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Customer Review

on 12 January 2004
'The idea of making music in some way related to a sense of place-landscape, envorment...My conscious exploration of this way of thinking about music probably began with "Another Green World" (1975). On that record I became aware of setting each piece within its own particular landscape and allowing the mood of that landscape to determine the kinds of activity that could occur...everything that happens is part of the landscape. There is no longer a sharp distinction between foreground and background'- Brian Eno, 1986.
Eno had been associated with some brilliant records before this- notably the first two Roxy albums & Here Come the Warm Jets; but Another Green World was the start of something else. The sounds it explores would influence and recur on such later records as Harmonium 76, Low, Fear of Music, "Heroes", Remain in Light, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts & Power Spot. Each track creates a world of its own, Eno & a roster of great musicians (John Cale, Phil Collins, Robert Fripp, Percy Jones etc)& advice from Phil Manzarena, the late Ian MacDonald, Robert Wyatt, Pete Townshend & Peter Schmidt (the latter would provide artistic influence in terms of approach: those OBLIQUE STRATEGIES). The music is otherworldly and precedes such climes as The Aphex Twin (Selected Ambient Works), Pere Ubu (Sentimental Journey), Wire (Chairs Missing),David Sylvian (Rain Tree Crow), Associates (Fourth Drawer Down), Radiohead (Kid A)& Peter Gabriel (4). Let's note that it's Eno and his collaboraters- not just Eno alone.
The songs flow together wonderfully- from Sky Saw's circular drones and a vocal close to autosuggestion to Over Fire Island's instrumental climes, which perfectly lead into the beauty of St Elmo's Fire- with amazingly warm leftfield guitar from Eno & Fripp. The title track itself is famous as the them to the BBC's long running show Arena & sounds great on a compilation just before Warszawa...
Not only is the music brilliant, but the songs have wonderful titles (Sombre Reptiles, Everything Merges with the Night, In Dark Trees)& the cover- "After Raphael"- is one of the greatest album covers of all time. Ever. Eternally. To infinity. (& beyond). There's gorgeous pop here, and Mr Eno is an underrated singer (though a part of me wonder's what Mr Ferry would have sounded like singing some of these songs...)- I'll Come Running (listed amongst other great popsongs in Paul Morley's Words & Music)follows the alien-realm of The Big Ship (which sounds post-Playing With Fire, 13 years before said Spacemen 3 album)& is simply sublime. The warmest pop song ever, a leftfield love ode ("I'm going to waste the rest of my days...just watching patiently from the window...I want to be your wandering sailor...with silohettes by the light of the moon..I sit playing solitare by the window...just waiting, seasons change, ah ha- you'll see!...I'll come running to tie your shoes"). Fripp's guitar is perfection, while the repeated chorus turns into a mantra- the song kind of verse/verse/chorus/guitar solo/chorus (recurring).
Little Fishes is a definite precusor towards the sound of 1978's Ambient 1:Music for Airports, sounding like the missing link between John Cage and Van Der Graaf Generator (in minature). Becalmed extends on these ambient climes and works well against the vocal tracks, or the songs with more ethnic percussion (Peter Gabriel's shift towards world music would not be possible without this record, I think). Zawinul/Lava opens with extremely minimal piano- we're talking Satie- as the other instruments build in the background & a mesh of noises occur and recur. Spirits Drifting is perfect ambient music, I wonder why people insist on getting wasted to that dullness known as Dark Side of the Moon and not say this or Future Days (Can)?
My favourite track remains Golden Hours, four minutes of art-pop from Eno, Cale & Fripp; Eno playing 'uncertain piano', 'spasmodic percussion' & 'choppy organs' to Cale & Fripp's weapons of choice (viola, wimborne guitar). The music is wonderfully minimal, all bound together by Eno's vocal melody ("several times")- wonderful guitar, the kind of pop-repetition common to The Neptunes & wonderful keyboard drones amid vocals drifting from the fore to the background and coming together...
Another Green World, along with Her Come the Warm Jets are probably the best primers to Eno- though Thursday Afternoon, No Pussyfooting, Music for Airports, On Land, Plateaux of Mirrors, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts & Brian Eno: Vocal are just as worthy (...and the rest). A truly classic album and one that easily stands against such inventive classics of the era- Future Days, Neu!, A Wizard A True Star, Dark Magus, No Other & Propaganda...
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