Bill Nelson

What Now, What Next?

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A two-disc overview of some parts of the Cocteau Records years; more or less the decade between 1980 and 1990 when Bill Nelson was producing a variety of work at his home studio. The sophistication of the equipment increased during that period of time, but Nelson has never lost his fascination with utilizing the tools at hand to sketch out the musical ideas running through his head. This, in some degree, explains the six previously unreleased tracks on this album -- all come from unreleased albums (several of which will finally see the light of day in 2001). His prolific nature often works to his advantage; sometimes it doesn't. This particular compilation demonstrates a number of high points, some brilliant notions, and a selection of work that's off the beaten path, such as "Sex, Psyche, Etcetera." Is this a good starting place to get into the artist? Yes and no; it's barely more than a taster, unfortunately. A good starting place for Nelson requires rather a lot more room than these two discs, even if you leave out the Be Bop Deluxe years. The man simply will not be so easily pinned down. These two discs will, however, give you some insight into his range and a tiny bit into his obsessions. They might even get you hooked. It's an excellent compilation, but barely a beginning.

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