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Brilliant Trees [Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered]

David SylvianAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Price: $29.95
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Amazon Price New from Used from
Audio CD, Import, Original recording remastered, 2007 $9.71  
Audio CD, Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, 2003 $29.95  
Vinyl, 1984 --  

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The David Sylvian that fronted new wave pop band Japan wore luminescent hair and glam make-up; on the cover of his solo debut, 1984's Brilliant Trees, he was stylish and refined, a gentleman popster. But the illustration that introduces 2003's Blemish sends a different message: he's bedraggled and unshaven, his far-off expression turned haunted. The new millennium has seen a more ... Read more in Amazon's David Sylvian Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Brilliant Trees + Secrets of the Beehive + Tin Drum
Price for all three: $52.59

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 21, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1984
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered
  • Label: Caroline
  • ASIN: B0000AQOQU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,978 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Pulling Punches
2. The Ink in the Well
3. Nostalgia
4. Red Guitar
5. Weathered Wall
6. Backwaters
7. Brilliant Trees

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still quite brilliant! August 3, 2005
By Gwen
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I listened to this album almost continuously when it first came out (and for several years after that). This weekend when I dug it out again after a long hiatus, I wasn't sure what to expect. It's an album I associate with my (more) angsty youth when I'd lie on my bed for hours and let the music and the sound of David Sylvian's voice sink into my pores. Would I now find it cringe-worthy? Hurriedly delegate it to a teen nostalgia box? Well, I can tell you that I was blown away. If anything I appreciate its magic even more some 20 years later. This was David Sylvian's first solo work after Japan's break-up, and he allowed himself to be much more revealing. The lyrics are deeply personal and spiritual. The musical style I'd describe as jazzy-ethereal-poppy. I also found it more positive and uplifting than I remembered (it obviously bends to many moods). I'm now on a Japan kick (I know that DS has been dismissive of Japan but I think they were wonderful, especially in the last couple of years). Anyway, Brilliant Trees: a modern, quite brilliant album. I'll be listening to this for a long time to come.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A longlasting loveaffair June 5, 2008
By Durand
Format:Audio CD
There are few records that keep me interested year after year. It's always quite difficult to find out which it will be or how they manage to. I guess it is all about leaving mysteries. Something you don't quite understand, and still don't after 100s of listenings. "Brilliant trees" is one of these fantastic albums and I've felt this since I first heard it in 1986. I always seem to come back to it, no matter where I'm taken. It's a safe home of extreme beauty and musicmanship. A timeless masterpiece that does not show which decade it was made in.

If I should point my finger at something it would have to be the inclusion of "Pulling punches", a great funky track. Not that it isn't good, it just somehow doesn't fit the sensible nature of the rest. But it's easily forgotten and forgiven in the light of the titletrack, my favourite track of all time, I guess. There's always a nostalgic tear on its way when listening to it. Thank you, David. Hope you can top this one day.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A new beginning. August 23, 2005
Format:Audio CD
After Japan had finally recorded an album that realized their talents (1982's "Tin Drum", far and away their best work), they did what so often happens to bands on top of the world (in a fashion). They broke up. Bassist Mick Karn released a quirky, Middle Eastern solo record and began recording with former Bauhaus vocalist Peter Murphy. Shortly thereafter, vocalist and principle songwriter David Sylvian returned with his debut, 1984's "Brilliant Trees".

