Practically Wired is a landmark album by Bill Nelson, a continuously creative musician and artist over 40 years. This copy of the album has been re-mastered and updated with a booklet by Cherry Red Records after the original album has been unavailable for 10 years.
In case you are wondering who he is, Bill Nelson led pop art group Be-Bop Deluxe, Red Noise, Orchestra Futura etc. A musician’s musician, with a cast of admirers to die for: Paul Mc Cartney, The Foo Fighters, Kate Bush, Brian Eno, MCR, Prince and Big Country. Practically Wired shows off Bill Nelson’s guitar playing talents alongside his writing and production skills with his long-term collaborator and master engineer / producer John Spence.
Practically Wired is described by Bill Nelson as:
“An instrumental guitar album – The plan was to record very quickly and spontaneously; no preparation except for a list of moods and titles. A Polaroid snapshot of a personal paradise… a dream of electric guitars”
Just listen to ‘pink buddha blues’ to get a feel for what he is talking:
We have a healthy dose of rock / jazz guitar virtuosity in tracks like friends from heaven, royal ghosts, big noise in twangtown and wild blue sky cycle. Electronica meets guitar in spinning planet, her presence in flowers and roses and rocketships. Some beautiful acoustic guitar patinas in tiny little thing and thousand island fountain – this track being somewhat reminiscent of ‘Islands of the dead’ from Be-Bop Deluxe’s ‘Drastic Plastic’ album, a song Bill wrote in honour of his father Walter, who bought Bill his first guitar and entranced him in a love of radio, technology, life and music. Rounded off by some absolutely exquisite ambient piano pieces such as piano 45, every moment infinite and eternal for Emiko
“Practically Wired” is testament to what can be achieved without a plan, no budget for three weeks of sex and drugs and rock’n’roll in a French Chateau and without a ‘Big Mac’ computer at your side. As well as Bill’s more noted skills as a guitar hero, he has a fine ear, a sense of artistic purpose and a wonderful sense of the art of painting musical pictures. Wake up, listen, learn from the teacher. What more can I say? This album was ahead of its time and still sounds fresh, vibrant and offers us a window into the future of real music for real music lovers. The upgrading of the sleeve notes and other features makes it a worthwhile purchase even if you are lucky enough to own the original.
Bill Nelson performs a rich diet of his back catalogue, from Be-Bop Deluxe and beyond, a full solo instrumental guitar set and something truly inspirational with his post-modern music twenty third century trio “Orchestra Futura”, featuring bass supremo Dave Sturt and hero of the wind Theo Travis. Limited tickets available for Nelsonica a whole day event on 29th September.
Practically Wired by Bill Nelson is reissued via Cherry Red Recordings.