Here Come the Warm Jets

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Here Come the Warm Jets
A close up photo of a mantle with a desk below it. Items on the mantle include a color photo of Brian Eno, a kettle and flowers. Items on the desk below are a black-and-white photo of Eno, flowers, playing cards and cigarettes. In the top left corner of the album cover "Eno" is written. At the bottom left corner of the album, "Here Come the Warm Jets" is written.
Studio album by Eno
Released January 1974 (1974-01)[1]
Recorded September 1973 at Majestic Studios, London
Genre Art rock, glam rock
Length 42:01
Label Island
Producer Brian Eno
Eno chronology
(No Pussyfooting)
(1973)
Here Come the Warm Jets
(1974)
Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
(1974)

Here Come the Warm Jets is the debut solo album by Brian Eno, credited only as "Eno". Produced by him, it was released on Island Records in 1974. The musical style of Here Come the Warm Jets is a hybrid of glam rock and art rock, similar to Eno's previous album work with Roxy Music, although in a stronger experimental fashion. In developing the album's words and music, Eno used unusual methods such as dancing for his band members and having them play accordingly, and singing nonsense words to himself that would form the basis of subsequent lyrics. The album features various guest musicians, including members of Roxy Music, Hawkwind, Matching Mole, and The Pink Fairies, as well as Chris Spedding, and Robert Fripp of King Crimson, who collaborated with Eno a year before in (No Pussyfooting).

Here Come the Warm Jets peaked at number 26 on the United Kingdom album charts and number 151 on the US Billboard charts, receiving a number of positive reviews. It was re-issued on compact disc in 1990 on Island Records and in 2004 on Virgin Records, and continued to elicit praise. Critic Steve Huey of Allmusic stated that the album "still sounds exciting, forward-looking, and densely detailed, revealing more intricacies with every play".[2]

Production[edit]

Here Come the Warm Jets was recorded in twelve days at Majestic Studios in London during September 1973 by recording engineer Derek Chandler.[3][4] It was mixed at Air and Olympic Studios by Eno and audio engineer Chris Thomas.[4] The album's title was originally described by Eno as a slang term for urination.[5] However, in an interview with Mojo magazine in 1996, Eno explained that it came from a description he wrote for the treated guitar on the title track; he called it "warm jet guitar...because the guitar sounded like a tuned jet."[6][7]

The recording commenced after Eno's contributions to Captain Lockheed and the Starfighters sessions with Simon King (from Hawkwind) and Paul Rudolph (of Pink Fairies). In total, he enlisted sixteen guest musicians to play on the album with him, also including John Wetton and Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Bill MacCormick of Matching Mole, Chris Spedding and all the members of Roxy Music except vocalist Bryan Ferry. Eno selected them on the basis that he thought they were incompatible with each other musically.[3] He stated that he "got them together merely because I wanted to see what happens when you combine different identities like that and allow them to compete.... [The situation] is organized with the knowledge that there might be accidents, accidents which will be more interesting than what I had intended".[3]

Eno directed the musicians by using body language and dancing, as well as through verbal suggestion, to influence their playing and the sounds they would emit. He felt at the time that this was a good way to communicate with musicians.[8] The album credits Eno with instruments such as "snake guitar", "simplistic piano" and "electric larynx". These terms were used to describe the sound's character or the means of production used to treat the instruments.[3] After recording the individual tracks, Eno condensed and mixed the instrumentation deeply, resulting in some of the tracks bearing little resemblance to what the musicians recorded during the session.[8]

Style[edit]

"Needles in the Camel's Eye" from Here Come the Warm Jets. Eno referred to the song as "an instrumental with singing on it".

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The songs on Here Come the Warm Jets reference various musical styles from the past and present. The overall style of the album has been described as "glammed-up art-pop", showcasing glam rock's simple yet theatrical crunchy guitar rock and art rock's sonic texture and avant-garde influences.[9][10][11] In some tracks, Eno's vocals emulate the manner of the lead singer of his former band Roxy Music, Bryan Ferry.[3] On other songs such as "Baby's on Fire", they were described as "more nasal and slightly snotty vocals".[12][13] Musically, the album borrows from popular styles of the music in the 1950s such as the tinkling pianos and falsetto backing vocals on "Cindy Tells Me", and the drum rhythm of "Blank Frank", taken from Bo Diddley's song "Who Do You Love?".[3]