Often revered by people who were listening back then (I was six, so I was not), "Brilliant Trees" is a brave and exciting album. Like his work with his previous band, Sylvian is prepared to turn his back on his previous accomplishments-- gone are the pseudo-Eastern trappings of "Tin Drum", replaced with a jazz sensibility. Gone is the slithering bass and wailing sax of Mick Karn, instead an atmospheric swirl, or a funky backdrop (depending on the song), carefully constructed by Sylvian and collaborator Holger Czukay, and brass leads (provided ably by Czukay, Kenny Wheeler, Jon Hassell or Mark Isham) dominate the record. And yet, it feels like the followup to "Tin Drum" in it's own way-- certainly Sylvian's voice, while it has gained a depth to it, maintains its distinctive smokey baritone that he was developing, and the presence of Japan drummer Steve Jansen, whose subtle and tasteful playing so delicately worked on "Tin Drum", works here as well. And with appearances by Japan keyboardist Richard Barbieri, frequent collaborator Ryuichi Sakamoto, and producer Steve Nye, there's a sense of continuity.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of brilliant moments and strong songwriting May 31, 2010
Format:Audio CD
While 'Secrets of the Beehive' is perhaps the better album, 'Brilliant Trees' is the most like Japan, hardly surprising given that it was Sylvian's first solo album following Japan's breakup. This is probably the most pop-oriented solo album as well. Any fan of Japan will be pleased to have this for listening (I recently listened to it again and it was even more enjoyable than when I got it upon release).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ho Hum May 5, 2013
Format:Audio CD
This album gets great reviews and I am amazed at Sylvian's other work - before with Japan and after with the next two solo albums. But this cd never did it for me. Not sure why. Not bad, but I like Secrets and Gone to Earth MUCH BETTER!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Weird....but great!!!! August 10, 2004
Format:Audio CD
The first time I heard tracks from this album, I was in a small hole-in-the-wall record store in London, Ontario. I heard two tracks whilst browsing, and I knew that I had to buy it because it was so.....different than anything I had every heard.
David's voice and songs aren't for everyone. But that's okay, because you, Gentle Buyer, aren't Just Anyone.
You are a listener who has patience to play the whole album at once. You are a listener who doesn't mind flowing instumentals. You like a deep voice of a man who is sensitive and curious.
I love this album because it is relaxing to listen to. I think that it is one of David Sylvian's best of his whole career. "Red Guitar" was a hit in's the most "pop"ish song on the whole album. "Nostalgia" is devine. "Wailing Wall" is very soothing. Dim the lights and put the volume will be converted.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars David Sylvian being his true self
I love this album. It has funky as well as meditative songs on it. It is sophisticated. It's the 1st of many introspective albums David will put out.
Published 18 months ago by Carole Bussom
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Trees is simply brilliant
This was David Sylvian's first solo album - and you can kind of tell, because there are still obvious traces of Japan's sound (achingly cool in a very 80's way). Read more
Published on April 9, 2012 by Thomas D.
5.0 out of 5 stars Probably One His Best
One of the excellent forces behind Japan, one of England's best bands. How many of ex-japan members are assisting I'm not sure. Read more
Published on October 1, 2010 by TDN
5.0 out of 5 stars david sylvian: brilliant trees
This album was purchased to replace on old CD that finally!
I am a drummer you see, and the opening track, 'Pulling Punches', is just one of the funkiest Rock... Read more
Published on February 14, 2010 by Paul Matcott
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Sylvian's great compositions
Along with "Gone to Earth" and "Secrets of the Beehive," I have to nominate this as one of Sylvian's greatest CDs. Read more
Published on December 30, 2009 by Long-time listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful remastering, great music
First off, the sound on this Japanese release seems great--unlike the Japanese remastered versions of "Gone to Earth" and "Secrets of the Beehive," both of which end up sounding... Read more
Published on December 30, 2009 by Long-time listener
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, yes
I have to agree with Durand. David Sylvian created a gorgeous ghost of an album with 'Brilliant Trees'. Check out 'Red Guitar' or 'Ink in the Well'. Read more
Published on January 19, 2009 by Scott D. Vankleek
3.0 out of 5 stars Remastered but would wish for more
Virgin's releases of this album, along with Japan's last two efforts, were always a little murky and muddy on vinyl. Read more
Published on July 1, 2008 by Donald J. Mulder
4.0 out of 5 stars the blood of a poet, the ink in the well
The first glimpse of David Sylvian seperation from Japan and a precurser of the direction he chose to take. Read more
Published on January 8, 2008 by Kurtis R. Reed
5.0 out of 5 stars 1st and the most upbeat
Sylvian's work is pretty mellow but this first solo effort has a little more groove to it than a lot of his later work. I wish he would recapture some of that again. Read more
Published on December 9, 2007 by S. Steen
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