Autumn 1990 in Oxford was the first time I ever heard Brian Eno. Then, his sound was a world apart from the jangling indie that I was lapping up, but the combination of atmospheric electronic instrumentals, and beautifully sung vocal tracks was deeply appealing. Little did I know that Eno was the godfather of ambient, a sound brought to a wider audience by the Orb and their ilk in the early 90s.
At the time, I taped this from a friend's vinyl but I replaced this copy of Another Green World with the CD a few years ago and listening to it again nearly thirty years after it was recorded the inventiveness and playful approach of Eno and his cohorts still springs out; Phil Collins' splendid drumming provides proof, if it were needed, that the only place I want to hear him is behind the kit. Robert Fripp's "Frippertronics" guitar system involving tape-delay systems and looped feedback is used to ear-bending effect on several tracks. And behind it all, bald on top and long at the sides, Eno's compositional and production genius shines. He credits himself on a fabulous array of made-up instruments ("Snake Guitar", "Unnatural Sounds", "Desert Guitar" and the like) and peppers everything with harmonics, percussive flourishes and twinkling melodic runs. This is an album that manages to combine all kinds of emotions, yet stil sounds coherent.
In the last few years I've listened to a lot of Brian Eno's back catalogue, and other personal favourites include Before And After Science and his Ambient series. But I have a particular fondness for Another Green World, and time has been very kind to it; part of this is probably nostalgia, but I think it's also because it's SUCH a great record.