Bill Nelson ‘The Summer of God’s Piano’

The Summer of God's Piano LP front cover
The Summer of God's Piano LP back cover
Side A

First known as a guitarist during the 1970s with band Be-Bop Deluxe (‘the new Jimi Hendrix’, according to John Peel), Bill Nelson, born 1948, adopted synthesizer in 1978 with avant/synth-pop band Red Noise and their unique LP ‘Sound on Sound’, 1979. He made a decisive move toward independent and personal music projects in 1980 with the creation of Cocteau Records with Mark Rye, releasing a considerable number of ambient synth cassettes and LPs. Himself a drawer and photographer (he studied in art school), Bill Nelson fulfilled his artistic aspirations composing for theater productions and art exhibitions, in addition to documentary films and TV commercials. Some of his most ambitious projects was music written for stage plays by the Yorkshire Actors Company: Das Kabinet [der Doktor Caligari] in 1981, and La Belle Et La Bête in 1982, after Jean Cocteau’s film of the same name. The Summer of God’s Piano, published 1984 is a collection of short electronic vignettes in the vein of Brian Eno’s Music for Films. Like Eno’s, Nelson’s compositions sound like made to measure for films or commercials. Each track carries a different mood, though controlled melancholy prevails. Very nice.

01 Antennae Two (:45)
02 Transmission (N.B.C. 97293) (3:48)
03 The Sleep of Hollywood (1:39)
04 The Celestial Bridgeroom (2:58)
05 Under the Red Arch (3:08)
06 Orient Pearl (2:25)
07 Sacrament (2:45)
08 Falling Blossoms (2:59)
09 The Difficulty of Being (:57)
10 Zanoni (2:05)
11 The Chinese Nightingale (1:24)
12 Tantra (1:28)
13 Soon September (Another Enchantment) (1:49)
14 Rural Shires (2:49)
15 Perfidio Incanto (1:20)
16 The Lost Years (2:28)
17 The Charm of Transit (3:49)
18 Night Thoughts (Twilight Radio) (1:28)
19 Wysteria (:42)
20 Swing (2:27)
21 Snowfall (2:02)
22 Realm of Dusk (3:03)
23 Over Ocean (1:28)

Total time 49:45
LP released by Cocteau Records, UK, 1984

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16 Responses to “Bill Nelson ‘The Summer of God’s Piano’”


  1. 1 danen June 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    I agree, Very nice…and Very thanks :)

  2. 2 continuo June 18, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    You’re welcome, Danen.

  3. 3 doroskedeho June 19, 2010 at 2:24 am

    wow! clear sound rip! thanks I love this one.
    I like ‘Crimsworth: Flowers, Stones, Fountains and Flames’ (water ambient sound) and ‘La Belle Et La Bete’ too.

  4. 4 Dave M June 19, 2010 at 4:21 am

    I’m a big Nelson fan, but I never picked this one up, so thanks. Anything else you might have would be great too (isn’t this part of a 4-disc set?).

  5. 5 continuo June 19, 2010 at 6:51 am

    Thanks, doroskedeho. You had a great post yourself about this record. La Belle Et La Bête is indeed a wonderful disc and can be found here. The excellent Red Noise LP is here.
    Dave, I don’t think this was part of the 4 CD set, but I might be wrong.
    Thank you both for your comments.

  6. 6 icastico June 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

    Nice. Thanks as always. Perfect for the final sounds of this evening.

  7. 7 continuo June 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Also works in the morning when slowly waking up to a warm coffee cup.

  8. 8 Fred June 21, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    Thanks for posting this gem.
    I’ve been looking for this quite a while.
    It is part of a boxset containing 4 LP’s.

  9. 9 continuo June 21, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Thanks for the info, Fred.

  10. 10 second chameleon July 26, 2010 at 2:04 am

    You beat us to it! We have had this release planned for a while since the previous rips out there are so bad. Here’s our post:

    http://samemistakesmusic.blogspot.com/2010/07/bill-nelson-book-splendours-summer-of.html

    And yes, as Fred said, it WAS originally part of a four-disc vinyl set. We will soon have the other three albums ripped as well, so stay tuned. Together they make a fantastic package!

  11. 11 continuo July 26, 2010 at 6:24 am

    Compared to Bill Nelson’s formidable output, there’s relatively few rips around on blogs. It’s good to see more of his music resurface.

  12. 12 David September 4, 2010 at 5:59 am

    “Soon September (Another Enchantment)” a very fitting parenthetical. Rediscovered the infectious album “Sunburst Finish” by Be Bop Deluxe last month. A perfect time to dig deeper into the vast archives of Bill Nelson.
    Thanks!

  13. 13 continuo September 4, 2010 at 7:29 am

    Bill Nelson’s music is resurfacing on various blogs, nowadays.

  14. 14 David September 9, 2010 at 9:00 am

    Have you heard his “Chance Encounters in the Garden of Lights” double cd? Some gorgeous moments.

  15. 15 continuo September 9, 2010 at 11:32 am

    I’m not familiar with this particular release. If this is something you’d recommend, I’d love to have a d/l link.

  16. 16 David September 10, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    I highly recommend it. I’ll upload it to my blog in the near future and notify you when it’s there.


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