Bill Nelson discusses the concept behind new album Starlight Stories

Bill Nelson
(Image credit: Martin Bostock)

Be-Bop Deluxe and Red Noise founder Bill Nelson has been discussing his brand new studio album Starlight Stories which the musician has just released on his Sonoluxe label.

The new album was recorded during the same 2022 sessions that produced Nelson's All The Fun Of The Fair album, which he released in November, but follows a idfferent path both musically and conceptually. 

“The inspiration for many of the songs came from my memories of a set of children’s story books, published in the 1920s, that my Mother had owned when she was a child in the early 1930s," Neleson explains. "She had kept these books and would read to me from them when I was an infant in the early 1950s. They were thick, heavy bound books with embossed covers and had titles such as The Golden Wonder Book For Children.

"They were brilliantly illustrated by artists who displayed a combination of Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles. The books contained stories by famous authors such as HG Wells, Miguel De Cervantes, Homer, William Blake and others, plus poems by various poets, both classical and contemporary to those times. I was entranced by the wonderful stories and illustrations they contained. They had an aura of magic and mystery about them, with fairy tales and evocatively British poetry, filled with seasonal and rustic imagery. A treasure trove of fantasy and adventure, which I loved.

"Starlight Stories doesn’t attempt to directly portray those old books but it does try to capture some of their atmosphere and manifest my nostalgia for them. Consequently, the songs on this album have a softer, melancholic quality about them, albeit with some distressed, patina-like textures that evoke the scent and feel of those old books. They are dreamy meditations, wistful reveries fed through the filter of my contemporary musical sensibility. I hope they will, in some small way, connect you with your own lost story books, as well as with mine."

You can view the new album artwork and tracklisting below.

Get Starlight Stories.

Bill Nelson

(Image credit: Dreamsville)

Bill Nelson: Starlight Stories
1. A Wide Open Window (With A View Of The Stars
2. Sailing Through Skies Of Blue
3. Antoria
4. My Signal Light
5. Goodbye Golden Sands
6. Everything Is Ancient Now
7. Standing In A Starlit Room
8. Slow, Slow, Slow
9. Meanwhile, Elsewhere
10. Ghosts Of Ancient Houses
11. Celestrum
12. Starlight Stories
13. The Land Of Lost Dreams
14.  The Doctor Was An Alchemist
15. Ian’s Radio Is On

Jerry Ewing

Writer and broadcaster Jerry Ewing is the Editor of Prog Magazine which he founded for Future Publishing in 2009. He grew up in Sydney and began his writing career in London for Metal Forces magazine in 1989. He has since written for Metal Hammer, Maxim, Vox, Stuff and Bizarre magazines, among others. He created and edited Classic Rock Magazine for Dennis Publishing in 1998 and is the author of a variety of books on both music and sport, including Wonderous Stories; A Journey Through The Landscape Of Progressive Rock.