Be-Bop Deluxe / Axe Victim

If you love the British Tubey Magical, rich (some might even call it overly rich) sound of Ziggy Stardust-era Bowie crossed with Mott the Hoople, Axe Victim just might make a wonderful addition to your collection. We would love to find you some Hot Stampers of Ziggy and All the Young Dudes, but they simply aren’t findable at the prices we can afford to pay, so until then, here is that sound in spades. And the music is good too: clever, well-produced, full of rock and roll energy and guitar pyrotechnics. 

The second song on side two boasts a guitar sound so big and dynamic that it single-handedly turns the track into a demonstration of just how good analog recording technology was in the ’70s. This record has the kind of Audio Excitement that’s almost shocking in a way. We hear dynamics such as these so infrequently that it’s easy to forget records (and guitars) can actually get this loud. What a thrill.

It has been our experience that only the British pressings of Be Bop Deluxe’s albums sound like they are made from real master tapes. The domestic pressings we’ve played have been flat and dubby.

The copies that were big, rich and tubey did the best in our shootout. No domestic copies seem to have much of those qualities to speak of.

Side One

A+. The sound here is big and lively and while it could use a bit more space and richness, it’s still a nice step up over the average copy.

Side Two

A++ – A+++, almost White Hot! This is the where the real magic is happening folks. It’s big, rich and super high-rez with a HUGE bottom and and TONS of tubey magic. Overall, it’s positively ROCKIN’!

Both sides are quiet too!

Wikipedia on Axe Victim

Axe Victim is the debut album of art rock band Be-Bop Deluxe, released in June 1974. It was recorded in AIR London, Audio International Studios and C.B.S. Studios, all located in London, England.

The material is different from later releases; it was released at the height of the glam rock era in Britain, with the band’s music and image being influenced by the musical zeitgeist. Several songs, such as the title track “Axe Victim”, demonstrated this glam influence, whilst others, for example, the future concert staple “Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape”, showed their progressive tendencies. At the time of its release, the band’s glam image and music was being criticised as being too similar to that of David Bowie, a comparison that would ultimately lead to Be-Bop Deluxe’s disbanding as band leader Bill Nelson strived to make more and more unconventional music.


Side One

Axe Victim 
Love Is Swift Arrows 
Jet Silver and the Dolls of Venus 
Third Floor Heaven 
Night Creatures

Side Two

Rocket Cathedrals 
Adventures in a Yorkshire Landscape 
Jets at Dawn 
No Trains to Heaven

AMG Review

Be Bop Deluxe was a ’70s British rock group led by guitarist Bill Nelson who veered between glam rock, pop, and heavy metal, with lots of demonstrations of Nelson’s guitar prowess.