Want List: Bill Nelson – Getting The Holy Ghost Across DLX RM

Cherry Red | UK | 2xCD | 2013 | COCD21009

Cherry Red | UK | 2xCD | 2013 | COCD21009

Bill Nelson: Getting The Holy Ghost Across UK 2xCD DLX RM [2013]

Disc 1 [album]

  1. Suvasini
  2. Contemplation
  3. Theology
  4. Wildest Dreams
  5. Lost In Your Mystery
  6. Rise Like A Fountain
  7. Age Of Reason
  8. The Hidden Flame
  9. Because Of You
  10. Pansophia

Disc 2 [Living For The Spangled Moment +]

  1. Wildest Dreams (Wild Mix)
  2. Heart And Soul
  3. Living For The Spangled Moment
  4. Feast Of Lanterns
  5. Illusions Of You
  6. Word For Word
  7. Finks And Stooges Of The Spirit
  8. Nightbirds
  9. Self Impersonisation
  10. Wildest Dreams (Single Version)
  11. The Yo-Yo Dyne

bill nelson - onabluewingUSLPAA cosmic wrong finally got overturned last month when Cherry Red reissued the Bill Nelson album we all grew tired of waiting for on CD. The checkered past of that album was that Nelson signed to CBS/Portrait after several years with Mercury as his major label squeeze. Of course, he maintained his own Cocteau Records label for releasing the boxed sets worth of material that the majors wouldn’t know how to market. When I saw the LP in the bins at Vinyl Fever in Tampa, I held back at the time as I was waiting for the inevitable [or so I thought] CD version. I merely bought the 12″ single of “Wildest Dreams” at the time for the remix/B-sides. In the mean time, US Portrait released the massively re-jigged album “On A Blue” wing with all of that troublesome Rosicrucian imagery/title completely wiped off. I still didn’t bite, since I had the “Living For The Spangled” moment UK EP on Portrait, that followed closely on the heels of “Holy Ghost.” As I said, I was waiting for the CD of this title, no matter what it would be called.


bill nelson - holy ghost 2In 2006, Nelson finally succeeded in getting owner Sony [who bought CBS in the 80s] to license the masters to him for his Sonoluxe label to finally issue this album on CD. The album kept its original name, but got yet a third cover design! Apparently, the terms of the licensing were so austere that he could only press up a ridiculously low number of copies. I avidly [but not avidly enough] followed the progress of the release at the time. I think that I finally looked up the details of the release exactly four months after the issue date and it was already selling for three figures… everywhere where one could find a copy of the thing! Well, that left me empty handed again.


This year, our saviors at Cherry Red came to the rescue. They had embarked upon an extensive Nelsonic Renovation Program® with large swaths of his back catalogue given a new chance in the marketplace. Now the “Holy Ghost” album is on a discrete CD#1 with CD#2 being peripheral material, largely drawn from the “Living In The Spangled Moment” EP and the “Wildest Dreams” 12″ single. How close to the Monastic Mark did they connect?

Portrait Records | UK | 12" | 1986 | TA 6928

Portrait Records | UK | 12″ | 1986 | TA 6928

Bill Nelson: Wildest Dreams UK 12″ [1986]

  1. Wildest Dreams (Wild Mix)
  2. Self Impersonisation
  3. Wildest Dreams (Single Version)
  4. The Yo-Yo Dyne
Portrait Records | UK | EP | 1986 | BN1

Portrait Records | UK | EP | 1986 | BN1

Bill Nelson: Living For The Spangled Moment UK EP [1986]

  1. Heart And Soul
  2. Living For The Spangled Moment
  3. Feast Of Lanterns
  4. Illusions Of You
  5. Word For Word
  6. Finks And Stooges Of The Spirit
  7. Nightbirds

Bingo! All present and accounted for, Sergeant Major, SUH! Except, that as usual, tiny cracks in the façade of perfection have occurred with the omission of unique mixes that got an airing only in America. I suppose that the masters for these cuts were owned by US Portrait and not available for licensing or perhaps the masters were even lost in the multinational shuffling. But the following tracks would have completed the package and should have fit on the discs.

Portrait | US | 12" Promo | 1986 | RAS 1299

Portrait | US | 12″ Promo | 1986 | RAS 1299

Bill Nelson: Contemplation USP 12″ [1986]

  1. Contemplation [5:34]
  2. Contemplation [3:10]
Portrait | US | 12" Promo | 1986 | RAS 2574

Portrait | US | 12″ Promo | 1986 | RAS 2574

Bill Nelson: Because Of You USP 12″ [1986]

  1. Because Of You (Popstand Remix)
  2. Because Of You (Nailed To The Dub Version)
  3. Because Of You (Dubbed To The Drums Version)

These last five cuts are all still on vinyl only. Since I am not familiar with the album [I have never played my vinyl copy!] I’m not certain if one of the “Contemplation” cuts on 12″ is an edit of the LP mix or if the A-side is an extended remix or not! I can’t find any timing information online. I don’t have the “Contemplation” 12″ to find out in any case. I do have the “Because Of You” 12″ and the Justin Strauss and Murray Elias these are certainly non-LP. Be that as it may, the Cherry Red DLX RM should enter my Record Cell fairly quickly since I really got burnt by being slack the last time this puppy ventured onto digital/physical. This album and its peripherals remain the one grey area in a contiguous swath of great Bill Nelson music in my Record Cell dating from 1978-1992, and all on shiny silver discs… with the glaring exception of the contents of this new 2xCD!

Order here.

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About postpunkmonk

graphic design | software UI design | media design • record collector • satire • non-fiction
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5 Responses to Want List: Bill Nelson – Getting The Holy Ghost Across DLX RM

  1. Echorich says:

    DONE! Thanks Monk! I was just on Cherry Red’s site on Saturday night and forgot all about looking up Mr. Nelson. Ghost is such an important release. It comes from a time when he was doing a good deal of collaborating and guesting with artist such as David Sylvian and the effects of that show. I threw in for Simplex as well since I never picked that up when it finally came out officially in 2000.


    • postpunkmonk says:

      Echorich – D’oh…! Don’t you hate when you can’t even remember all of your obsessions? Think how I must have felt in 2006 when I thought to look up buying this on the (relatively recent, I thought) über-scarce first CD issue only to find that I waited several weeks too long, and now the item was priced out of my range already!


      • Echorich says:

        I’ve collected iffy quality fragments of Simplex over the years, but to have it remastered is just wonderful.


        • postpunkmonk says:

          Echorich – Money well spent on “Simplex.” I never worried about trying to track down a copy though it was the one album missing in my collection at the time. After “Blue Moons And Laughing Guitars” it all went missing! One day… I’ll round up a spare $1K and buy it all!


  2. I believe I have the original CD release of this album in my storage unit since I recall it vividly and I bought quite a few (but nowhere near all) BN releases when I would (often) seen them on the cheap at Park Ave CD. Thank the stars for Cherry Red giving me the chance to pick up a RM’d copy with what are for me bonus tracks I never got. Hopefully the Monk will obtain the “missing third disc”‘s material someday and issue a supplementary unit for those of us who don’t mind moving our copies of the CR RM to a 3-CD casing …


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