Be-Bop Deluxe / Sunburst Finish box set

3CD+DVD box set • Remastered • Unreleased tracks • 5.1 mix

This November, Esoteric Recordings will reissue a four-disc box set edition of English prog rock group Be-Bop Deluxe‘s 1976 album Sunburst Finish.

It was the band’s third album and featured the line-up of Bill Nelson (vocals, guitars, keyboards), Charlie Tumahai (bass, vocals), Andy Clark (keyboards) and Simon Fox (drums).

The first CD in this four-disc box delivers a newly remastered version of the original stereo mix, along with a bonus cut of the seven-inch version of  ‘Ships in the Night’, which was the band’s one and only top 30 hit in the UK. The second disc offers a brand new 2018 stereo remix of the album along with six previously unreleased bonus cuts, while the third and final CD brings together BBC Radio One radio sessions – ‘In Concert’ and John Peel (both from early 1976).

The DVD (region free, NTSC) includes a new 5. 1 surround sound mix by engineer Stephen W. Tayler and offers the new stereo mix and remastered original mix in hi-res. Some video content closes this disc: an appearance on BBC TV’s The Old Grey Whistle Test and a previously unreleased 1976 Harvest Records promotional video for ‘Ships in the Night’.

As can be seen by the image above, the presentation looks good; the set includes a 68-page book with unseen photos and an essay of recollections by Bill Nelson. You also get a replica tour programme, postcards and poster.

The Sunburst Finish box set is released on 16 November 2018. A 2CD edition features the first two CDs from the four-disc box set.

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Be Bop Deluxe

Sunburst Finish - 3CD+DVD box set

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Sunburst Finish - 2CD edition


Sunburst Finish box set

CD 1

Sunburst Finish: Original stereo mix remastered

1. Fair Exchange
2. Heavenly Homes
3. Ships in the Night
4. Crying to the Sky
5. Sleep That Burns
6. Beauty Secrets
7. Life in the Air Age
8. Like an Old Blues
9. Crystal Gazing
10. Blazing Apostles

Bonus track

11. Ships in the Night (A-side Single Version)

CD 2

Sunburst Finish: The 2018 stereo remix

1. Fair Exchange (New Stereo Mix)
2. Heavenly Homes (New Stereo Mix)
3. Ships in the Night (New Stereo Mix)
4. Crying in the Sky (New Stereo Mix)
5. Sleep That Burns (New Stereo Mix)
6. Beauty Secrets (New Stereo Mix)
7. Life in the Air Age (New Stereo Mix)
8. Like an Old Blues (New Stereo Mix)
9. Crystal Gazing (New Stereo Mix)
10. Blazing Apostles (New Stero Mix)

Previously unreleased bonus tracks

11. Ships in the Night (First Version)
12. Beauty Secrets (First Version)
13. The Mystery (Demo)
14. Crystal Gazing (Alternate Vocal Version)
15. Crying to the Sky (First Version)
16. Ships in the Night (Alternate Vocal Version)

CD 3

BBC Radio One ‘In Concert’ 15 January 1976

1. Life in the Air Age (live)
2. Sister Seagull (live)
3. Ships in the Night (live)
4. Maid in Heaven (live)
5. Third Floor Heaven (live)
6. Blazing Apostles (live)

BBC Radio One ‘John Peel Session’ 10th FEBRUARY 1976

7. Crying in the Sky (BBC John Peel Sessions)
8. Piece of Mine (BBC John Peel Session)
9. Blazing Apostles (BBC John Peel Session)


Sunburst Finish: The new 5.1 surround sound mix, new 96 kHz/24-bit stereo mix and 96 kHz / 24-bit original stereo mix

1. Fair Exchange (5.1 Surround Mix)
2. Heavenly Homes (5.1 Surround Mix)
3. Ships in the Night (5.1 Surround Mix)
4. Crying in the Night (5.1 Surround Mix)
5. Sleep That Burns (5.1 Surround Mix)
6. Beauty Secrets (5.1 Surround Mix)
7. Life in the Air (5.1 Surround Mix)
8. Like an Old Blues (5.1 Surround Mix)
9. Crystal Gazing (5.1 Surround Mix)
10. Blazing Apostles (5.1 Surround Mix)

