible alternatives, different resolutions, echoes of other potentials, the sound of a lingering kiss."
"What you would deem 'classic' Bill Nelson - appealing to the 'core' of fans, who love to hear Bill 'rock it' with fancy fretwork et al...it bursts at the seams with hooks & catches."
"The work of the mature artist telling it like it is - young pretenders take a bow if you please!"
Face in the Rain:
"Provides an excellent link between Be Bop and where Bill is now. Most listeners manage to make the jump (it's all connected - it's all Bill, after all) but OIU is a great bridge if you feel you may need one."
"Defiinitely one of the best Nelsonica discs. Every song is top notch with some mind-blowing guitar thrown on there."
"It is a very emotive piece of playing, when I first heard it I welled up!!"
"Thank you so much for all your hard work, emotional input and creativity on this beautiful recording."
"Dreamyblisteringjazzrockblues with romanticeccentricenigmaticnosaltigic powerpoptecho undercurrents. A must for every admirer of Bill's work...believe me."
"Cohesive collection of pieces - flows well despite the breadth of styles and the nature of its compilation. Lyrically very strong. Unsurprising attention to detail. Numerous musical points of reference, including nods at Bill's own past from Be-Bop Deluxe to Rosewood. It exudes passion - Bill is clearly loving what he is doing and continues to push the envelope...My wife likes it. Far more than a 'convention CD'. Or for a 'one word review'...enigmatic."
"Orpheus is one of the best BN CDs - period. It is my personal favorite and a must have."
"The Man Who Haunted Himself" - One of my all time favourite BN tracks. Killer. That opening just screams out of the stereo."
"Is it possible that "The Man Who Haunted Himself" from Orpheus in Ultraland has some of the most beautiful guitar work Bill has ever done? At the :35 mark, and again at 2:53, the guitar work is so overwhelmingly emotional that it brings tears to your eyes. I've always felt great emotion streaming out of his music over the years, and that's what makes Bill's music special to me. You only get better with age William.
"And for anyone needing a reminder that Bill is one of the best guitarists in music today, just listen to "Tantramatic" or, if you just can't get enough of Bill's guitar work, listen to an old school number like "Super Noodle Number One". It will provide you with your guitar fix for the day."
Wasp In Aspic:
"This album is a must have for all Nelsonians...When "And Now the Rain" comes on I just have to stop what I'm doing and marvel at its poignancy and brilliance."
"I think "Duraflame" has one of the most thrilling solos BN has ever played, namely the final one. Melody, beauty, technique, wow...I am drooling. BN has a unique ability to make the guitar sing."
"Tin Sings Bones": "This has entered my head and will never leave. It seems to be playing constantly. Hooks galore."
"Moments Catch Fire on the Crests of Waves": "One of my favourite songs of yours, beyond a shadow of a doubt."
"Tin Sings Bones": "the standout song of Nelsonica 05 and the standout track on the CD. Voice and instruments combine in meaty & memorable riff.
"The Whirlpool Into Which Everything Must Whirl" - An epic song, and not just because it lasts 8 and a half minutes and has tubular bells! The complexity and scope of this number would overwhelm most songwriters, but Bill pulls if off effortlessly. An instant classic for all Nelsonians.
To Bill, thanks for a great Nelsonica, for this wonderful music, for constant surprises and for the oxygen of inspiration."
"Get it downloaded, you are in for an absolute treat. Possibly the best Nelsonica album out there."