Our Top 10 Top 10 Be-Bop Deluxe Songs list looks at a great 1970s classic rock band that hailed from West Yorkshire, England. Despite being active for seven years (1972-1978), the band made quite some great songs that art rock, progressive rock, and glam rock fans can forget not. The Be-Bop Deluxe band achieved critical praise and moderate commercial success during their short six year run. Thanks to their science fiction imagery in most of their lyrics and traditional love themes, the name made them quite a solid brand. Credit also to Bill Nelson, the face of the band, lead singer, guitarist, and main songwriter, for his immense work towards the band’s success.
Other notable figures were the founding lineup, including guitarist late Ian Parkin, drummer Nicholas Chatterton-Dew, keyboardist Richard Brown, and bassist and vocalist Robert Bryan. The band Be-Bop Deluxe was compared to David Bowie, something that Bill Nelson disliked for the fans. Sadly, it is this artistic restlessness that eventually led to the disbandment of the band. Bill Nelson would, however, go ahead and pursue a less commercial path of expression. Here are the top 10 Be-Bop Deluxe songs that are worth listening to for every rock fan.
# 10 – No Trains to Heaven
How will you get to ‘heaven’ (Directed to heaven believers)? Well, for Be-Bop Deluxe, they were quite certain that the way to heaven would never be through a train, which in their times was the common and classy mode of transport. Released in 1974 when glam rock was the trendy music, the song “No Trains to Heaven” is one of the notable songs from the band worth a top 10 mention. Thanks to this classic rock song, we can attest to Bill Nelson and Ian Parkin’s pro guitar skills.
# 9 – Bring Back The Spark
Ushering in a rare vibe from the Be-Bop Deluxe band is a powerful song, “Bring Back The Spark.” There is no better way to have the song delivered than with such great vigor from the lead artist. You can almost visualize how Bill Nelson craves the restoration of a spark. And if that was not enough, you ought to love the guitar skills possessed by Bill, making him the true face of the band.
# 8 – Sleep That Burns
Does sleep burn? Well, probably you might have to get into Be-Bop Deluxe’s world to experience what they referred to as “Sleep that burns.” Featured in the Sunburst Finish album, the song “Sleep That Burns” makes the Be-Bop Deluxe a contender of the best lyricist, thanks to the great songwriting skills. With the song brings to stage some bit of poetic vibe alongside nice instrumentals, you definitely can attest that the song is enough to offer lovers of Be-Bop Deluxe band some goosebumps of nostalgia.
# 7 – Dangerous Stranger
Featured in their fifth and final album Drastic Plastic, the song “Dangerous Stranger” brings back the rock n roll feel from the very first instance you listen to the song. Produced by John Leckie and Bill Nelson, the song features what feels like a kidnapping story in the streets. In what feels like a journey to the other side of the world, the ride seems to bring no thrill but regrets for hopping into the limo. The dangerous stranger leads the person on a highway to the end of time.
# 6 – Axe Victim
There is always a song in their debut album for all artists that prove to be a big deal and probably their breakthrough ballad. Be-Bop Deluxe is no different having their song “Axe Victim” from their debut album Axe Victim be that song to prove to the world that the band is worth listening to. And Bill Nelson gets no better at his poetic game than in this song. The shift of the track’s tempo through the stanzas makes it quite a vibe to reckon with.
# 5 – Panic in the World
Featured in their last album Drastic Plastic, the song “Panic in the World” is a sad song but great enough to appear in the top 10 Be-Bop Deluxe songs. All credit to the songwriter and lead artist Bill Nelson for such wondrous lyrics. The alternative/pop-rock song is all about a world gone bad, but there remains some haven for two who are survivors of the destroyed world. In some way, the song “Panic of the World” relates coincidentally and unintentionally to the pandemic times that have struck the world. This one has a very heavy David Bowie and somewhat Ian Hunter vibe.
# 4 – Blazing Apostles
We all need that one savior to make life on earth less of a living hell in a world gone bad. And for Be-Bop Deluxe. Featured in the album Sunburst Finish, the song “Blazing Apostles” brings on the notion of blazing apostles as the giver of the angel of light in a world with devils to fight. We can be sure that the Be-Bop Deluxe band practices no exorcism, but through their music, we all can find solace thanks to their great songwriting and instrumentals skills. All we need is “give them a call,” as quoted in the song, or rather just take a listen to their albums of redemption and confessions on cassettes.
# 3 – Fair Exchange
We all crave fairness, and Bill Nelson knew this better, having him compose the song “Fair Exchange” for one of the Be-Bop Deluxe band’s best albums Sunburst Finish. The song has by far proven Bill nelson to be a talented musician. From his flawless songwriting ad sublime guitar skills to his great performance and amazing vocals, you ought to love what Bill Nelson did with this song.
# 2 – Maid in Heaven
By now, it is quite vivid that the Be-Bop Deluxe band is all about some awesome guitar skills that bring back to life the rock n roll vibe that many crave. In their album Futurama, the song “Maid in Heaven” remains one of the best songs from the band. And who would have thought that two minutes would be enough for some epic rock n roll vibe? Well, not until you meet composers like Bill Nelson who are ready to showcase their creativity even in such short times
# 1 – Ships in the Night
“Ships in the Night” is a progressive rock song from the Be-Bop Deluxe band’s most successful album Sunburst Finish. The song received quite a massive commercial success thanks to the virtuoso guitarist Nelson. Notably, Nelson started with the song’s title working up a tune on his Wurlitzer electric piano. Andy Clark adds to the instrumentals perfectly, thanks to his skills in playing the electric piano. Based on the lyrics, the song “Ships in the Night” find Nelson incomplete without love, something that compares to a bird with no wings or rather a harp without strings.
Top 10 Be-Bop Deluxe Songs article published on Classic RockHistory.com© 2021
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