Eno's first song album after leaving Roxy Music and emphatically establishes his far-sighted talent that was barely hinted at within the confines of Ferry's band. There is glam, there is 50's rock and roll, pre-punk punk, art rock, avant garde all mixed together in a surreal, alien brew.
There is a simplicity and almost amateurish wilfulness about this album, though there is no denying the sophistication of the material, arrangements and playing. Eno is at his playful, naughty best here. That even stretches to the album title, the meaning of which is reflected in one of the items shown on the album cover!
Best here is "Baby's On Fire" where Fripp produces one of his most blistering solos. "Driving Me Backwards" is darkly menacing. "Cindy Tells Me" is a gorgeous pop song which ends too soon. This album is what Roxy Music would have sounded like if helmed by Eno. All members bar Ferry appear and Eno even does a good impersonation of the crooner on "Dead Finks Don't Talk"!
A couple of comments about these re-issues. They are minimally packaged in digipaks which are housed in transparent plastic slip cases. These are not remasters as such, but new transfers taken from the original master tapes using the new Direct Stream Digital (DSD) format. This is state of the art as regards mastering onto compact disc. They have been transferred by Simon Heyworth who is one of the best in the business. He has made statements about the remastering of these recordings. Why change something that was done right originally! Eno was happy with the original mastering so what is needed is just the best transfer onto compact disc that is currently feasible. Whereas the original CD's sounded flat and thin, these transfers are much livelier and offer a fuller, more detailed sound.
From the moment Roxy Music's eponymous debut album hit the stands up to the release of Achtung Baby by U2 at the start of the 90s, Eno's remarkable creativity in the studio subtly guided the development of pop and rock music without ever overpowering it. Here Come The Warm Jets was his debut solo album after splitting from Roxy Music when he fell out with Bryan Ferry. It was Roxy Music's loss artistically for, as they progressed to the land of the lounge lizard, Eno set off on an esoteric and ground-breaking journey through the edges of pop and rock music.
Here Come The Warm Jets and his next album, Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy, are both his most straight ahead records and the only albums he made without instrumental tracks on them. Eno's debut doesn't stray as far from his glam roots as subsequent albums do, and yet it still takes standard pop into a strange new world. Melodically, most of the songs on the album are very simple, almost nursery rhyme like in places, and yet two facets mean most of them stand up to repeated listening and remain compelling no matter how often you hear them.
First, Eno's ability to structure a song and not to overplay it is second to none. The excellent On Some Faraway Beach is the prime example of this - for nearly three minutes keyboards and synths build across each other and, just as it reaches a point where you feel the track has fulfilled itself, the vocal begins - and you are immediately transfixed again. It's present again on the switch between Some of Them are Old and the title track, where the strange treated percussion draws you in completely and - at exactly the point you accept it will continue ad infinitum now - the harsh electronic keyboards of the final track begin.
The second facet of his skills that make his records shine is his musical ear - tracks are perfectly instrumented and balanced, and support his limited vocals. The Paw-Paw Negro Blowtorch carries more different instrumentations and vocalisations than any other 3 minute track in the history of pop and yet, in Eno's hands, never sounds remotely clumsy, running from nervous and edgy at it's start, through a humourous mid-section, in to a disturbing finale.
The range of tracks on offer - from the jagged Needle in the Camels Eye and Blank Frank to the lilting Cindy Tells Me - mean the album never sounds bland, and Eno's production means it never sounds anything other than interesting. Yet it's actually a much more accessible record than Roxy Music's first two albums, and all the better for it. The lyrics are less obtuse as well, and often darkly humourous. To round it all off, Andy Mackay and Phil Manzanera of Roxy Music lend a hand, as does Robert Fripp, and even David Bowie is there, albeit with an assumed name.
This record simply should be in every serious music fan's collection. Together with the aforementioned Taking Tiger Mountain and Another Green World, it forms a trilogy of pop records that Eno recorded that really had a marked influence on the way people viewed the process of recording and production and, on top of that, all 3 of them are excellent. It belongs to the Glam movement, but is as different from it as The Beatles were to the rest of Merseybeat. If you do buy it, both the other albums mentioned above are well worth checking out and, of his more ambient records, Apollo is a good starting point as the most accessible. My Life In The Bush of Ghosts (with David Byrne) should be in your collection too - it's remarkable, and even more so considering it was recorded at the start of the '80s. Once you've bought those, there's the albums he worked on for Bowie (Low, Heroes and Lodger), the records he helped U2 with (notably The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby) and Roxy Music's first two to check out next. Make no mistake - Eno has had a huge influence on the way things sound today, and this album was where he really began to expand his craft.
on 11 September 2005
There are several great reasons why I love Brian Eno's debut LP. It makes a change from the Roxy Music albums I've listened to as well as showcasing his remarkable talent for playing snake guitar, the synth, and treating the other instruments, and, oh yes!, "Baby's On Fire".
