Brian Eno

Band members                             Related acts

- Brian Eno - vocals, keyboards, synthesizers, guitar, brass


  backing musicians (1977)

- Phil Collins -- drums, percussion

- Rhett Davies -- percussion

- Andy Fraser -- drums

- Robert Fripp guitar

- Fred Frith -- guitar

- Percy Jones -- fretless bass

- Jaki Liebezeit -- drums

- Bill MacCormick -- bass

- Phil Manzanera -- rhythm guitar

- Dave Mattacks -- drums

- Mobi Mobius -- keyboards

- Achim Roedelius -- keyboards

- Paul Rudolph - bass, guitar

- Kurt Schwitter -- vocals

- Brian Turrington -- bass

- Shirley Williams -- percussion




- Fripp and Eno
- Portsmouth Sinfonia
- Roxy Music





Rating: **** (4 stars)

Genre: progressive

Title:  Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)

Company: Island

Catalog: ILPS 9309

Year: 1974

Country/State: Woodbridge, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG+/VG+

Comments: gatefold sleeve

Available: 2

Price: $15.00


Given his reputation for wallowing in the avant garde (much of it "difficult" listening), this album is a never ending source of joy to us. Every time we've played it for friends who've never heard it before, they've been dumbfounded to learn its Eno. Supposedly inspired by a series of Chinese postcards he discovered in San Francisco, 1974's "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)" is almost as accessible as his debut. Exemplified by tracks such as "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More", "The Great Pretender" and "The Fat Lady of Limbourg" Eno underscored his knack for penning tuneful and outright commercial material. That's not to say you'd ever hear "Mother Whale Eyeless" on top-40 radio. 'Course when's the last time you heard Roxy Music on the radio? Roxy Music's Andy MacKay and Phil Manazara again provided support throughout, while the infamous Portsmouth Sinfonia (see separate entry) provided backup on one track. Unfortunately, like the debut the collection failed to attract much in the way of airplay. (The album was originally released with a gatefold sleeve.)

"Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Burning Airlines Give You So Much More (Brian Eno) - 
2.) Back In Judy's Jungle (Brian Eno) - 
3.) The Fat Lady of Limbourg (Brian Eno) - 
4.) Mother Whale Eyeless (Brian Eno) - 
5.) The Great Pretender (Brian Eno) - 

(side 2)

1.) Third Uncle (Brian Eno) - 
2.) Put a Straw Under Baby (Brian Eno) - 
3.) The True Wheel (Brian Eno) - 
4.) China, My China (Brian Eno) - 
5.) Taking Tiger Mountain (Brian Eno) - 


Rating: *** (3 stars)

Genre: progressive

Title:  Discrete Music

Company: Antilles

Catalog: AN-7030

Year: 1975

Country/State: Woodbridge, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG/VG

Comments: minor edge and corner wear

Available: 1

Price: $10.00


Having been hit and almost killed by a car, 1975's "Discreet Music" was recorded during his extended recuperation. Inspiration for the album supposedly came when Eno was listening to an instrumental album.  Confined to his bed, he couldn't get up to turn the sound up to compensate for a rain storm outside his room.  The resulting sounds got him thinking about the nature of music.  Released on his newly formed Obscure label (Island's Antilles subsidiary distributing the collection domestically), the set introduced Eno's first stabs at ambient sound - music that wasn't so much intended to be heard, as "color" a room (hopefully that made sense). The extended "A" side title track found the artist feeding gentle instrumental passages into a series of tape loops, which were then slowly manipulated into a series of slowly alternating patterns. The second side "Three Variations On the Canon In D Major by Johann Pachelbel" found Eno providing a series of guest performers with guidance and direction - certainly one of the year's odder endeavors. In both cases the resulting low-keyed atmospherics were mildly soothing, though it wasn't something your typical rock fan would find invigorating. Still, Eno deserved the usual credit for breaking down musical barriers, while incorporating several highly attractive pieces in the collection. Eno's detailed liner notes describing the recording process were also interesting. 

