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David SylvianSecrets Of The Beehive

Label:Virgin – V 2471
Vinyl, LP, Album
Genre:Electronic, Jazz, Rock
Style:Alternative Rock, Art Rock


Arranged By [String Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
Piano, VocalsD. Sylvian*
A2The Boy With The Gun
Acoustic Guitar, Organ, Synth, VocalsD. Sylvian*
Arranged By [String Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
Double BassD. Thompson*
Electric GuitarD. Torn*
Organ, SynthR. Sakamoto*
PercussionD. Cummings*
Arranged By [String Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
Loops [Guitar Loop]D. Torn*
Piano [Treated Piano], SynthR. Sakamoto*
Synth, Tape, VocalsD. Sylvian*
Acoustic Guitar, Synth, VocalsD. Sylvian*
Arranged By [Orchestral Arrangement]B. Gascoigne*
Double BassD. Thompson*
DrumsS. Jansen*
FlugelhornM. Isham*
Piano, SynthR. Sakamoto*
Slide GuitarP. Palmer*
A5The Devil's Own
Piano [Treated Piano], Synth, Tape, VocalsD. Sylvian*
Piano, Organ, Arranged By [Woodwind Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
B1When Poets Dreamed Of Angels
Acoustic GuitarP. Palmer*
Acoustic Guitar, VocalsD. Sylvian*
Arranged By [String Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
PercussionD. Cummings*
TrumpetM. Isham*
B2Mother And Child
Acoustic GuitarD. Torn*
PercussionD. Cummings*
Piano, OrganR. Sakamoto*
VocalsD. Sylvian*
B3Let The Happiness In
Arranged By [Brass Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
Arranged By [String Arrangement]B. Gascoigne*
PercussionD. Cummings*, S. Jansen*
Synth, OrganR. Sakamoto*
Synth, Organ, VocalsD. Sylvian*
Trumpet, FlugelhornM. Isham*
Piano, Arranged By [String Arrangement]R. Sakamoto*
VocalsD. Sylvian*

Companies, etc.



Includes double 12" credits insert.

Recorded: London and Bath, England · Chateau Miraval, Le Val, France.
Wisseloord Studios, Hilversum, Holland.
Thanks to Patrice Quef (Miraval), Peter Dolan (The Wool Hall), Nigel Walker.
Recording co-ordinated on behalf of Opium (Arts) Ltd.
Mark Isham appears courtesy of Virgin America Inc.

℗ 1987 Virgin Records Limited .
© 1987 Virgin Records Limited.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (String): 5012981247119
  • Barcode (As printed): 50012981 247119
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A runout, variant 1): V 2471 A-1U-1-1 DD
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B runout, variant 1): V 2471 B-1U-1-5 D
  • Matrix / Runout (Stamped, side A runout, variant 2): V 2471 A-1U-1-1 ... DD
  • Matrix / Runout (Stamped, side B runout, variant 2): V 2471 B-1U-1-1 . DD
  • Matrix / Runout (Etched, side A runout, variant 2): TOWN HOUSE DMM

Other Versions (5 of 75)View All

Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Secrets Of The Beehive (LP, Album)Virgin7 90677-1US1987
Secrets Of The Beehive (LP, Album, Glossy Cover)Virgin, Virgin208 675, 208 675-630Europe1987
Secrets Of The Beehive (LP, Album, Stereo)VirginV 2471Italy1987
Secrets Of The Beehive (LP, Album)Virgin, VirginVL2471, VL 2471Canada1987
Secrets Of The Beehive (LP, Album)VirginVG 50304Greece1987


tony879's profile picture
Edited 7 months ago
I still have and play my original UK copy bought when it came out. I could do with a new copy as-mine has a small amount of noise although nothing unlistenable. I looked after my copy over the years. This could do with some kind of reissue and proper remaster package. One of my desert island albums I couldn’t live without and still regularly play. Testament to its timeless nature.
A warm enveloping mind hug that’s by turns strange and comforting, woody tones and acoustic jazz/ambience/art pop and subtle ballad work all congeal to make a beautifully autumnal sound palette that once heard is difficult to forget. So many references to so much 20th century art, poetry and music it makes your head spin. Every time I listen to it I hear and feel something new or different.
In short a timeless classic.
PatronSaintofScratch's profile picture
*Secretly Wishing for Rain*

Melodic. Atmospheric. Dark. Organic. Poetic.

A few select adjectives to describe in my opinion David's magnum opus: Secrets of the Beehive.
Indeed it is melodic. "Orpheus" has a stirring melody that runs fluidly with David's paean to the Greek singer Orpheus who's faith was not unfailing.. "When the Poets Dreamed of Angels" is a story of love in peril due to abuse and neglect with the most incredible acoustic guitar work on the entire album. Atmospheres rise on pieces like "Maria" with it's ominous tale of a clinging spirit or the memory of a lost love. Usage of tape samples add to this atmospheric element. The phantoms of "Devil's Own" beat their drum in time to the simple piano tintinnabulation.

The dark "Boy With the Gun" is my favorite track and should have been a single. The tale of an assassin's plans to destroy his enemies, the narrator being one of them. The acoustic guitar and the electric guitar work in incredible harmony with each other. "Mother and Child" is certainly an organic track in simplicity. The heavy sound of the double bass really makes this track so different from the rest. (Listen to the version of Camphor with trumpet replacing vocals is amazing!).

Pure poetry lies on tracks like "Orpheus" and "Waterfront", the latter being a lush string arrangement with piano. David's lyrics feel apocalyptic with lines like: "Empty carriages lose their tracks and tumble to their end. So the world shrinks drop by drop, as the wine goes to your head. Swollen angels point and laugh, this time your god is dead.". But then he ends the entire album with a hard question: "Is our love strong enough?".

"September" is the beginning where "Waterfront" is the end. A simple piano and strings piece about lovers in September... setting the tone of what to expect on the album. A prelude to Secrets of the Beehive.

Extra credit bonus tracks include "Forbidden Colours" with Ryuchi Sakamoto's most beautiful string arrangement. Taken from the b-side of "Red Guitar" it is a newer version of the song used in the film "Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence". Some of David's most beautiful lyrics. Another bonus track is "The Promise (Cult of Eurydice) which is just piano and organ. David sings of a lover passed away. Eurydice was the love of Orpheus in Greek Mythology. His lack of faith and trust in Hades, cost him his lover. An even further bonus track is "Ride" which was to be the album's centerpiece then it was shelved and released on the compilation "Everything and Nothing". A beautiful piece built up off a loop of piano, horn and strings. However, the original nine track album is the best... it's what David wanted to present of it.

This is a wonderful introduction to David Sylvian's work and well worth searching out for the original vinyl.

alphagrade's profile picture
Soon to be deservedly repressed but worth every single penny if you decide to track down an original UK pressing, beautiful production, lush strings, haunting melodies and a real audiophile experience. David Sylvian's early solo work is sublime but this is possibly his finest work to date and so utterly timeless.
tarmstrong's profile picture
Simply put, one of David's finest albums from a sound a lyrical perspective.