Of all the versions that were recorded by Eno, this one stands out from the pack. Simon King's brill drumming, Paul Rudolph on guitar, and bass, Screetching quality guitar from Bob Fripp, and John Wetton on second bass guitar. I think Brian Eno done the right thing by quitting Roxy Music in July 1973.
Most of the musicians who played on this album, also played on "Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy", "Another Green World", and "Before And After Science", which contained the wonderful, "Backwater", and "King's Lead Hat".
on 14 May 2008
I first bought this vinyl lp as it was released way back when and was, at the time, blown away with it. It is probably the ultimate glamrock record in a most understated way. It could even be one of those best ever recordings that we hear about every now and then but with which we rarely agree. This is a true statement of art.
For those who disagree, take a listen to Baby's On Fire and then watch the film Velvet Goldmine. Take a listen to Blank Frank on a powerful Hi-Fi with the volume cranked right up. I dare you to relive the lipstick and fur.
Creative tension is good, but more than one leader in a band never works for long and after two groundbreaking albums with Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry and Eno parted company. After a couple of singles (which would have made nice bonus tracks), Eno recorded his dazzling solo album in September 1973. Bowie-esque in places, primal or avant-garde in others, it includes Baby's On Fire, the first song he ever wrote, and Cindy Tells Me, with its Roxy-like lines about Hotpoints left to rust in kitchenettes. There is considerable camp humour, too, as when he exclaims, "oh, cheeky cheeky, oh, naughty sneaky" (Dead Finks Don't Talk).
Some have said that since the rest of Roxy Music (apart from Ferry) were employed as session men, the album gives a glimpse of what Roxy Music would have sounded like had Eno won the ego wars. I don't think this is true though, partly because the methodology is different when recording a solo album, and secondly because no more than a couple of members from the group play on any one track. Phil Manzanera adds distinctive guitar to 3 tracks, but Robert Fripp, Paul Rudolph and Chris Spedding contribute to the rest. All the sound is treated by Eno in his inimitable way. With hindsight, the multi-layered instrumental sections with their gamelan interludes and subtly-changing atmospherics can be seen as early indications of the paths he was to follow, though none of that was apparent at the time
on 22 June 2015
The first album by Brian Eno after his departure from Roxy Music and a brilliant effort it is too. Outstanding tracks include:- Baby's On Fire, Dead Finks Don't Talk and Here Come The Warm Jets and the line up of guest musicians are just stellar:- Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay and Paul Thompson (all from Roxy Music), Simon King, Bill MacCormick, Chris Spedding, Robert Fripp and John Wetton. Definitely a great first solo album to own from an iconic innovator of ambient tunes.
on 11 January 2001
If you want to hear what Roxy Music could have/should have been then go no further. The refreshingly naive approach from Brian Eno is a joy to behold and when it appeared in the early seventies, it blew away the pomposity of the whole rock scene, for those wise enough to listen to it.
Where Roxy Music went safe, Eno dared to be different and this set his career path in an always interesting direction.
A quintesically English album and highly recommended
on 4 April 2016
Truly - a superb album from beginning to end, that I've rediscovered after having the LP when it first came out. Robert Fripp's long solo on"Baby's On Fire" will remain forever one of rock music's greatest moments.
on 27 January 2016
How to describe Brian Eno's debut solo album? Well, it's extremely varied, there are alot of oddities contained within the disk. Each fits the record in their own chaotic sort of way. I'd suggest this if you're big on the first two Roxy Music albums; or if not, listen to the title track and perhaps Cindy Tells me, to get a feel for the 'tamer' efforts on this album.
on 24 December 2015
The most incredible original 10 slices of pop innovation I'm still waiting to be bettered after it's release in 1973.What's so amazing is that every one of it's tracks are different.I can see from other comments that different, generation of people are being delighted by it's beautiful collection of surf glam ,psychedelic blues ,spaced out buzz guitar parcels of joy. . I just bought it ,again ,because up until recently his albums have always been to expensive.In this new era of vinyl's reemergence ,old CD buffers can at last pay a decent price for our seemingly outmoded devices.Too late to stop.