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Be Bop Deluxe - The Best of and The Rest of CD (album) cover

THE BEST OF AND THE REST OF

Be Bop Deluxe

 

Crossover Prog

3.13 | 5 ratings

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kenethlevine
Special Collaborator
Prog-Folk Team
3 stars As far as I know, this double LP has never officially transitioned to the digital age, and no existing Be Bop Deluxe CD actually covers the same ground. The first LP consisted of a "Best of" from the group's 5 studio albums, while the second contained a variety of singles and B-sides. Perhaps not surprisingly, the second LP contains slightly more accessible material, but both are of equal value in making the collection what it is.

The first LP, that is songs 1 through 11, move chronologically from "Axe Victim", featuring the title cut, to "Drastic Plastic", represented by "Panic in the World". In it, "Panic" being a good example, we can hear how Be Bop Deluxe presented a paradoxically less flamboyant alternative to David Bowie glam. Of course, Nelson's searing guitars were not even fathomable by Mick Ronson. These are just 2 of Be Bop's prog credentials. Other highlights from the first part are the 1-2-3 punch of "Sister Seagull", "Sleep that Burns" and "Ships in the Night", which show Nelson's ability to extract a team effort to do his writing justice. These are catchy yet enduring and heartfelt songs.

The second LP opens with a couple of electronic numbers that presage Nelson's RED NOISE, before offering the lovely ballad "Lovers are Mortal", that draws together romantic lyricism with a steady acoustic guitar against spacey keys and a dirge like beat. "Quest for the Harvest of the Stars" is like Hawkwind gone acoustic, and works well in a kitschy way, while "Japan" and another heart stopper "Speed of the Wind", offer more of the group's quality prog credentials. Even if "Shine" is a bit too much a vehicle for Nelson's guitar and not much else, and "Blue is a Jewel" is an odd foray into southern boogie, the compilation pleases in its breadth.

If you can track down this LP, it could serve as a good introduction to the group, but it could also be a worthwhile addition if you have not replaced, and do not plan to replace your BBD LPs, on the basis of the "rest of" tracks.

kenethlevine | 3/5 |

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