Another Green World
|Another Green World|
|Studio album by Eno|
|Recorded||July–August 1975, Island Studios, London|
|Genre||Art rock, ambient, experimental|
|Producer||Brian Eno, Rhett Davies|
Another Green World is the third studio album by English musician Brian Eno. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, it was originally released by Island Records in September 1975. As he had done with previous solo albums, Eno worked with several guest musicians including Phil Collins, John Cale and Robert Fripp. The album marked a great musical change from Eno's previous albums. Using his instruction cards the Oblique Strategies for guidance, the album contained fewer lyric-based rock songs and had stronger emphasis on instrumental productions; many without the aid of guest musicians. The dark humour of the lyrics also changed to more dreamlike and obscure songs.
The album failed to chart in the United States or the United Kingdom. Another Green World met with high praise from several critics, while others suggesting that the album was too great a departure from Eno's previous more rock-based material. Modern reception of Another Green World has been very positive; several critics and publications often place the album on lists of the top albums of all time. The title track was used as the theme music for BBC Two television's arts series Arena.
Another Green World was recorded at Island Studios in London during the months of July and August 1975. Brian Eno originally viewed his new album as an experiment and entered the recording studio with nothing written or prepared beforehand. For the first four days in the studio, Eno failed to be productive. To look for new ideas, Eno turned to his instructional cards, the Oblique Strategies, and began coming up with new ideas as he did with his previous album Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).
Some of the album credits for the instruments have fanciful names that describe the sound they make. The "Castanet Guitars" are electric guitars played with mallets and are electronically treated to sound something like castanets. The "Leslie piano" is an acoustic piano miked and fed through a Leslie speaker with a built-in revolving horn speaker. Eno described the "snake guitar" and "digital guitar" by stating "the kind of lines I was playing reminded me of the way a snake moves through the brush, a sort of speedy, forceful, liquid quality. Digital guitar is a guitar threaded through a digital delay but fed back on itself a lot so it makes this cardboard tube type of sound."
Like his previous two solo efforts, Eno had several guest musicians contributing to Another Green World. Unlike his previous albums, Eno worked on more solo material. Seven songs on the album have Eno playing all the instruments himself, including electronic and nonelectronic keyboards, guitars, and percussion. Among the guest musicians was Phil Collins, who played drums on Tiger Mountain and got along with Eno, which led to calling him and fellow Brand X bandmate Percy Jones to play on Another Green World. On recording the album, Collins recalled
"[Eno] gave us all a bit of paper, and we made lists from one to 15. Eno said 'No. 2, we all play a G; No. 7 we all play a C sharp'; an so on. So it was like painting by numbers...[Eno] used to love me and Percy; we'd go in and run through our dictionary licks and he'd record them and make a loop of them."
Robert Fripp, who worked with Eno on (No Pussyfooting) and Here Come the Warm Jets, performed the solo on "St. Elmo's Fire". Eno asked Fripp to improvise a lightning-fast guitar solo that would imitate an electrical charge between two poles on a Wimshurst high voltage generator.
Music and lyrics 
Another Green World represents a turning point in Brian Eno's musical career. While his previous albums contained quirky rock songs, on Another Green World only five of the fourteen tracks have lyrics. The instrumental tracks explore a new kind of sound that is more quiet and restful, marking the change between Eno's earlier rock songs and his later instrumental works in which texture and timbre are the most important musical elements. "Sky Saw" opens the album with the instruments constantly changing structure, except for one of the two bass parts which plays the same pattern throughout. Eno has re-used differently mixed instrumentations of "Sky Saw" for a track for Music for Films and a song for Ultravox's debut album which he would later produce. "Over Fire Island" has a jazz influence on the bass and drumming style. "In Dark Trees" and "The Big Ship" are two songs on which Eno plays all the instruments, namely the synthesiser, synthetic percussion and treated rhythm generator. The pulse of these songs is provided by the repeated rhythm coming from the rhythm box. These instrumental pieces and others like "Little Fishes" have been described as "highly imagistic, like paintings done in sound that actually resemble their titles".
To create the lyrics, Eno would later play the backing tracks singing nonsense syllables to himself, then taking them and forming them into actual words, phrases and meaning. This lyric-writing method was used for all his vocal-based recordings of the 1970s. The tracks that do feature lyrics are in the same free-associative style as Eno's previous albums. The humour in the lyrics has been described as "less bizarre than gently whimsical and addled".
