25 July 2010

Bill Nelson: Trial By Intimacy -- A Catalogue Of Obsessions

This is the fourth and final vinyl disk included in Trial By Intimacy. What is there left to say after hearing many dozen similar Bill Nelson instrumentals? Only, perhaps, that if you enjoyed the previous volumes you will enjoy this as well. It is certainly not the weakest offering, even if it treads the familiar path of clockwork rhythm boxes, languid synth melodies, vaguely oriental sonorities and mysterious titles.

I particularly enjoy the sequencer interplay of "Happily Addicted To You" and "Initiation Of The Heart's Desire". The melody winding through "Birds In Two Hemispheres" is lovely. But if you are looking for more of those tracks that cleverly integrate film and radio samples, there are only two. "Love's First Kiss" is by far the most listenable. Nelson would revisit this style in two albums under the name Orchestra Arcana. Check out Iconography (1986) and Optimism (1988). These were compiled on the collection The Hermetic Jukebox, which thoughtfully includes all five non-album selections as well.

-- Second Chameleon


Bill Nelson: A Catalogue Of Obsessions
A01 Sex Party Six
A02 Wider Windows For The Walls Of The World
A03 Time In Tokyo
A04 Happily Addicted To You
A05 Snakes With Wings
A06 The Boy Pilots Of Bangkok
A07 Erotikon
A08 Birds In Two Hemispheres
A09 Windmills In A World Without Wind
A10 Love's First Kiss
B01 Initiation Of The Heart's Desire
B02 Edge Of Tears
B03 Test Of Affection
B04 Words Across Tables
B05 A Promise Of Perfume
B06 This Dangerous Age
B07 The Glass Breakfast
B08 Talk Technique
B09 The Last Summer For Dancing
B10 View From A Balcony

Trial By Intimacy (The Book Splendours)
4xLP: Cocteau Records UK [JEAN 2] 1984

A Catalogue Of Obsessions
LP: Cocteau Records UK [JC 9] 1984
CD: Cocteau Records UK [JCCD 9] 1989
CD: Enigma Records US [7 73379-2] 1989


  1. excellent, been enjoying this series of BN releases...thanx for sharing!

  2. Great to see so much enthusiasm for Bill , will be posting some of his stuff on my blog 80svinylgems.blogspot.com including Banal (12")Savage Gestures For Charms Sake and Flaming Desire And Other Passions (12"). I have La Belle A Bete somewhere

  3. Thanks for your comment, Jonny G. We've added 80's Vinyl Gems to our list of Blog Friends--you're doing some great work over there!

  4. Excellent, superior blog you have going here.

    Some things you may be aware of:

    Bill Nelson project called SCALA: two track EP from around 1987:

    "Theme From Brond"

    "Wiping a Teardrop From The All Seeing Eye"

    Info from Discogs: http://www.discogs.com/Scala-Secret-Ceremony-Theme-From-Brond/release/165862

    Also, a great album of solo piano works on the Private Music label from 1985: Piano One: I think it would fit nicely in the mix up here.

    Let me know if you'd like access to the music/ files for your readers...