Be-Bop Deluxe – Sister Seagull (Song Review)

“My soul has vanished, with the bird that flies so free”

They’re not a metal band by any stretch of the imagination, but Sister Seagull is definitely one of Be-Bop Deluxe’s more metal-friendly tunes. It’s one of those watery psychedelic ballads that hard rock and metal bands used to do in the 70s and early 80s. Judas Priest, Scorpions, UFO, Angel Witch, Iron Maiden… they’ve all done them! But this is one of the best. Sister Seagull has a simple D5-E5 riff that is very metal and because metal fans are suckers for a guitar god, check out Bill Nelson’s fluid and cascading pentatonic soloing. Loads of bands might have recorded songs like this, but few did it with the sheer class and expressive emotion of Sister Seagull.

HMO Rating: 5 Out Of 5

Or, as an added bonus, check out this magnificently-trousered performance from the Old Grey Whistle Test.

17 thoughts on “Be-Bop Deluxe – Sister Seagull (Song Review)”

  1. Forgive me, I am going to geek out a little here:

    I came into Be Bop Deluxe with Sunburst Finish, drawn in initially by the similar – to these non-guitar-playing ears – metal-friendly riffing in ‘Fair Exchange’. But I really dove in to stay upon discovering the version of this song on Live! In the Air Age, a magnet for late 70s metal kids despite the prevalence of the keyboard in the kinda crappy mix. Nowadays however it is the Track 7 version of ‘Sister Seagull’ on At the BBC 1974-1978 for which I swoon; Bill Nelson at his most Bowie in his vocals and his most wank-ie in his soloing, all allowed by the addition of the second guitarist to the live performance.

    The trousers in the OGWT video are indeed the shyte, but we also have to give credit to Bill’s definitively non-metal occasional glances directly into the camera for its mesmerizing effect.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Geeking out allowed!

      Haha yeah his little glances at the camera. He’s such a flirt!

      I came in via reading about the Axe Victim album and then hearing Adventures In A Yorkshire Landscape. Awesome! Then on to Futurama and hooked there.

      But totes agree on the excellence of the Air Age versions. Finally got that on vinyl last year with the Maid in Heaven/Sister Seagull as a bonus 7″. Great stuff. And that BBC collection is brill too. I watch that DVD a lot.

      Funny, when I was writing this I wondered who was out that there that might dig this. You came to mind and I was right!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Never listened to them, but I’m right into this. Hit up both versions. Fucking love that outfit. Best trousers ever… complimented by a snazzy jacket. The playing is exceptional… and I like the wee Seagull bits of guitar at the end.

    Liked by 1 person

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