iPod Shuffle - Furniture Music
Furniture Music - "Bill Nelsons Red Noise" - Play this track here.
This is one of my favourite singles and another that I was introduced to via the late great John Peel on his 10 to midnight radio show in the late 1970's.
I still have my red vinyl version of the 'Furniture Music' 7". It was backed by 'Acquitted By Mirrors' and 'Wonder Toys That Last Forever'. The A side appeared on their debut album, Sound On Sound. The two supporting tracks did not but were added as bonuses when the album was re-released on CD.
Bill Nelson's Red Noise, or called simply Red Noise, was a "synthpop/new-wave" band, formed by Bill Nelson (lead vocals, guitar), his brother Ian (saxophone), Andy Clark (keyboards), Rick Ford (bass) and Steve Peer (drums), around 1978.
Nelson is one of England's under-rated genius musicians (maybe Yorkshires Peter Gabriel, if things had been different), and formed the band after dissolving Be-Bop Deluxe, while he was metamorphosing from blues, progressive and glam rock to more New Wave and electronic sounds. This was after the last Be-Bop Deluxe album, Drastic Plastic, released early 1978. This is certainley worth seeking out.
Clark also was a member of Nelson's previous band, and Ian Nelson collaborated with that group on the song "Ships In The Night", from the Sunburst Finish album (1976). Peer was previously in TV Toy.
Red Noise released only one album, the seminal Sound On Sound, plus a two singles, Furniture Music and Revolt Into Style, in 1979. After that, Bill Nelson continued as a solo artist, with the collaboration of Clark and his brother Ian.
Furniture music has been described as the perfect single, clocking in at a little over three and a half minutes. John Aizlewood in 1999had it to a tee, when he wrote 'He would never better Sound-on-Sound, musically or lyrically. Tight songs, sharp lyrics and, in Furniture Music and Revolt Into Style, two should-have-been hit singles which reached numbers 59 and 69 in the UK charts respectively. The follow up never happened. What a mess'.
Now turned fifty, Nelson continues to make albums, recently signing to Robert Fripp's DGM label. Since the late-eighties he has become increasingly infatuated with capturing the creative spark at work, improvising material direct to tape and describing it as 'sonic snapshots', sketches rather than finished pieces. This resulted in many of his innumerable CD releases sounding like a collection of half-baked ideas haphazardly flung together as opposed to the fully-rounded soundscapes he used to construct. Although his latest, 'Atom Shop', is something of a return to form, 'Sound-on-Sound' captures Nelson at his creative and artistic peak. Get it, enjoy it, stay young (and keep in touch).
More on Bill Nelson here.
Each year he hosts Nelsonica in York. One day I will get to one of these.
Blüthner, formally Julius Blüthner Pianofortefabrik GmbH, is a piano-manufacturing company founded by Julius Blüthner in 1853 in Leipzig Germany.
By 1900 Blüthner had become the largest piano maker in Germany producing some 5,000 instruments annually. Innovations such as the Aliquot string, a fourth string that vibrated sympathetically and that is tuned in unison as well as the cylindrical soundboard and angle cut hammers created a unique voice for the Blüthner instrument.
This fine example is from Wimpole Hall near Cambridge.
Apparently, One Blüthner piano owned by the EMI Abbey Road Studios in London was used on some tracks of The Beatles' Let It Be album, most notably, in the hits "Let It Be" and "The Long and Winding Road".
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