Another Green World

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Another Green World
A picture of the album cover. In the center is an image made of geometric shapes showing two people inside and a window showing bushes and a man outside. Above this image the words "Another Green World" and "Eno" are written.
Studio album by
Released14 November 1975[1]
RecordedJuly–August 1975
StudioIsland, London
Eno chronology
Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
Another Green World
Evening Star

Another Green World is the third solo studio album by Brian Eno (mononymously credited as "Eno"), released by Island Records on 14 November 1975. The album marked a transition from the rock-based music of Eno's previous releases toward the minimalist instrumentals of his late 1970s ambient work. Only five of its fourteen tracks feature vocals, a contrast with his previous vocal albums.

Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, it features contributions from a small core of musicians, including Robert Fripp (guitar), Phil Collins (drums), Percy Jones (fretless bass), and Rod Melvin (piano). John Cale plays viola on two tracks. Employing tactics derived from his Oblique Strategies cards for guidance, Eno and the subsequent backing lineup utilised a variety of unconventional recording techniques and instrumental approaches, reflected in unusual instrumental credits such as "snake guitar" and "uncertain piano". The cover is a detail from After Raphael by the British artist Tom Phillips.

The album’s only chart success was in New Zealand, where it reached #24, even though praise of the album was international. Contemporary reception has been likewise positive; several publications, including Rolling Stone, NME and Pitchfork, have named the album among the greatest of the 1970s and of all time.


Another Green World was recorded at Island Studios in London during the months of July and August 1975.[3] Brian Eno originally viewed his new album as an experiment and entered the recording studio with nothing written or prepared beforehand.[3] For the first four days in the studio, Eno failed to be productive.[4] 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).[4]

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.[3] The "Leslie piano" is an acoustic piano miked and fed through a Leslie speaker with a built-in revolving horn speaker.[3] 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."[3]

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 non-electronic keyboards, guitars and percussion.[5] 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.[6] On recording the album, Collins recalled:[7]

[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.[8] This was the basis for Eno crediting Fripp's solo on this track as "Wimshurst Guitar".

Music and lyrics[edit]

Another Green World represents a turning point in Eno's musical career. While his previous albums contained quirky rock songs, only five of the fourteen tracks on the album have lyrics.[5] Critic Ian Wade of The Quietus noted that the album is "much calmer" than Eno's previous works, "with the avant smoothed into a new pastoral ambient pop and Eno singing on only five of its 14 tracks".[9] Music critic Jim DeRogatis called it an "ambient/art-pop classic".[10] According to eMusic's Richard Gehr, the album's music veers from the guitar-oriented experimental rock of Eno's 1974 albums Here Come the Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) to the synth-oriented ambient minimalism of his subsequent work.[11] Its minimalist instrumentals are scattered among more structured art-rock songs.[12] According to AllMusic's Steve Huey, most of the album has "paced instrumentals that, while often closer to ambient music than pop, are both melodic and rhythmic", and are accompanied by few pop songs, including "St. Elmo's Fire", "I'll Come Running", and "Golden Hours".[13] 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.[5] Dave Simpson described the album as creating a "largely song-based electronic pop",[14] while AllMusic's Jason Ankeny described it as an art rock album.[15]

"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.[16] 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.[17] "Songs like 'The Big Ship'", writes Mike Powell, "start on A and linger, accumulating countermelodies, magnifying themes, staying the same and yet revealing new sides with every turn."[18][19] "In Dark Trees" and "The Big Ship" are two songs on which Eno plays all the instruments, namely the synthesizer, synthetic percussion and treated rhythm generator. The pulse of these songs is provided by the repeated rhythm coming from the rhythm box.[20] These instrumental pieces and others like "Little Fishes" have been described as "highly imagistic, like paintings done in sound that actually resemble their titles".[13]

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.[21] This lyric-writing method was used for all his vocal-based recordings of the 1970s.[22] The tracks that do feature lyrics are in the same free-associative style as Eno's previous albums.[5][13] The humour in the lyrics has been described as "less bizarre than gently whimsical and addled".[13]

Release and reception[edit]

Retrospective professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideA+[24]
Entertainment WeeklyA[25]
The New Zealand Herald[27]
Pitchfork9.8/10 (2004)[28]
10/10 (2016)[18]
The Rolling Stone Album Guide[29]
Spin Alternative Record Guide10/10[30]

Another Green World was released in November 1975 and did not chart in either the United Kingdom or the USA.[13][32] The album's critical reception was, however, 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".[33] Tom Hull of The Village Voice felt that, although it "wouldn't be fair to say that Another Green World is Eno's best album", the album is definitely "his easiest to love". Charley Walters of Rolling Stone found it a "major triumph" that Eno's creative risks "so consistently pan out", and said that it is "indeed an important record—and also a brilliant one".[33][34] Negative reviews of the album focused on the lack of the rock songs from Eno's previous albums. Jon Pareles, writing in Crawdaddy!, found its electronic excursions less challenging than Eno's previous progressive rock songs and remarked: "This ain't no Eno record. I don't care what the credits say. It doesn't even get on my nerves."[35] Lester Bangs of The Village Voice was lulled by much of the music and said that "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".[35] Robert Christgau, who originally gave the album an "A−" in his review for The Village Voice, admitted that he resisted the album at first, but ultimately grew to "love every minute of this arty little collection of static (i.e., non-swinging) synthesizer pieces (with vocals, percussion, and guitar)". In Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies (1981), he said that the record's 14 pieces can be appreciated both individually and as a whole, while calling it "the aural equivalent of a park on the moon – oneness with nature under conditions of artificial gravity".[24] In 1977, Another Green World was voted the 11th best album of 1976 in The Village Voice's Pazz & Jop critics' poll.[36] Christgau, the poll's creator, ranked it second on his own list for the poll.[37]

