Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Here Come the Warm Jets - Brian Eno (1974)

This is Eno’s first solo album an easily his most exciting.  Here Come the Warm Jets continues with the glam, art rock style Eno had done with his former band, Roxy Music.  The album features numerous guest musicians as well as the other members of Roxy Music save for vocalist, Bryan Ferry.  The album is commonly viewed as the 3rd Roxy album under the direction of Eno instead of Ferry.  Roxy’s third album, Stranded, actually compliments Warm Jets quite nicely and Eno has said himself it is one of his favorite albums.  For the album, Eno worked with the concept of utilizing musicians from different backgrounds and styles with the intention of them competing and creating musical accidents.  Eno’s direction was a little unorthodox.  He would dance for them and use body language in addition to verbal suggestions to influence the sounds they would emit.  Eno is credited as playing instruments such as, “snake guitar” which referenced the character of the sound and the treatments used.  Eno would continue to use different methods in his recording process on his next solo album, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), which employed a tactic involving flash cards.  

 Eno and Roxy members
(From left:  Andy Mackay, Eno, Paul Thompson, Phil Manzanera)

Definite highlights on the album are “The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch,” with a quirky synthesizer solo and the relaxing build up of “On Some Faraway Beach.”  The definite standout is “Baby’s On Fire.”  Robert Fripp from King Crimson steals the show with an exhausting guitar solo.  The album’s title refers to the sound of the guitar on the closing title track.  Eno described its treatment as a tuned jet.  When it comes to the lyrics of the album, Eno says not to look into them deeply.  For example, the opening track “Needles in the Camel’s Eye” has lyrics that were written in less time than it takes to actually sing.  

Brian Eno

Track to check out: Baby's On Fire

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