"Discrete Music" track listing:
(side 1)

1.) Discreet Music (instrumental) (Brian Eno) - 

(side 2)

1.) Three Variations On the Canon In D Major by Johann Pachelbel
     (i) Fullness of Wind (instrumental)
     (ii) French Catalogues (instrumental)
     (iii) Brutal Ardour (instrumental)





Rating: **** (4 stars)

Genre: progressive

Title:  Before and After Science

Company: Editions EG

Catalog: ENO 4

Year: 1977

Country/State: Woodbridge, UK

Grade (cover/record): VG / VG

Comments: small cut out notch along bottom edge

Available: 1

Catalog ID: 961

Price: $20.00



Backed by an all-star cast, including Phil Collins, Fred Firth, Fairport Convention's Dave Matticks and former Roxy compatriot Phil Manzanera, 1977's "Before and After Science" stood as the closest Eno's had come to recording a "pop" album.  While there was little chance you'd ever hear material such 'No One Receiving', 'Backwater' or 'Here He Comes' on top-40 radio station, most of the material reflected a momentary return to short, mainstream and modestly commercial song structures.  Calm and thoughtful, side two material such as 'Julie With ...', 'Through Hollow Lands' and 'Spider and I' was particularly attractive.  Elsewhere, at least to my ears, tunes such as 'No One Receiving' and 'King's Lead Hat' made it easy to see where Talking Heads front man David Byrne came up with most of his ideas.  (Or perhaps Eno was guilty of simply borrowing Byrne and company's unique sound.)   Diverse, challenging, yet frequently melodic, it may have been his most enjoyable solo effort.  As such, it's probably the album best suited for the casual or curious listener. Personal favorites: the funky Talking Heads knockoff  'Kurt's Rejoinder' and the country- tinged ballad 'Here He Comes'.  Ritva Saarikko provided the stunning album cover ...

"Before and After Science" track listing:

(side 1)

1.) No One Receiving   (Brian Eno) - 3:51

So take this with a grain of salt, or at least consider it within the right parameters (remember this is a Brian Eno album), but 'No One Receiving' was a surprisingly funky tune.  Yeah !  A surprisingly funky tune.   rating: **** stars

2.) Backwater   (Brian Eno) - 3:43

'Backwater' sounded like Eno had been listening to more than his share of UK Squeeze.  Like classic Squeeze, the song cobbled together a strong pop melody with some of the strangest lyrics (shipwreck survivors possibly contemplating eating one another ?).   Goofy as all, by hard not to tap your toes to it.  rating: **** stars

3.) Kurt's Rejoinder   (Brian Eno) - 2:53

The opening belching bass notes were kid of cool, thought I wasn't quite as enthralled by this Brand X jazz-meets-bossa nova tune did less for me.  rating: *** stars

4.) Energy Fools the Magician (instrumental)   (Brian Eno) - 2:05

The instrumental 'Energy Fools the Magician' sounded like a bit of incidental music left over from a film score he'd completed.  rating: ** stars

5.) King's Lead Hat   (Brian Eno) - 3:53

Crap, how did a Talking Heads song get on here?   Talk about a case of identity theft; Eno was lucky David Byrne didn't come after him for plagiarism.  I'm guessing the fact Eno was producing The Talking Heads may have had a role in Eno getting Byrne's mannerisms down to the stuttering delivery.  Great Talking Heads tune made even better by a Robert Fripp solo.   By the way, I believe 'King's Lead Hat' is an anagram for Talking Head's.    I'm sure it was just a coincidence.   rating: **** stars


(side 1)

1.) Here He Comes   (Brian Eno) - 5:40

Geez, Eno trying on a country-tinged ballad.   The end is near  ...   So the funny thing is that as weird as the genre may have sounded for Eno, he actually turned in a nice performance.  Who would have expected it ?   Phil Manzanera turned in a beautiful guitar solo.   rating: **** stars

2.) Julie with ...   (Brian Eno) - 6:20

Beautiful and atmospheric ballad that would not have sounded bad on FM radio.   rating: **** stars

3.) By this River   (Brian Eno - Achim Roeselius - Mobi Moebius) - 3:03

Okay, 'By the River' was co-written by Cluster's Achim Roeselius and Mobi Moebius so you knew the album had to have at least some outright experimentation.  Well guess again.  This keyboard propelled ballad was amazingly pretty and seductive.  One of the album highlights.  rating: **** stars

4.) Through Hollow Lands (for Harold Budd) (instrumental)  (Brian Eno) - 3:54

The pretty keyboard dominated 'Through Hollow Lands' was dedicated to American composer/musician Harold Budd.  Eno went on to produced Budd's 1978 album "The Pavilion of Dreams" and the pair would collaborate on 1980's "Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror" and 1984's "The Pearl".  rating: *** stars

5.) Spider and I   (Brian Eno) - 4:08

One of my favorite Eno performances ... another stunning performance that is one of those tunes that's near perfect for a damp, gloomy Sunday morning when the rest of the household is still sleeping.   rating; **** stars