Brian Eno has been (and remains) a lot of things: from activist and visual artist to producer of the world’s biggest bands. Since stomping into the spotlight with Roxy Music, he’s become one of the most important names in music.
Eno’s influence can be heard from early-70s glam to contemporary stadium rock, via post-punk, ambient, world and experimental music. But nothing tops Eno’s first four (non-ambient) solo albums for warp-speed evolution. Remastered at half-speed for 45rpm double vinyl, these post-Roxy releases defined the very idea of art rock: music that’s experimental, conceptual, witty, provocative and sexy.
The range of music that Eno made from 1974’s free-associative psych-glam gem Here Come The Warm Jets to 1977’s Before And After Science, which swings between angular anthems and, inspired by his work with Cluster, the beginnings of ambience, is staggering.
Eno’s other 1974 album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) covers revolution and air disaster in a joyous proto-punk art-pop romp, while 1975’s Another Green World leaps into gorgeous synth minimalism. “His Dada was a postman,” said Taking Tiger Mountain’s original sleevenotes; a joke that also manages to sum up these strikingly simple yet head-scratchingly odd works of art.