Tuesday Tunes: Another Green World by Brian Eno

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One of the things I want to do with the Tuesday Tunes segment is to give a shout out to some of the music that has accompanied and inspired my writing. My musical muse. There are a handful of artists whose music I keep coming back to while writing, and one of them, who will no doubt return to these pages, is Brian Eno.

Recorded in 1975, Another Green World was the last album recorded under the more mysterious name of Eno, and marks the start of a transition from the glam-rock inspired sound of his first two solo efforts, towards the more experimental, ambient sounds he later became known for.

There are lyrics to some of the tracks of this album, although as the opening track, Sky Saw, says:

All the words float in sequence
No-one knows what they mean
Everyone just ignores them

And that’s exactly how it is; only five out of the 14 tracks on this disc have lyrics, and those that do are pretty easy to ignore, which for me, makes ideal writing music. They range from the mellow St Elmo’s Fire, to the more upbeat I’ll Come Running, to the slightly creepy Golden Hours; all quirkily incomprehensible but on the whole easy to leave in the background.

The instrumental tracks are a pretty mixed bunch; not much here is quite as unobtrusive as real ambient music as Eno later came to define it, but some individual tracks (Becalmed, Little Fishes) are a good precursor to Eno’s later, album-length ambient works. Zawinul/Lava has a fairly stripped back, minimal sound, while others like In Dark Trees and The Big Ship make full use of Eno’s talent with a synthesiser to produce moody and atmospheric tracks.

Stand-out track: Becalmed, 4 minutes of pure ambient bliss, just Eno and his gadgets, the way it should be. I could easily have a whole CD of this on while writing (or working, or drifting off to sleep…). Thankfully, that’s precisely what he went and did next.

I have to admit that I often overlook this album as writing music, opting for something from Eno’s later Ambient or Music for Films series, but having listened again in its entirety, I think Another Green World offers a much more eclectic selection of music than most Eno albums, and will probably have something to suit almost any writing mood.

Musically, it marks the transition from weird glam-rocker to godfather of ambient, and is an excellent introduction to the breadth of Eno’s musical talent in both fields. Oh, and if you get hold of a physical copy, check out the liner notes – Eno gets credited with playing, among other weird and wacky instruments: choppy organs, spasmodic percussion and uncertain piano.

And that’s just on one track.

Listen along

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