BBC TV ‘The Old Grey Whistle Test’ session 13th January 1976

11. Ships in the Night (Old Grey Whistle Test)
12. Fair Exchange (The Old Grey Whistle Test)

13. Ships in the Night (Un-released Promo Video, 1976 Harvest Records)

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Just got through listening to this , in a word Fantastic , such an improvement over my old disc.
Only wish the DVD 24 bit tracks were downloadable so i could listen on my DAP when i`m out.


does nobody else think that the 4-disc set is not a bit overpriced? apart from the 6 bonus tracks nothing is else is really new. a new stereo mix? it is still the same music with a bit of tweaking. the bbc session and live in concert had previously been released on the excellent At The BBC 1974-1978 set (another 3 cd, 1 dvd which was only about £14 when it first came out, at least that’s what i paid for it from amazon). if companies want us to spend over £50 then please make it worthwhile, a full live concert, demos, unreleased tracks, etc. not just a bit of manipulation in the stereo spectrum

Johnny T.

The price is worth it for the 5.1 mix alone. Just be happy were getting this in the 1st place.

Glenn Burris

Thrilled to see some BBD on a hi-rez disc at last, so this is automatic – though hoping to see Amazon at least match the Burning Shed price. Also hoping that the new mix lives up to other recent examples, (Music From Big Pink is a great one). Thanks to Phil Cohen for pointing out that Cherry Red now has the whole Be-Bop whole catalog, because nothing would beat a proper extended reissue of Live! In The Air Age, padded out to a complete setlist, with a full-length “Blazing Apostles”. Totally agree that they are wringing the rag a bit by including the the BBC stuff already released. Why not an interview with Bill Nelson instead, who appears to be ready to play his final show soon, recently citing his arthritis as a greater and greater problem. Be-Bop Deluxe has been gone over just 40 years now, but they’re still worth evangelizing for, and listening to.

Mike Shawyer

Is it not Crying to the Sky.
Also The Practice of Everyday Life was 8 CD’s.

Jan Spring

This is great release for me, a must have

Phil Cohen

And there could potentially be more Be Bop Deluxe SDE’s. Cherry Red (parent company of the “Esoteric” label) now owns the entire Be Bop Deluxe catalog.


Love Bill and all his incarnations ,so will be snapping it up.Hope they don`t do a career spanning box of his solo stuff though , he`s had about a 100 albums (it seems).

Phil Cohen

Actually, Esoteric DID issue a 6-disc career-spanning Bill Nelson box, “The Practice of Everyday Life”


Yeah I have that , only skins the surface.

Jan Spring

Over 115 albums

The Golden Age Of DSE's

I love BBD and truly believe Bill Nelson ie a musical genius. However, I may normally have bought this without a second thought but there’s only one thing I’m interested in and that’s the 5:1 mix. But I’ve that many pre-orders for SDE’s I can’t justify another at that price. If it falls below £40 that’s a different story.

Alan Robinson

I saw Be Bop Deluxe, supported by the Doctors of Madness, at Newcastle Mayfair in 1976. They were a good band, doing really interesting things, and Bill Nelson was a cultrued guitar player. As much as Punk was supposed to sweep aside ‘rock dinosaurs’, bands like Be Bop all of a sudden didn’t look quite so innovative and different. I am looking forward to this set – a real celebration of a band that deserved more success than they ended up with.


Looks fabulous and of course Nelson is a rare talent.
I’ll have to skip this due to all the other SDEs around at the moment Beatles, Jones, Bowie… it’s a veritable avalanche :-)

However I would not have been able to resist SDEs of Modern Music or Drastic Plastic. Fingers crossed that there might be something upcoming.

Mr Angry

Agreed. My introduction to Be Bop and Bill was the Hot Valves EP followed swiftly by Modern Music, when I was 15! Modern Music is still my favourite BBD album closely followed by Drastic Plastic and Sunburst Finish.

Would love 5.1s for all the albums. As you say fingers crossed!


Wondered when you were gonna put this up. Known about this for weeks. Ordered 3 copies! 2 as Holiday gifts for friends.

