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Bill Nelson

album - 25 January 2004

Plaything - Cover
Plaything page 2
Plaything page 4


01)  The Revenge Of The Man In The Burning Ice-Cream Van

02)  A Prayer To Sleep With Mercurial Women

03)  Come To Me In My Dreams

04)  Beauty In A Sparkly Bra

05)  Nipples Of Venus

06)  The Embarkation Song Of The Last Fast Airship

07)  Luana

08)  Spanish Galleons Cruise The Sunrise

09)  Lagoon

10)  Lost Planet Sunset

11)  Six Legged Critter Singing In The Trees

12)  Rainclouds Over Paris Of My Dreams


Plaything is an album of guitar instrumentals issued in a one off pressing of 500 copies on the Universal Twang label.  Much of the material on this album stemmed from the same sessions that had produced The Romance of Sustain.

Plaything was first made available on the evening Nelson performed a solo set at the Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford.
As with Nelsonica '03, attendees could purchase a second copy to forward to fans who couldn't attend the show. The few remaining copies were then made available for sale at the Rooms With Brittle Views website.


Available for purchase as a digital download here in the
Dreamsville Store.


Romance of Sustain, Plectrajet, Dreamland to Starboard, Custom Deluxe, Wah-Wah Galaxy, Sparkle Machine,
Gleaming Without Lights, Loom, Astroloops, And We Fell Into A Dream, Quiet Bells, Awakening of Dr Dream



"Plaything is a unique album in some ways, (and not least because it has absolutely wonderful cover art by my friend Frank Olinsky).

"There are some unusual tracks on the album, covering a lot of guitar oriented, musical-instrumental territory ie: twisted, wah-wah, avant noise guitar and free-jazz piano on the track "The Revenge of the Man in the Burning Ice-Cream Van".  Romantic, nostalgic sonic cinema in "The Embarkation Song of The Last Fast Airship". And psycho-erotic music in "A Prayer to Sleep with Mercurial Women" as well as poetic, yearning, melancholic dreaminess in "Raincloud Over Paris of My Dreams".

"It's perhaps a slightly overlooked album of mine...but nonetheless a deeply satisfying one, at least in my opinion."

"The Embarkation Song of The Last Fast Airship": "an 'operatic' guitar instrumental, (if you can imagine such a thing).  Flying from a flowery meadow across a crystal cityscape whose architecture looks like a combination of a 'Little Nemo' dreamtown and the 1920's towers of 'Metropolis'. The airship floats away to the coast, carrying its gorgeously attired passengers into an art-deco sunset."

"A darkly erotic listening suggestion..."A Prayer to Sleep with Mercurial Women" from the Plaything album.
This track uses various noisy by-products of amplification and the muted crackle of acoustic ambience as a backdrop for a piece that sounds, to my ears at least, like a half-demented, perverse Flamenco player, struggling with a steel stringed acoustic guitar whilst simultaneously trying to resist being sexually entertained by a crazy, full-bosomed, high-heeled bordello madam wielding a vintage 1950's tremolo unit.
Our poor guitar player, after experiencing a little more mercurial shenanigans than he'd initially bargained for, finally exits on a rattling tram, vowing to be more careful about what he prays for in future."



"Plaything is an essential purchase.  For me it is one of a golden trio from that period along with The Romance of Sustain and Dreamland to Starboard.  They are all subtly different but all wonderful instrumental albums...Wonderful stuff."

Douglas Barry:

"The album was inspired after Bill received a gift, and listening to it again I wondered if this might have been an early seedling that eventually blossomed into Signals From Realms of Light. Either way, for me, both albums demonstrate Bill's unique talent and consummate inventiveness with sound beyond the guitar that remains undiminished from one year to the next. And long may his muse cajole him!"


"This is a really fun album. Just have to say that the song titles on this one brought a smile to my face. The music had me grinning more than a few times also, with joy. A couple tracks feature acoustic guitar, which is nice to hear, as Bill can really play. "Lagoon" stands up for me with anything Bill has done recently and "Rainclouds Over Paris of My Dreams" is an ethereal wonderland. One can sense that Bill really enjoyed making this one.
And, not to be overlooked, the cover design is fantastic!"


"Well, just sitting in the garden wondering which album to play and plucked Plaything out. What a choice! Forgot how good it is. Anyway, was drifting when "Lagoon" came on. What an atmospheric track that is. I could have been on a dessert island! And before anyone says it - No I haven't had a drink or anything else. Fantastic Bill. You put me in the Caribbean for the price of a CD."


"Absolutely love Bill's work with samples. "Come to Me in My Dreams" is one of my top fave Bill tracks. The voices capture my imagination in that one."


"Come to Me in My Dreams": "I remember the house where I was born" fits so beautifully into the music on that track, I love it. And I also love "Come to Me in My Dreams" so much that I had it tattooed onto my wrist. In fact, I love Plaything, it's a fabulous CD."


"Lost Planet Sunset": "is one of my all time faves. Definitely the highlight of the album for me."

james warner:

"A strong, but judicious use of guitar effects creates a series of beautiful instrumental soundscapes. Music to float away on!"


"Just have to say that this is now on my Top Five List of Bill's releases. Headphone heaven, baby. Hypnotic dreamsville of guitars and noises from an electrified wonderland. Impossible to even choose only 5, yet this one is filled with so much that is quintessential Bill that it's an easy pick."

"Six-Legged Critter Singing in the Trees": "This track is my favorite example of an evolving, loop-constructed piece that just keeps on morphing subtly from one minute to the next. It stays in the same general area and becomes more detailed and embellished...6-legged changes it's skins but not its bones, and became an instant classic as soon as I heard it; utterly engaging and hypnotic. It's more about playing various parts over the basic loop rhythm and chord progression; whatever, the effect is amazing and I always wished more were like this."

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