Back in the days of vinyl albums, there were liner notes and information on the jacket that always brought the fun of listening to a new level. Like reading a cereal box, it’s an educational experience. I was always attracted to the producer of the albums. This started back with the Beatles. George Martin was considered the fifth Beatle for a reason. The producer put it all together, made the record sound unique and it could either make or break the artist.
Todd Rundgren, John Cale and Richard Gotterher were a few of the main producers of interest in the punk days. Brian Eno entered the scene with Talking Heads and was extremely outspoken about his admiration of the punk sound. I knew Eno from Roxy Music and soon discovered he had a couple of solo albums.
I discovered an album by Eno called “Here Come The Warm Jets.” It featured mostly Eno with some other musicians, including Phil Manzenera of Roxy Music and Robert Fripp from King Crimson. King Crimson were one of the few prog-rock bands I found interesting. Fripp was an oddball. I liked the oddballs of rock, obviously. Fripp’s guitar solo on the song “Babys On Fire” is legendary. It’s so good it hurts.
“Here Come The Warm Jets” is an unusual album with some very strange sounds and hilarious lyrics. The feel of the album has some definite glam-rock overtones, some artsy punk stylings ala Talking Heads, with layers of Roxy type synthesizers and that crazy guitar work of Fripp and Manzenera. It’s a brilliant album most of the time, but completely unlistenable in parts. But that’s okay because it’s art. You aren’t supposed to like it all. It could be offensive, obnoxious, yet colorful and brilliant. Certainly beyond the mainstream. I imagine that as a child, Brian Eno liked to color outside the lines of the coloring book, maybe outside of the book. There is a childish quality to Eno’s albums that I find most amusing. His music makes me smile.
This album is a work of art and it opened me up to another level of music. I revisited the early Roxy Music albums at this point and understood them better, started listening more to the Bowie’s “Low” and “Heroes” albums, which I was not fond of before. Eno expanded your mind like acid, without actually taking acid.
Brian Eno has a ton of albums, mostly ambient music for films, airports and elevators, but “Here Come The Warm Jets” and a couple of others like “Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy” and “Before And After Science” are the closest he ever came to pop music.
Brian Eno is an acquired taste to say the least. I don’t like everything he does, and that’s okay. I have huge respect for him and will always be interested in whatever piques his interest.