Another Green World was released in September 1975 and did not chart in either the United Kingdom or the United States. The album's reception was for the most part very favourable. Henry Edwards of High Fidelity wrote positively of the album, claiming it to be Eno's "most accessible to date". Tom Hill of The Village Voice also noted the accessibility of the album, stating "It wouldn't be fair to say that Another Green World is Eno's best album, but certainly it is his easiest to love." Charley Walters of Rolling Stone praised the album, claiming "Eno insists on risks, and that they so consistently pan out is a major triumph. I usually shudder at such a description, but Another Green World is indeed an important record—and also a brilliant one". Negative reviews of the album focused on the lack of rock songs of previous albums. Jon Pareles of Crawdaddy! wrote "This ain't no Eno record. I don’t care what the credits say. It doesn't even get on my nerves." Lester Bangs of The Village Voice shared this view, noting "I found much of it a bit too, well, "Becalmed", as one of its precisely programmatic titles declared. Those little pools of sound on the outskirts of silence seemed to me the logical consequence of letting the processes and technology share your conceptual burden". Robert Christgau suggested the same at first, but wrote in his review "Although I resisted at first, I've grown to love every minute of this arty little collection of static (i.e., non-swinging) synthesizer pieces (with vocals, percussion, and guitar)." In 1977, Another Green World was voted one of the best albums of the year in the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll for 1976.
In 2004, Virgin Records began reissuing Eno's albums in remastered digipaks. Modern reception of the album has been more unanimously positive. Steve Huey of Allmusic called the album "A universally acknowledged masterpiece" and "the perfect introduction to his achievements even for those who find ambient music difficult to enjoy." Chris Ott of Pitchfork Media gave the album a rating of 9.8/10, declaring it one of Eno's most important albums. Q praised the album as "breathtakingly ahead of its time". Music publications Allmusic, Blender, Mojo and Uncut all have given it five stars, their highest ratings. The album has made several top albums lists. Pitchfork placed the album at number ten on its list of greatest albums of the 1970s. In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album number 429 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2003, Blender placed the album on its list of "500 CDs You Must Own: Alternative Rock", stating that the album is "Experimental yet accessible, it’s exactly the kind of album that Eno devotees long for from him today". The album also ranked at number 36 in NME's list of the greatest albums of the seventies.
Track listing 
All songs written by Brian Eno.
Side one 
- "Sky Saw" – 3:25
- "Over Fire Island" – 1:49
- "St. Elmo's Fire" – 3:02
- "In Dark Trees" – 2:29
- "The Big Ship" – 3:01
- "I'll Come Running" – 3:48
- "Another Green World" – 1:38
Side two 
- "Sombre Reptiles" – 2:26
- "Little Fishes" – 1:30
- "Golden Hours" – 4:01
- "Becalmed" – 3:56
- "Zawinul/Lava" – 3:00
- "Everything Merges with the Night" – 3:59
- "Spirits Drifting" – 2:36
- Brian Eno — vocals, synthesiser, bass guitar, guitar, percussion, drum machine, piano, keyboards, Hammond and Farfisa organ, Yamaha bass pedals, sound effects, producer
- John Cale — viola on "Sky Saw" and "Golden Hours"
- Phil Collins — drums, percussion on "Sky Saw", "Over Fire Island", and "Zawinul/Lava"
- Robert Fripp — electric guitars on "St. Elmo's Fire," "I'll Come Running," and "Golden Hours"
- Percy Jones — fretless bass on "Sky Saw", "Over Fire Island", and "Zawinul/Lava"
- Roderick Melvin — Fender Rhodes piano, piano on "Sky Saw," "I'll Come Running," and "Zawinul/Lava"
- Paul Rudolph — bass, bass guitar, guitar, snare drum on "Sky Saw," "I'll Come Running", and "Zawinul/Lava"
- Brian Turrington – bass guitar, piano on "Everything Merges with the Night"
Additional personnel 
- Rhett Davies — producer, engineer
- Robert Ash – assistant engineer
- Guy Bidmead – assistant engineer
- Barry Sage – assistant engineer
- Bob Bowkett — typography
- Ritva Saarikko – photography
- Tom Phillips — cover art (detail from After Raphael)
Sales chart performance 
|New Zealand Albums Chart||24|
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