[Review] Eno: Another Green World (1975)

Eno’s warped pop sensibilities and ambient interests merge on his magnum opus.

Kronomyth 4.0: A world of one’s own.

Unreality, solemnity, unconscious continuity. They’re not the sort of words you expect to see in the review of a rock & roll record. And, of course, Another Green World is not a rock & roll record. Instead, it takes the concept of “art rock” at face value, creating musical vignettes that owe more to modern sculpture and pointillist painting than “Love Me Do” or “Jailhouse Rock.”

In every meaningful way, Another Green World is a culmination of Brian Eno’s two musical halves: pop saboteur and accidental/environmental composer. What unifies them is, surprisingly, a sentimentality rarely found on Brian Eno’s records. This can be heard on the peaks that occur on side one (“The Big Ship/I’ll Come Running”) and side two (“Golden Hours/Becalmed”). Here, we’re not treated to Eno the musical archmage in his high studio tower conjuring fantastical monsters, but to expressions of submissive love, uncertainty, longing and peace.

Eno had written wistful pop songs before (“On Some Faraway Beach,” “Some of Them Are Old”), but they were like paper roses strung on barbed wire. What Eno achieves on Another Green World is an emotional connection, using (and here is the album’s crowning achievement) a new musical language. The result is an album that feels very personal and completely alien at the same time.

The stunning opening sequence of “Sky Saw” (which sounds like a holdover from his last record, Taking Tiger Mountain) and “Over Fire Island” (which anticipates the music of Brand X) and the aforementioned peaks are the sum and substance of Another Green World. Remove them, and what you have are accidental instrumentals (“Little Fishes,” “Sombre Reptiles”) and nasally rendered pop songs that are rescued from the brink of ridicule by Robert Fripp’s brilliant guitar solos. Although it may sound like a perfect record, Another Green World is really the beneficiary of a natural genius and felicitous chaos rather than a calculated attempt to make great art (which it ultimately is). In fact, given Eno’s affinity for his Oblique Strategies cards, one might call Another Green World his greatest bluff.

Original LP Version

A1. Sky Saw (3:27)
A2. Over Fire Island (1:51)
A3. St. Elmo’s Fire (3:01)
A4. In Dark Trees (2:32)
A5. The Big Ship (2:37)
A6. I’ll Come Running (3:50)
A7. Another Green World (1:42)
B1. Sombre Reptiles (2:23)
B2. Little Fishes (1:32)
B3. Golden Hours (4:00)
B4. Becalmed (3:55)
B5. Zawinul/Lava (2:56)
B6. Everything Merges With The Night (4:03)
B7. Spirits Drifting (2:47)

All songs written by Brian Eno.

The Players

Brian Eno (guitars incl. snake, digital, desert, castanet & club guitar, synthesizer, tape, organ, piano, Yamaha bass pedals, percussion, treated rhythm generator, chord piano, electric elements, unnatural sounds, bass guitar) with John Cale (viole section, viola), Phil Collins (drums, percussion), Robert Fripp (Wimshurst guitar, restrained lead guitar, Wimborne guitar), Percy Jones (fretless bass), Rod Melvin (Rhodes piano, lead piano), Paul Rudolph (anchor bass, snare drums, bass guitar, assistant castanet guitars, guitar), Brian Turrington (bass guitars, pianos). Produced by Brian Eno and Rhett Davies; engineered by Rhett Davies.

The Plastic

Released on elpee in September 1975 in the UK (Polydor, 2302 069) and the US (Island, ILPS-9351) {black label}.

  1. Re-issued on elpee in 1977 in Japan (Polydor, MPF-1153).
  2. Re-issued on elpee in 1978 in the US (Island, ILPS-9351) {blue label}.
  3. Re-issued on elpee and cassette in 1982 in the US (Editions EG, ENO/ENOC 3).
  4. Re-issued on elpee, cassette and compact disc in the UK (Editions EG, EGLP/EGMC/EGCD-21).
  5. Re-issued on compact disc in Japan (Virgin, VJCP-3275).
  6. Re-released on super-high material compact disc on April 8, 2015 in Japan (Virgin, UICY-25466).
  7. Re-issued on remastered elpee in the US (Astralwerks, 2557951639-2).
  8. Re-released on half-speed mastered 2LP in 2017 in Europe (Virgin/UMC, ENO2LP3).

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