To create the lyrics, Eno would later play these backing tracks singing nonsense syllables to himself, then taking them and forming them into actual words, phrases and meaning.[8] This lyric-writing method was used for all his more vocal-based recordings of the 1970s.[14] The lyrics on Here Come the Warm Jets are macabre with an underlying sense of humour.[2][15] They are mostly free-associative and have no particular meaning. Exceptions include "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch", about the historical A.W. Underwood of Paw Paw, Michigan with the purported ability to set items ablaze with his breath; according to Eno, the song "celebrates the possibility of a love affair with the man."[16] Eno has attempted to dissuade fans from reading too much into his words; he claims that the song "Needles in the Camel's Eye" was "written in less time than it takes to sing...I regard [the song] as an instrumental with singing on it".[17]

Release[edit]

Eno on AVRO's television program TopPop, April 1974.

Here Come the Warm Jets was released in January 1974.[1] The album was one of Brian Eno's best-selling releases, charting for two weeks and peaking at number 26 on the UK Albums Chart on 9 March 1974,[18] and number 151 on the Billboard Top LPs & Tapes chart.[19] Eno planned a tour with the band The Winkies to accompany him following the release of Here Come the Warm Jets.[1] Eno had to depart the tour after being diagnosed with a collapsed lung.[1] After recovering, Eno played at an Island Records 1 June 1974 concert with fellow musicians Nico, Kevin Ayers and John Cale.[1]

Here Come the Warm Jets was later re-issued on Polydor in March 1977, and again on compact disc in January 1987.[1] In 2004, Virgin Records began reissuing Eno's albums in batches of four to five.[20] The remastered digipak release of Here Come the Warm Jets was released on 31 May 2004 in the UK and on 1 June 2004 in North America.[21]

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 5/5 stars[2]
BBC (favourable)[22]
Billboard (favourable)[23]
Blender 4/5 stars[24]
Robert Christgau (A)[25]
Pitchfork Media (9.2/10)[26]
PopMatters (favourable)[21]
Rolling Stone (unfavourable) 1974[27]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars 2004[28]
Spin (9/10)[29]

Initial critical reception for the album was mostly positive, praising its experimental tendencies.[8] Critic Lester Bangs of Creem declared it "Incredible",[8] while Robert Christgau also of Creem gave it an "A" rating, stating that "The idea of this record—top of the pops from quasi-dadaist British synth wizard—may put you off, but the actuality is quite engaging in a vaguely Velvet Underground kind of way."[25] Billboard wrote a positive review stating that "...while it all may be a bit unpredictable, and may be a longshot to do much in the U.S. market, it is an excellent LP."[23] The album was also placed in Circus magazine's section for "Picks of the Month".[8] Cynthia Dagnal of Rolling Stone wrote an article on Eno, calling the album "a very compelling experiment in controlled chaos and by his own self-dictated standards a near success."[8][30] The next month, Gordon Fletcher wrote a negative review for the album in the "Records" section of Rolling Stone, stating "[Eno's] record is annoying because it doesn't do anything... the listener must kick himself for blowing five bucks on baloney."[27][30] In 1974, Here Come the Warm Jets was voted one of the best albums of the year in the Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics poll for that year.[31]

Modern assessments of the album have been positive; Allmusic, Rolling Stone and Uncut gave the album five stars, their highest ratings.[2][32] In the November 2003 issue of Rolling Stone, the album charted at number 436 on the magazine's top 500 albums of all time.[33] In a retrospective review, Rolling Stone's J. D. Considine gave the album four out of five stars and commented that "It may be easy to hear both an anticipation of punk and an echo of Roxy Music in the arch clangor of Here Come the Warm Jets, but what shines brightest is the offhand accessibility of the songs", adding that "the melodies linger on [...] the album seems almost a blueprint for the pop experiments Bowie (with Eno collaborating) would conduct with Low".[28] In 2004, Pitchfork Media ranked the album at number 24 on its list of "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s",[34] as well as giving the re-issue of the album 9.2 out of 10.[35] In 2003, Blender placed the album on their list of "500 CDs You Must Own: Alternative Rock", stating that Here Come the Warm Jets "remains his best pop effort. His experimental touch turns basic glam-rock into something sick and sinister. The free-associating, posh-voiced vocals are an acquired taste, but there’s method in this madness".[36] The Canadian music magazine Exclaim! referred to Here Come the Warm Jets as "Arguably one of the greatest solo debuts of the 1970s...Songs such as “Baby's on Fire,” “Driving Me Backwards,” and “Needles in the Camel's Eye” capture the lush and sleazy underpinning narratives of the British Invasion in arrangements that sound quintessentially timeless".[37]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Brian Eno, except where noted[4]

