Brian Eno – Another Green World
Recently Vinyl Factory published a list where 15 artists picked their favorite Brian Eno record. I assumed it would be, as my friend Patrick V. put it, 15 entries of My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, Eno’s 1981 collaboration with David Byrne of Talking Heads. How wrong we were. But I was stunned when five of the selections, all of them by my favorite artists on the list, were for the same album. It was not however My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, instead the honor went to Eno’s 1975 release, Another Green World. I did not own this album but when that many musicians I respect speak, I move!
Another Green World was chosen as the favorite Brian Eno album by Alex Patterson of ambient/dance/electronic juggernaut The Orb. It was also selected by Patterson’s long term partner in The Orb, Thomas Fehlmann. The album was picked by Boris Blank, the legendary musician behind Swiss electro band Yello. As well it was chosen by early Ultravox singer John Foxx and groundbreaking avant garde pianist Harold Budd. These are some real heavy hitters in my book and I was curious and excited to try to find what had struck such a wide array of incredible artists about this release.
Another Green World is the record where Eno moved away from standard song structure and, for the most part, vocals to explore uncharted territory. Much has been made of the guest spots on the album by Robert Fripp, John Cale and Phil Collins but truthfully the majority of it is Eno working solo. The album was created with a number of odd self imposed restrictions which were designed to boost creative thinking. This is readily evidenced in how many instruments are utilized in unusual fashions. The greatest revelation of the record though is its blending styles. Jazz, rock, pop and even disco are drawn upon and fused into something wholly new.
My main takeaway is that this album is perhaps the first example of electronic made organic. It is so easy to hear how it drastically influenced David Bowie, Gary Numan and countless others, such as those who chose it in the list that spurred me to buy it. One truth this blog is revealing to me is that no matter how much music I am familiar with and how deep my knowledge of it may run I almost daily encounter something new to hear and learn about. To me these experiences are why music is so valuable.