Whistling While the World Turns
album - 16 June 2000
01) Manipulating The Phonograph
02) Dreamland Avenue
04) The Boy Who Learned Everything
05) Space Ranch
06) Big Yellow Moon
07) Sleepy Snakes
08) Roses, Haloes, Crown Of Thorns
09) Parklands Drive
10) All This And A Girl Like You
11) Quiet Planet
12) Whistling While The World Turns
13) Fortune Favours The Fall Guy
14) Ghosts Of Invisible Things
15) Sunny Bungalows
16) Older Joe
17) Autumn Stars
A new millennium, a new record deal, this time with Lenin Imports, a London based independent label. Whistling While the World Turns is a collection of previously unreleased tracks from Nelson's archive, and covers a range of styles mixing instrumental and vocal pieces.
The album was intended as a taster for the 6CD box set Noise Candy, the most elaborate Nelson release of his career (up to that point), but delays to the box set would lessen its impact somewhat.
Whistling While the World Turns is really more of a companion release to Noise Candy, since 10 of the 17 tracks are actually exclusive to this release. The album would remain on catalogue for over 3 years, and having gone out of print, was soon fetching high prices on Amazon and eBay (on the occasions that copies turned up).
Out of print, although a digital download reissue is a possibility through Nelson's Bandcamp page.
IF YOU LIKED THIS ALBUM, YOU'LL PROBABLY ENJOY:
Noise Candy, Whimsy, Confessions of a Hyperdreamer, Atom Shop, After the Satellite Sings,
Practically Wired, Return to Tomorrow, Astral Motel, Luxury Lodge
"Whistling While the World Turns does carry enough non-Noise Candy tracks to make it interesting in its own right."
[The artwork on the front cover] "is an old Russian woodblock print that I bought years and years ago at an antique fair. No info about the artist on it though."
"What sets it apart is that it is truly conceived as an album, whereas Noise Candy consists of something more like six vessels into which Nelson sorted like-minded songs. Whistling, on the other hand, somehow combines an extremely broad range of music into a mesmerisingly coherent hour. BN labours over his selection and sequencing, and his care pays off really big on Whistling...
The exclusive songs alone are amazing. "The Boy Who Learned Everything" makes my top ten BN songs list without a second thought. It's an incredibly catchy tune that shares nothing with other BN pop melodies. It merges the found vocals and BN vocals superbly. And the lyrical conceit is genius. Super sexy.
"Fortune Favours the Fall Guy" is great in its own right and absolutely astounding as something constructed on an analogue system. How BN managed to achieve the timing and syncopation of great jazz (and great jazz singing, and beat poetry), in a contemporary techno setting, with a laborious analogue-sampling set-up, is totally beyond me. But he did. And "Fortune Favours the Fall Guy" is among the masterpieces of the '94-'00 period. If the term "Tripop" exists, BN is the originator."
Wasp In Aspic:
"Unforgetting": "from Whistling While the World Turns is so beautiful and moving it can almost reduce me to tears."
"Unforgetting": "has such a haunting kind of sad-joy theme. One of the best! Cheers to you, Bill."
"Fortune Favours the Fall Guy": "is one of those tracks I have overlooked for quite a long time...the track is a nice length to get your teeth into, it's the style of Bill singing I really enjoy, plus who could resist the "Running Away" hook-line..."
"The found voices on Noise Candy, Atom Shop, Whistling While the World Turns are some of my absolute favourite tracks."
"Whistling sounds just as fresh today as it did then."
"This one has a little bit of everything. Which makes sense, being a glimpse into the Magnum Opus that is Noise Candy. Quirky, bluesy, jazzy, space cowboy, rock, sci-fi, dreamy, romance...it is all here. (Don't miss "Sunny Bunglalows". Wow.)"