Friday, September 2, 2016

Weekend Mix: (Before) Before And After

I've just found out I don't have time to write anything. Maybe later. 
The cover art is a silk screen print I made in 1978.

(Several hours later)

I vaguely knew Eno as the guy Eddie Jobson replaced in Roxy MusicAt the time I was only familiar their third and Eno-less album, "Stranded".  
I picked "Here Come The Warm Jets", Eno's first, because it looked slightly glam, and the title Zappa/Beefheart/Alice Cooper loony. The song titles were just as nuts. 
Then I saw that Robert Fripp and John Wetton, two of my favorite musicians from my favorite band, King Crimson were involved.
Buying it was a no-brainer. 
It's Proto-punk Glam rock is nothing like the ambient works he's largely known for today.
"Baby's On Fire" features a Robert Fripp solo over 3 minutes long, which stands as some of his most fiery work.
From "Here Come The Warm Jets" to "Burning Airlines Give You So Much More",
"Taking Tiger Mountain(By Strategy)", from 1974 is much less ramshackle, but fortunately just as quirky.
When "Another Green World" came out in 1975, things were changing. About half of it is instrumental, pointing the way to his groundbreaking ambient work, "Music For Airports"(1978).
Unlike his previous albums, which were recorded in a very short time, "Before and After Science" (1977) was two years in the making. I never got into that one. I thought it was a little slick and bland. 
My original plan for this mix was to be career spanning. I began by listening to Disc 3 of the irritatingly packaged and annotated Eno Vocal Box.
It consists of "R.A.F." b-side of "King's Lead Hat", cuts from "my Life In The Bush Of Ghosts" an impressive yet ultimately dull album, 90's collaborations with John Cale, "Nerve Net", and the withdrawn "My Squelchy Life".
While it wasn't entirely without charm, it bored me to death. So much so that I nearly gave up.
Fortunately I decided instead to start from the beginning.
There is something in his first 3 albums, that has been missing for decades.
It was before he knew what he was doing. Before success, acclaim, and high profile productions for other artists.  
I'm a fan, and he's been a huge influence on my work as a musician, and a painter. While I like and respect his recent work, these early attempts at rock stardom continue to scratch my itch for art damaged excellence.


Two songs are technically by Phil Manzanera. "Miss Shapiro" is from "Diamond Head" (1975). Eno co-writes and sings. "Third Uncle" is from "801 Live" (1976). He is the vocalist and writer. Backing musicians are the usual suspects.


(Before) Before And After


(Before) Before Too

A fun fact I ran across:

Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy (Chinese智取威虎山pinyinzhì qǔ wēihǔ shān) is a Chinese film from 1970, during the height of the Cultural Revolution. The film was directed by Xie Tieli and was based on a contemporary Beijing opera, one of the eight model plays allowed during the Cultural Revolution. The story is based on the novel Lin hai xue yuan (林海雪原) and tells the story of an incident in 1946, during the Chinese Civil War.
Taking Tiger Mountain by Strategy has been identified as one of the most watched films of all time. Official Chinese government statistics claimed a total audience of 7.3 billion through the end of 1974. The large audience can be attributed to the fact that few films were produced during the Cultural Revolution, and almost all earlier films were banned; nevertheless, the average village held ten film showings per year, and failure to attend could have been seen as a sign of political deviation. Hence, Chinese citizens would have been expected to see the film multiple times during the Cultural Revolution era.


steve simels said...


Cow said...

'Seven Deadly Finns' has got to be one of the most criminally overlooked and under-appreciated tracks ever.

wardo said...

Nice. I can see how Disc 3 of the Vocal box can be less than wonderful, but it has "The Belldog", which is probably my favorite Eno track. Next to "Julie With". And "Not Yet Remembered".

snakeboy said...

My favorite Eno era with highlights all in one place.
Thanks for the post.

buzzbabyjesus said...


My mix is intended to speak to you, and be a good introduction to the uninitiated.


ge said...

well, Yeah! this taste is exactly right; but i'd go a little harsher, the only good eno is early eno [succe$$ spoils?] but I say the same w/out shame re
'only good PF=Syd's'--- I actually published reviews of 1 & 2 back then-when
which I think I put at rym under 'okeyeye' fyi

dogbreath said...

Great stuff! I was into Roxy Music from the outset and the first few Eno solo albums after the split were the ones that did it for me, struggle manfully as I did with some of the following ones you mention. I like this mix a lot. Cheers!

draftervoi said...

Including "Miss Shapiro" is a deft move. I'd throw in "Big Day" from the same album as well.