Here Come the Warm Jets
01. Needles in the Camel's Eye (3:10)
02. The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch (3:05)
03. Baby's on Fire (5:18)
04. Cindy tells me (3:25)
05. Driving me backwards (5:11)
06. On Some Faraway Beach (4:36)
07. Blank Frank (3:35)
08. Dead Finks don't Talk (4:20)
09. Some of them are Old (5:11)
10. Here Come the Warm Jets (4:02)
- Brian Eno / vocals, keyboards, guitars, synthesizers, treatments
- Simon King / drums
- Nick Kool / keyboards
- Nick Judd / keyboards
- Andy Mackay / keyboards, saxophone
- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Phil Manzanera / guitar
- Paul Rudolph / guitar, bass
- Chris Spedding / guitar
- Busta Cherry Jones / bass
- Bill McCormick / bass
- John Wetton / bass
- Marty Simon / percussion
- Paul Thompson / percussion
- Lloyd Watson / slide guitar
- Sweetfeed / backing vocals
- Chris Thomas / bass
There has never been an artist more mystic (in the prog world, anyway) than Brian Eno. He has had many occupations that have influenced many musicians: he was the founding father of ambient music (though some might give him nosmall amount of flak for starting new age slop), a glam rocker, an expert at the synthesizer and many other strange electronic devices, a producer of hits for U2 and Talking Heads, an explorer of non-western musical themes and, as he was known to everyone who liked him, a "non-musician."
Mr. Eno was born in Woodbridge on May 15, 1948. His birth name was (deep breath...) Brian Peter George St. Jean le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. Growing up in the neighboring town of Suffolk (which was close to a American Air Force camp), he became fascinated by music when listening to doo wop and R&B on the Armed Forces radio stations. He later developed an interest towards avant-garde composers like John Cage and Terry Riley. In 1971, he became a member of the seminal rock band ROXY MUSIC. Eno joined them because he knew how to operate a certain synthesizer that none of the other members could. Some rock fans thought that he was gay because he wore makeup and women's clothing. His unusual appearance was offstaging the ROXY MUSIC frontman Bryan Ferry, who began to grow agitated as a result. After several fights with Ferry, Eno quit ROXY MUSIC to record some albums of his own sound.
The first album with Eno's name on it was 1973's "No Pussyfooting", an early ambient venture that he recorded with fellow EG Records recording artist Robert Fripp (most famous as the guitarist of KING CRIMSON). Most of the album was a Gibson Les Paul played by Fripp running through a tape-delay system. This new method would be dubbed "Frippertronics," a system that Fripp would later use in his solo career. (The sampling of sounds later set the stage for electronica and hip-hop.) Eno's first true solo album was 1973's "Here Come The Warm Jets", which managed to make the Top 30 in the UK. This time around, Eno had a glam rock sound that David Bowie and QUEEN had popularized. The album proved so critically popular that Eno (even though he was in poor health) decided to tour. The tour was cancelled shortly because of a collapsed lung.
In 1974, he released "Taking Tiger Mountain" (By Strategy), which was a similar collection of free form rock songs. Shortly after the album was
released, a serious car accident left Eno bedridden for several months. While in the hospital, a friend brought him an album of classical music. One channel of the stereo had failed completely, but because he was unable to get up and fix it, Eno heard some sounds in the sole working channel that made him very amazed. This experience was essentially the birth of ambient music. In fact, in 1975, Eno squeezed out TWO 100% instrumental ambient albums: Discreet Music, an independent release based mainly on Pachelbel's Canon in D Major; and "Evening Star", a second collaboration with Robert Fripp. Earlier, another rock album, "Another Green World", was released. Generally considered Eno's best album, this album had the sound scenario of "past meets the presents and predicts the future": many abstract pop/rock songs were paired beside some dense, instrumental minimalist compositions. The album featured several guest musicians, including Phil Collins and Robert Fripp.
Eno's last album of pop songs was 1977's "Before And After Science", the second chapter to "Another Green World". Afterwards, he focused his attention towards more innovative, ambient-sounding recordings (the purpose of the Ambient series, which featured Music For Airports, another "classic" of his). He did, however, get involved in some rock/pop ventures. He played on a trio of David Bowie albums recorded in and inspired by Europe (Low, Heroes and Lodger). He was also a part-time producer for "Talking Heads", whose leader David Byrne recorded with him the well-received "My Life In The Bush of Ghosts".
While leaving in the Southern Ontario region, he managed get his hands on a copy of an album by children's artist Raffi. Eno thought the sonics were so good that he wanted to work with the engineer, a Mr. Daniel Lanois. At that time, Daniel Lanois and his brother Bob owned and operated a basement recording studio where Raffi and Ian Tyson (among others) had recorded. The first album Eno recorded with Lanois was "Ambient 2: The Plateux of Mirror". The collaboration with Lanois would lead him to produce million-selling albums by Peter Gabriel (So) and U2 (The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby). Since the early 90's, Eno has mainly been releasing a series of unsuccessful independent albums, but occasionally is seen in public. He
co-produced by the successful "All That You Can't Leave Behind" by U2 and also gave a congratulatory speech (in sign language!) to Daniel Lanois's induction into the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. In 2004, he reunited with Robert Fripp to do another ambient album called "The Equitorial Stars".
Brian Eno's first solo outing, 1973's self-produced HERE COME THE WARM JETS is an excellent album, for those who can appreciate inspired lunacy -- but it's nothing like his later ambient works, or the generally more serious and disciplined ANOTHER GREEN WORLD and BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE.
This recording is great fun, but it's certainly not for everyone. Along with the clever studio craft that would later make him perhaps the most sought-after producer in modern music, Eno shows a wicked sense of humour. If you have a hard time with "novelty" songs, and humour in music in general, be warned: silly songs like "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch" (try getting away with that title today!), "Driving Me Backwards," "Blank Frank" and "Dead Finks Don't Talk" may well drive you away from your speakers and toward the STOP button... but I welcome witty wackiness in music, especially when it's as well executed as this!
Yes, variety is good, and in addition to the prevailing madness, there is also sentiment, beauty, and just plain catchy, multi-layered pop pleasure to be found in plentitude on more restrained tracks like "Cindy Tells Me," the lush "On Some Faraway Beach," and the infectious instrumental title track.
The list of guest musicians is impressive: on board for maestro Eno's wild ride are Robert Fripp, John Wetton, Chris Spedding, Nick Judd, and Roxy Music members Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, and Paul Thompson. (If you haven't heard Fripp's absolutely blistering solo on the essential, acerbic "Baby's on Fire," then you're missing out on one of the best things he's ever laid down outside the Crimson fold!)
Why do so many diverse artists, from Bowie to Ultravox to James to Paul Simon to U2 hire Brian Eno to work his magic on their albums? The answer can begin to be discerned here. Tasty stuff -- if you like it - and a very strong debut from one of the most important and influential figures in modern music.