Artist/ Band: Bill Nelson
Title: Getting The Holy Ghost Across
Label: Sonoluxe
Year of Release: 1996/2006
Offical Artist/ Band Link

The Review:

By the time Getting the Holy Ghost Across had been released, Bill Nelson had already separated his style and method of songwriting from original band Be Bop Deluxe. This is the mid-80s and much of that Bowie/Roxy Music influence is featured on this recording. Nelson (along with several others) was a pioneer of this style when he released the final Be Bop Deluxe album. Getting the Holy Ghost Across was where he perfected it.

Nelson’s superb sense of humor is less evident on this concept album than normal. This more weighty nature led him to the best solo work of his career, as the album’s theme is a contemplation of faith in the modern world. It’s excellently performed and produced by Nelson, almost a one-man show. Nelson plays Guitar, Keyboards, Percussion, Bass and sings all vocals. Bills vocals are always charming and uplifting. Here he uses his beautiful falsetto more frequently and sings hummable melodies in a pleasant manner, not unlike David Bowie during his Low/Heroes period.

By this time Bill Nelson had all but given up his out of this world guitar histrionics that he had performed on the first few Be Bop Deluxe records and uses his former primary instrument mostly for atmosphere and mood. The focus on this album is mostly on keyboards, similar at times to Thomas Dolby or Heaven 17.

Getting the Holy Ghost Across has a checkered history as it was initially released in Europe as a double album, but introduced stateside as a single with much of the record hacked off and a different tracking order, this release is called On A Blue Wing. Currently only Getting the Holy Ghost Across is the only one available and it should stay that way, since much of the theological concept was lost with the US release.

Now if the keyboard driven artists from the 80s like Howard Jones, Yaz, Eno-period David Bowie and the aforementioned others really flip your switch, this is great stuff. If you’re looking for another Genesis or Yes clone, look elsewhere. This was what was progressive in the mid-80s, Synth-Pop and New Wave. Sample the songs “Living for the Spangled Moment,” “Because of You,” “Lost In Your Mystery” or “Illusions of You.” After that, recommended if you’re willing.

Reviewed by Terry Jackson on May 19th, 2011


01. Suvasini (1:44)
02. Contemplation (8:55)
03. Theology (4:36)
04. Wildest Dreams (4:35)
05. Lost in Your Mystery (4:51)
06. Rise Like a Fountain (5:03)
07. Age of Reason (4:03)
08. The Hidden Flame (4:27)
09. Because of You (6:37)
10. Pansophia (0:59)
11. Heart and Soul (4:53)
12. Living for the Spangled Moment (4:59)
13. Feast of Lanterns (3:05)
14. Illustions of You (3:40)
15. Word for Word (5:11)
16. Finks and Stooges of the Spirit (4:24)
17. Nightbirds (2:06)
18. The Yo-Yo Date (5:08)

Reviewed Discography

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