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Secrets Of The Beehive [Original recording remastered]

David Sylvian Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 15.31 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
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Secrets Of The Beehive + Brilliant Trees + Alchemy An Index Of Possibili
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Product Details


1. September
2. The Boy With The Gun
3. Maria
4. Orpheus
5. The Devil's Own
6. When Poets Dreamed Of Angels
7. Mother And Child
8. Let The Happiness In
9. Waterfront
10. Promise (The Cult Of Eurydice)

Product Description

Product Description

Digitally remastered reissue, in standard jewel case, of this 1987 album from the former vocalist of Japan. .Features one bonus track: 'Promise (The Cult Of Eurydice)' Virgin.

Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This work came to my attention by coincidence only a few months after its original release 1987. Prior to that, I had enjoyed some of Sylvian's work with Japan. His first two solo albums were, however, somewhat boring. A few tracks on each one were focused but too many lacked direction.
That changed dramatically on Secrets, an album hardly without a misstep. It is for the most parts rather slow and soothing, simple instrumentation, often in an experimental style with jazz elements on some of the tracks. Standout tracks are hard to define, they have changed in my opinion through the years. The lyrics wander between hope and despair, domestic rage to the joy of life.
This is without doubt one of my favourite albums through the years. Listening first to it at the age of 22, I remember vividly the strange emotions the album's contradictions had on me. Despite being anything but a album full of catchy tunes, it struck a chord within me immediately.
I am not alone in that opinion, I was surprised seeing so many people stating similar thoughts on Amazon, given it was a commercial failure. I must admit that I haven't enjoyed any other Sylvian album since in its whole, although Dead Bees On a Cake had some splendid moments and his collaboration with Holger Czukay, Plight and Premonition, provides an ethereal listening experience.
The original CD version had one enormous problem; the hiss in the recording overshadowed often the sound (or lack of it). Listening to that version often made one wish that better care would have been taken of such delicate music. This re-mastered version improves that anomaly to an incredible extent. The sound becomes richer and the whole listening experience becomes more fulfilling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sundays In Autumn Feb. 5 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Despite the praise of friends,I always wrote David Sylvian off as a precious Bowie clone. While I often found things to admire on all his previous albums, I generally found his introspective instrumental work to be mind numbingly boring. For instance, I loved the ballads, "Laughter & Forgetting" & "Silver Moon" off GONE TO EARTH, but the rest sounded like a narcaleptic New Age version of Bowie's LOW.
Without a doubt, SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE is the best thing he's ever done. It's gorgeously lush & beautifully arranged. Think of a cross between Nick Drake's PINK MOON & Roxy Music's AVALON if that helps. Lyrically, the charms of Old Europe are all over this. "September" captures the mood of encroaching Autumn beautifully. It's like meeting with your soon to be ex-wife at some Venice cafe while the gloom of an overcast Sunday turns slowly into dusk. "Boy With A Gun" seems like it was ripped from the notebook of French writer, Jean Genet and "Maria" sounds like it was invoked at the bottom of an abondoned well. Meanacing is not a word I would normally use to describe Sylvian, but "When The Poets Dreamed Of Angels" is harrowing. Domestic unrest coming to a fore with the whispered words, "next time I'll break every bone in your body". For fans of existential angst, "Let The Happiness In" & "Waterfront" bring lonely boulevard ennui to an artform. These last 2 cuts in particular bring the manic depressive waltzes of Scott Walker to mind.
Eventhough I find a large body of Sylvian's low profile work unessential, I certainly have a different mind about this gorgeously realized record. If you're a fan of any of the names I've mentioned above, this one's definitely for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Sylvian's Masterpiece April 29 2004
Format:Audio CD
After Japan dissolved,singer David Sylvian embraced ambient music with open arms,as evident by all his solo work. Preceeded by the superb Gone To Earth and Brilliant Trees,it is here on Secrets..that Sylvian's music is fully realized and demonstrated with luscious arrangements.From the opener September to the closing track The Promise we're taken through a journey were jazz tinged rhythms,acoustic guitars and pianos all combine to create a dark but atmospheric soundscape.The best tracks are in my opinion Orpheus,Maria,Devil's Own and Boy With The Gun.For those of you who own the original 1987 version of this album will definitely miss the omission of Forbidden Colours on the reissue. Instead we're offered Promise(The Cult Of Eurydice) as a replacement.This album grows on you with time.Give it a few listens and you'll be moved by the whole listening experience.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Little known masterpiece Jan. 5 2004
By Bob S
Format:Audio CD
The Secrets of the Beehive is getting up there in years (15-20 now), yet has maintained its postion as the one CD I can't live without. It really is one of those rare gems that should be sought out, and listened to over and over again. Sylvians beautiful voice is the focal point of every piece, and has never been better, or more perfectly controlled. The arrangements are well paced, each establishing a unique mood, and the level of musicianship is amazing. This is not jazz, new age, nor rock, but somehow encompasses all of these genre. Do yourself a favor...get out the credit card, buy this CD, and start enjoying this masterwork now!
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Feb. 21 2004
Format:Audio CD
I bought this CD largely on the basis of recommendations on Amazon.com, but after a few listens I'm sorry I did. The impression I received of it from its fans was that of an evocative and moody collection of word paintings, in understated arrangements, and delivered with a smoky, jazz-inflected baritone. To a large extent this general impression of the work IS accurate, and there's no question it's a very well-made album, sensitively produced.
My main problem with SECRETS OF THE BEEHIVE, however, is that the majority of the songs aren't very good. They're melodically weak, harmonically unadventurous, and tend not to stick in the mind after they've been heard. For me they come across as half-baked and monotonous. They're also not helped by Sylvian's singing, which is narrow in range and lacking in dramatic coloring. Granted, some of this is deliberate, but in my opinion Sylvian takes it all too far -- all the way to the "insubstantial" side of "understatement."
Far as I can hear, there are three satisfying songs on the album: "The Boy With the Gun," "Orpheus," and "Let the Happiness In." If the other songs were on this level, then sure -- maybe then we'd have had something here. Unfortunately, the other tunes are just too slight for their own good. They come across as pieces of songs that were simply never completed.
That some reviewers think this is one of the greatest recordings of all-time boggles my imagination. Off-hand I can think of numerous moody conceptual vocal collections, most of them from the jazz side of the musical spectrum, that are far greater than this one.
Don't get me wrong: this is a quality collection, but after hearing it, the praise it's received on Amazon, though honest, strikes me as a lot of hot air.
Now let the negative votes in. . .
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