Jim C

Great to have a remaster/remix but not totally happy with the other stuff. I have the BBC 3CD/1DVD set and the previously issued expanded single CD together with the ‘Futurist Manifesto’ set. Together these contain virtually all of the tracks on the new set and in fact have more (i.e. bonus tracks Shine/Speed Of The Wind/Blue As An Angel plus live stuff). The BBC Radio One ‘John Peel Session’ 10th FEBRUARY 1976 is the only new thing as far as I can see. The pricing seems to be another of those ‘test out the fans pockets’ attempts by the record company.


A no brainer for me too. One of the few bands whose records I’ve consistently listened to from my early teens through to the current day (so nearly forty-five years). Actually, not my favourite Be Bop album – that’s Futurama – but a goodie nevertheless. The Peel 1976 session wasn’t on that BBC multi-set, I think the only session that wasn’t, but it did appear – I think, although I’ll have to dig it out to check – on the Hux release, ‘Tramcar To Tomorrow’, of BBC sessions.

Johnny T.

This is awesome news!! SF is a great album. I also love Futurama even more than SF. I hope that one is next.


50 quid on Burningshed.


Was lucky enough to see the band in Liverpool during the Sunburst tour complete with flaming guitar at the end.. Top band live as well as on record.. Bill Nelson is truly a very underrated writer and guitarist.

Nigel Jones

Pre-ordered a couple of days ago on the Cherry Red Records website for £46 including shipping costs!

Robert Laversuch

Superb band and sublime guitarist. One of Stuart Adamson’s fave bands and producer of The Skids sophomore effort Days in Europa. And very underrated.

John Murray

Love this band. Bill Nelson is one of the most underrated guitarists this country has ever produced IMHO.

He’s always shunned the limelight and the ‘music biz’ generally, and for many years has worked from his home studio, often releasing up to half a dozen solo albums every year!

The scary thing about this much welcomed box set for me is the fact that I still have an original tour programme from the Sunburst tour! Eek!


Burning Shed previewed this end of August. Dont know why Amazon took so long to put it up.


Not even a second thought! Bill Nelson is one of the most underrated guitarists – true genius!



A 2CD edition is also available containing discs one & two of the larger set.

Gareth Jones

You missed an opportunity there to put ‘Be-Bop Super Deluxe’!

Jan Spring

Have all of Be Bop Deluxe but this set is allso a must have for me.

peter chrisp

A massive thanks for the details you will find The BBC and Old Grey Whistle test was actually available in a 4disc box set at The BBC 1974-1978 in 2013 it’s the first 2 discs and the album in 5.1 which i am looking forward to.

Iain Mac

Was the 13/1/76 Peel session on the BBC set? Not sure if that one made it onto the 2013 box.


That session was missing from the box but was on the earlier ‘Tramcar to Tomorrow’ CD released on (I think) the Hux label. If you have both of those releases this is a very expensive half a dozen bonus tracks and DVD…(I don’t count new remixes, they rarely if ever improve on the originals that we all know and love so well).

peter chrisp

Francesco as i have the box set of “At The BBC” 74-78 on disc one there are 3 sessions the 74, 75 & 76 session & the one in 76 In Concert January 76. So as far as you know that 1976 session is not a John Peel one but under a different title?

Francesco Cavaliere

Sorry Peter, only just seen your post. I have that box set as well and thinking about it you may well be correct. Maybe someone will post it somewhere once this edition comes out and they’ve had a chance to listen and compare!

Mic Smith

I think that session was on Tramcar to Tomorrow issued around 1998 but left off the At the BBC box set.

The discography section of his website has a very detailed acccount of his vast work and I may as well say that I had quite a bit of involvement in creating it with John Fisher who designed the website and now helps keep it going with Jon Wallinger.

peter chrisp

A big thanks Mic it’s a great site too where you can listen to his early solo material and his new music which is quite interesting, to me he is an unsung guitar god legendary really looking forward to to the deluxe edition.

peter chrisp

I noticed too on the BBC also in ’76 we get a killer version Forbidden Lovers & Down On Terminal Street which we can see on youtube but surprisingly not on the box set? Were those 2 tracks left off for a reason?

andrew R

One of my favourite lp’s released on the cusp of punk while looking back at roxy era glam
They never received their just desserts at the time lets hope this release brings them to the attention of a new generation.

Ian MacG

when can we expect new vinyl re issues?