Side one
No. Title Length
1. "Needles in the Camel's Eye" (Eno, Phil Manzanera) 3:11
2. "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch"   3:04
3. "Baby's on Fire"   5:19
4. "Cindy Tells Me" (Eno, Manzanera) 3:25
5. "Driving Me Backwards"   5:12
Side two
No. Title Length
1. "On Some Faraway Beach"   4:36
2. "Blank Frank" (Eno, Robert Fripp) 3:37
3. "Dead Finks Don't Talk" (arr. Paul Thompson, Busta Jones, Nick Judd, Eno) 4:19
4. "Some of Them Are Old"   5:11
5. "Here Come the Warm Jets"   4:04

Personnel[edit]

Charts[edit]

Year Chart Peak Position Ref.
1974 UK Albums Chart 26 [18]
1974 Billboard Pop Albums 151 [19]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f Strong, 1998. p.244
  2. ^ a b c d Huey, Steve. "Here Come the Warm Jets album review". Allmusic. Retrieved 9 May 2008. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f Tamm, 1995. p.99
  4. ^ a b c Brian Eno. Here Come the Warm Jets. Island Records, 1973.
  5. ^ Tamm, 1995. p.98
  6. ^ Eno, Brian. "Brian Eno, interviewed by Andy Gill in Mojo". Mojo. Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  7. ^ Maginnis, Tom. "Here Come the Warm Jets song review". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g Tamm, 1995, p. 100
  9. ^ Buckley, 2003 . p.344
  10. ^ "explore music...Glam Rock". Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  11. ^ "explore music...Prog-Rock/Art Rock". Retrieved 22 May 2008. 
  12. ^ Huey, Steve. "Baby's on Fire song review". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  13. ^ Howard, 2004. p.191
  14. ^ Tamm, 1995. p.81
  15. ^ Tamm, 1995. p.112
  16. ^ Eno, Brian; Mills, Russell (1986). More Dark Than Shark. London: Faber & Faber. ISBN 0-571-13883-7. 
  17. ^ Tamm, 1995. p.113
  18. ^ a b Warwick, 2004. p.379
  19. ^ a b "Here Come the Warm Jets". Allmusic. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  20. ^ "The Musical Life of Brian!". NME. 5 March 2004. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  21. ^ a b Davidson, John (29 July 2004). "Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets [reissue] – PopMatters Music Review". Popmatters. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  22. ^ Jones, Chris. "Brian Eno Here Come The Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Another Green World, Before And After Science Review". BBC. Retrieved 12 June 2009. 
  23. ^ a b "Top Album Picks". Billboard (Nielsen Business Media, Inc.) 86 (30): 60. 27 July 1974. ISSN 0006-2510. Retrieved 22 September 2009. 
  24. ^ Wolk, Douglas (2004). "Blender: Brian Eno (various reissues)". Blender. Archived from the original on 12 August 2009. 
  25. ^ a b "Robert Christgau: CG: Artist 190". Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  26. ^ Jones, Chris. "Pitchfork: Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets / Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) / Another Green World / Before and After Science". Pitchfork Media. Archived from the original on 18 May 2009. Retrieved 12 June 2009. 
  27. ^ a b Fletcher, Gordon (24 October 1974). "Here Come The Warm Jets by Brian Eno | Rolling Stone Music | Music Reviews". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Retrieved 30 April 2011. 
  28. ^ a b Considine, J. D.. Hoard, Christian (2 November 2004). "Brian Eno: Album Guide | Rolling Stone Music". Rolling Stone: 278–279. Retrieved on 30 April 2011.
  29. ^ Weisbard & Marks, 1995. p.128
  30. ^ a b Tamm, 1995. p.101
  31. ^ "The 1974 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". Retrieved 27 January 2009. 
  32. ^ "Brian Eno Here Come The Warm Jets CD". cduniverse. Retrieved 16 May 2008. 
  33. ^ "#436: Here Come the Warm Jets". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  34. ^ "Pitchfork Feature: Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". 23 June 2004. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  35. ^ "Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets / Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) / Another Green World / Before and After Science: Pitchfork Record Review". 14 June 2004. Archived from the original on 14 March 2008. Retrieved 10 May 2008. 
  36. ^ "500 CDs You Must Own: Alternative Rock: Blender". 15 March 2003. Retrieved 7 July 2009. [dead link]
  37. ^ Nasrallah, Dimitri (July 2005). "Brian Eno: Sweet Science". Exclaim!. Retrieved 23 August 2009. 

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]