If you weren’t familiar with this British band from the ’70s, you are missing out, and perhaps one of the greatest live albums of the era, released with the shows – 7 full shows to be precise. 7 shows from the band’s spring 1977 UK tour! While Live In The Air Age was initially released as an 10 track LP/EP and would become the band’s biggest seller, this box set includes all the shows recorded to draw from for that album – in their full glory. Lead by founder Bill Nelson, who handled all guitar and vocals, as well as being the band’s songwriter. Live In The Air Age set list of 15 tracks each night was pulled from the band’s 4 studio albums to that point. Be Bop Deluxe mixed various styles, with the glue being Nelson’s often blues influenced soaring guitar leads with bits of jazz influence, and his stunning and lengthy solos. He had such a unique tone. Musically the band were ahead of their time, likely influencing many hard rock and new wave acts of the late ’70s & ’80s with their progressive style of rock, smooth vocals, keyboards, and harmonies, delivered so well played each night. There are no ‘off’ sounding nights. And though the set-list rarely changed [save for the odd night without the encore], each night is a fantastic listen for the improvisations, Bill Nelson’s speech intros, and simply the playing of the band’s best material such as their biggest hit “Ships In The Nights”, and favorites such as “Sister Seagull” [classic riff], “Life In The Air Age” [the opener each night], and the rockin’ “Mill Street Junction”. The latter half of the shows would feature lengthier improvised jams and solos on such tracks as the instrumental “Shine”, as well as “Terminal Street” [killer heavy guitar solo here] and encore “Blazing Apostles” [which usually runs for 20 minutes] . Nelson’s amazing guitar sound was complimented not only by the rhythm section of Charles Tumahai [bass, backing vocals] and Simon Chase [drums] , but also by the varied spacey keyboards of Andy Clark [see “Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape”]. The box also comes with a colored booklet full of photos, images, and an essay from Bill Nelson, detailing the era, his recollections of that UK tour, adding a few stories, as well as his eventual reasons for putting the band to rest after 1978’s Drastic Plastic. There’s also further notes from journalist Mark Powell. *There is also a condensed 3 disc version featuring the restored original album, as well as the full show from one of the evenings at Hammersmith Odeon.
LIVE IN THE AIR AGE Box details:
• A DELUXE 16 DISC LIMITED EDITION BOXED SET OF THE CLASSIC 1977 LIVE ALBUM BY BE BOP DELUXE
• THE ORIGINAL ALBUM IS NEWLY REMASTERED FROM THE ORIGINAL MASTER TAPES RESTORING THE CORRECT ALBUM
• WITH AN ADDITIONAL 14 CDs FEATURING EVERY CONCERT RECORDED ON THE BE BOP DELUXE UK TOUR OF
FEBRUARY & MARCH 1977 ALL NEWLY REMIXED FROM THE ORIGINAL MULTI-TRACK TAPES BY STEPHEN W. TAYLER
• INCLUDES A BBC RADIO ONE JOHN PEEL SESSION FROM JANUARY 1977
• ALSO INCLUDES A DVD (NTSC / REGION FREE) OF THE STAR RIDER IN CONCERT TV FILM FIRST SCREENED IN 1977,
RELEASED HERE FOR THE FIRST TIME
• INCLUDES A LAVISHLY ILLUSTRATED BOOK WITH MANY PREVIOUSLY UNSEEN PHOTOGRAPHS & NEW ESSAY BY BILL NELSON
• ALSO INCLUDES POSTCARDS AND A REPLICA POSTER
Esoteric Recordings is proud to announce a new re-mastered super-deluxe expanded boxed set limited edition release (comprising 15 CDs and a DVD) of LIVE! IN THE AIR AGE by BE BOP DELUXE. This legendary live album was released in July 1977 and would prove to be the band’s most successful album, peaking at number 10 in the UK charts. The album was issued at a time of growing commercial success for the band and followed on the heels of two highly acclaimed studio albums in thirteen months, Sunburst Finish and Modern Music, both of which reached the top twenty of the UK album charts. Live! In the Air Age would be the band’s only live record and was recorded on a series of dates in the UK in February and March 1977 on the Rolling Stones mobile unit with John Leckie, who had engineered co-produced the band’s previous two albums, supervising the location recordings.
The band’s UK tour began in late January and was an audio-visual extravaganza that featured the use of projection screens and excerpts from the 1927 German silent film Metropolis, director Fritz Lang’s striking science fiction masterpiece. Continuing into February, the first concert to be recorded was at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester on the 12th of that month. The following two nights saw concerts at the Grand Theatre in Leeds which were both captured on tape and saw Bill Nelson perform to an enthusiastic home audience. However, at this juncture fate would intervene to cause a postponement to the remainder of the tour. Travelling to a concert in Bristol on 15th February 1977, Bill Nelson and John Leckie were involved in a car accident which resulted in them being hospitalized at Huddersfield Infirmary. Thankfully, all involved recovered quickly from their injuries, but as a result of the accident, the remaining concerts were postponed until the end of March. The tour began again with two concerts at Hammersmith Odeon in London on March 25th and 26th 1977 which revealed the band to be on top form, feeding off the tremendous warmth of the audience. Further shows in Bristol and Bournemouth on the 27th and 28th March respectively also contained many fine moments. Bill Nelson and John Leckie selected the best performances for mixing at Abbey Road and Advision studios in London and LIVE! IN THE AIR AGE was released in July 1977.
Research of all of the Be Bop Deluxe master tapes revealed that multi track tapes of all the shows recorded on the UK tour of 1977 had survived. After digitizing and listening through to all of the Rolling Stones mobile unit 24-track tapes it was decided to include each concert in its entirety in this expanded boxed set. The concerts were mixed over a period of several months by Stephen W. Tayler and are presented here for the very first time. They reveal the improvisational side of Be Bop Deluxe, particularly on pieces such as Shine and Blazing Apostles which made each concert unique.
This set features the original album, newly remastered from the original master tapes, and restores the correct running order of the original LP release and has three bonus tracks drawn from a BBC Radio One JOHN PEEL SHOW session from January 1977. This box also adds an NTSC / Region Free DVD of STAR RIDER IN CONCERT – BE BOP DELUXE, which was first screened on television in 1977 and appears exclusively in this boxed set for the first time. Finally, this limited-edition boxed set includes an illustrated 68-page book with many previously unseen photographs and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. Additionally, the set includes postcards and a replica poster. This special deluxe limited-edition boxed set of LIVE! IN THE AIR AGE is a fitting tribute to a fine live band and the creative vision of Bill Nelson.
06 / ’21