I thought I’d start sharing some of my favorite records that have stuck with me over the years. These are typically albums that changed the way I look at music.
A decent place to start for me is Brian Eno’s Another Green World. As a young teenager it rocked the way I heard music.
I was introduced to the album when I lived in Toronto before I moved to Memphis. Probably late ‘94 or early ‘95. I enjoyed U2, Talking Heads, etc. and realized he was a common theme. I saw the album at Penguin Music and picked it up on a whim.
It ended up being an amazing introduction to “avant guarde” music. It hit that sweet spot between being accessible and more experimental like Discreet Music, Ambient 1, etc.
There are moments of almost pop-like quality. But song structure is mostly ababandoned. Textures are focused on more than melody. Even instruments are treated in ways that sound completely alien. Many things that I thought were synthesizers turned out to be guitars or studio experimentation with sounds.
Robert Fripp’s guitar is just otherworldly. No hint of blues influence to be found. The personnel descriptions on the tracks are both fitting and hilarious. A great example is “Golden Hours”
- Robert Fripp: Wimborne guitar
- John Cale: viola
- Brian Eno: choppy organs, spasmodic percussion, club guitars, uncertain piano, vocals
In general the personnel is incredible: Fripp, John Cale, Percy Jones, and Phil Collins. And the end result isn’t anything like any of them had made before. I would have loved to be a fly on the wall in these sessions.
I find myself coming back to the album over and over across the years. It’s a calm, comfortable place. Avant guarde, but not sterile.