The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Monday, August 18, 2008

RK 50: Brian Eno


8-18-08 RK 50: Brian Eno

Not even my favorite member of Roxy Music – that would be Phil Manzanera. And, unlike some people, I do not obsessively collect Mr. Eno’s works. I liked his “Obscure Records” label (notably Michael Nyman). I kept all of Eno’s pop music albums – and would probably get any of his ambient works – if they were $3 per CD. Last great thing he did was to sing back-up vocals for the Icehouse “Measure For Measure” LP, notably “Cross The Border”.

CD ANOTHER DAY ON EARTH HANNIBAL US HNCD 1475

2005 11 TRKS

CD ANOTHER GREEN WORLD EG EU EGCD 21

1975 14 TRKS

LP ANOTHER GREEN WORLD ISLAND US ILPS 9351

1975 14 TRKS 3rd album

CD BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE EG EU EGCD 32

1977 10 TRKS

LP BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE ISLAND US ILPS 9478

1977 10 TRKS 5th album, Peter Schmidt prints

CD DISCREET MUSIC EG US EEGCD 23

1975 4 TRKS

LP DISCREET MUSIC OBSCURE UK OBS 3

1975 4 TRKS 4th album, 2nd issue

CD HERE COME THE WARM JETS EG US EGCD 11

1973 10 TRKS

LP HERE COME THE WARM JETS ISLAND US ILPS 9268

1973 10 TRKS 1st album

7" JEZEBEL SPIRIT, THE (with David Byrne) EG UK EGO 1

1981 2 TRKS with pic sleeve

7" KING'S LEAD HAT / R.A.F. EG UK 2001 762

1977 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

7" LION SLEEPS TONIGHT ISLAND UK WIP 6233

1975 2 TRKS no pic sleeve

CD MORE MUSIC FOR FILMS VIRGIN UK 563649.2

2005 21 TRKS

LP MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS (with David Byrne) EG UK EGLP 48

1981 11 TRKS

CD MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS (with David Byrne) re NONESUCH US 79894.2

1981 18 TRKS (7 x bonus tracks) ('06 issue)

LP TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (BY STRATEGY) ISLAND US ILPS 9309

1974 10 TRKS 2nd album

CD TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN (BY STRATEGY) kami TOSHIBA JPN VJCP-68657

1974 10 TRKS ('04 issue) kami sleeve

CD WRONG WAY UP (with John Cale) OPAL US 26421.2

1990 10 TRKS

There was a time when you could use Eno as a litmus test strip – to tell if some kind of music or a particular record might ‘be of interest’ – but I feel those days are long gone. My favorite solo album is – without a doubt – “Before And After Science”. I bought “Warm Jets” when it came out, but soured on it rather quickly, preferring Phil Manzanera solo albums. In addition to liking most albums on Eno’s “Obscure Records” label, I rather enjoyed the Basil Kirchin “Worlds Within Worlds, Parts 3 & 4” that he wrote the liner notes for. I got a book that purported to be his ‘diary for a year’ – and that was fairly interesting. I’ve seen him interviewed on British TV, and he was always rather amusing. I wonder why he literally refuses to make another pop music album?

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Jim Donato said...

Ron:

So "Wrong Way Up" is not a "pop" album??!! I disagree strongly. Also, "Another Day On Earth" is a vocal album. Is it not "pop?" On an unconnected thread, is Barry Andrews the only person to have been a sideman to both Fripp (League Of Gentlemen) and Eno (Another Day On Earth)?

5:25 AM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Good to have you back, Jim-san. I got both "Wrong Way Up" and "Another Day..." but do not consider them with the initial works by Mr. Eno. Slight, at best - I think.

I understand him not wanting to have too much product in the marketplace.

Didn't Phil Manzanera collaborate with both Eno and Mr. Fripp?

8:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Manzanera & Fripp? Nothing I know of.

10:49 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

I see you've already addressed "Wrong Way Up," but having just bought the remaster I think it's due for reconsideration. While uneven, some of the songs on there are extremely winning stuff. "Another Day on Earth" was nice to hear and I enjoyed it, but it's definitely "slighter" than WWU.

I've just been listening to the NEW D.Byrne/B.Eno record (yes a new one, not the remaster of MLitBoG), where Byrne takes some unfinished Eno stuff and proceeds to ruin it. Not available as a real CD yet, but soon. You can listen to the whole thing (streaming) through their website, everythingthathappens.com.

Interestingly, it does kind of "follow on" from the "slighter" sound of ADoE. But that's about all I can say that's interesting about it to me. Byrne's voice, IMHO, hasn't aged well, and hearing him ALWAYS reminds me of what an IDIOT he was breaking up the Talking Heads. Let's just say I have issues with that and move on.

3:16 AM  
Blogger chas_m said...

Follow-up to my previous post: apparently I hadn't heard ALL of "Everything That Happens" last time because I just stumbled over "I Feel My Stuff" and all I can say is that this is the first (only?) song on the album that WORKS as a Eno/Byrne collaboration.

If you've ever wondered what "The Red and Black" would have sounded like if Byrne had done vocals -- WONDER NO MORE.

I'm going to raise my grade on this record to a "C" because there are at least two tracks that "click" (the other being the title track) fairly well, but on the whole you'd think the two men would "blend" better than they do. Most of it really and truly sounds like anyone could have taken Eno's roughs and done as well.

3:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not familiar with all of his material (I'm partial to his earlier stuff), but of the ones I know my favorite is clearly "Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy). Brilliant album!

11:49 AM  

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