In 2004, Virgin Records began reissuing Eno's albums in remastered digipaks.[38] Modern reception of Another Green World 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".[13] Mike Powell of Pitchfork hailed it as Eno's definitive album,[18] and Q magazine wrote that it was "breathtakingly ahead of its time".[39] J. D. Considine, writing in The Rolling Stone Album Guide (2004), said that Eno used the recording studio for the album "as an instrument, molding directed improvisations, electronic effects, and old-fashioned songcraft into perfectly balanced aural ecosystems".[40] In his review for Blender, Douglas Wolk said that the audio clarity of the remastered edition "makes it easier to pay attention to every [song's] subtle complexities".[23]


The album has made several top albums lists. Pitchfork placed the album at number ten on its list of greatest albums of the 1970s.[41] In 2012, Rolling Stone ranked the album number 429 on its list of the 500 greatest albums of all time,[42] and then at number 338 in the updated 2020 list.[43] 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".[44]

An extract from the title track was used as the theme music for BBC Two television's arts series Arena.[45]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks are written by Brian Eno

Side one
1."Sky Saw"3:25
2."Over Fire Island"1:49
3."St. Elmo's Fire"3:02
4."In Dark Trees"2:29
5."The Big Ship"3:01
6."I'll Come Running"3:48
7."Another Green World"1:38
Total length:19:12
Side two
8."Sombre Reptiles"2:26
9."Little Fishes"1:30
10."Golden Hours"4:01
13."Everything Merges with the Night"3:59
14."Spirits Drifting"2:36
Total length:21:12 (40:55)


Credits adapted from Another Green World back cover.[46]


Chart (1979) Peak
New Zealand Albums Chart 24[47]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Recording News". NME. 8 November 1975. p. 2.
  2. ^ O'Brien, Glenn (22 November 2016). "New Again: Brian Eno". Interview. New York. Archived from the original on 22 April 2020. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Tamm 1995, p. 102.
  4. ^ a b Howard 2004, p. 195.
  5. ^ a b c d Tamm 1995, p. 101.
  6. ^ Holm-Hudson 2008, p. 58.
  7. ^ Thompson 2004, pp. 117–118.
  8. ^ Jones 1995, p. 188.
  9. ^ Wade, Ian (2 August 2017). "Brian Eno: Here Come The Warm Jets / Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy / Another Green World / Before And After Science". The Quietus. Retrieved 8 May 2020.
  10. ^ DeRogatis, Jim (25 May 2011). "Album review: Death Cab for Cutie, "Codes and Keys" (Atlantic)". WBEZ. Archived from the original on 17 October 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013. Eno's ambient/art-pop classic 'Another Green World'
  11. ^ Gehr, Richard (16 May 2011). "Six Degrees of Brian Eno's Another Green World". eMusic. Archived from the original on 6 July 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  12. ^ Seabrook 2008, pp. 98–99.
  13. ^ a b c d e f g Huey, Steve. "Another Green World – Brian Eno". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 27 April 2013. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
  14. ^ Simpson, Dave (10 June 2005). "Brian Eno, Another Day on Earth". The Guardian. London. Archived from the original on 4 November 2016. Retrieved 3 November 2016.
  15. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Brian Eno". AllMusic. Archived from the original on 10 October 2019. Retrieved 16 May 2020.
  16. ^ Tamm 1995, p. 118.
  17. ^ Tamm 1995, p. 119.
  18. ^ a b c Powell, Mike (18 September 2016). "Brian Eno: Another Green World". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 3 August 2017.
  19. ^ Tamm 1995, p. 121.
  20. ^ Tamm 1995, p. 122.
  21. ^ Tamm 1995, p. 99.
  22. ^ Tamm 1995, p. 81.
  23. ^ a b Wolk, Douglas (2004). "Brian Eno: (various reissues)". Blender. New York. Archived from the original on 19 June 2004. Retrieved 21 December 2014.
  24. ^ a b Christgau 1981, p. 126.
  25. ^ Brunner, Rob (4 June 2004). "Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy), Another Green World, Before and After Science". Entertainment Weekly. New York. Archived from the original on 7 November 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2016.
  26. ^ Buckley, David (June 2004). "Brian Eno: Here Come the Warm Jets / Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) / Another Green World / Before and After Science". Mojo. No. 127. London. p. 123.
  27. ^ Reid, Graham (18 June 2004). "Brian Eno". The New Zealand Herald. Auckland. Archived from the original on 4 February 2018. Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  28. ^ "Brian Eno: Colours: Pitchfork Review". Archived from the original on 18 June 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  29. ^ Considine 2004, p. 278.
  30. ^ Powers 1995, p. 128.
  31. ^ Troussé, Stephen (June 2004). "Egghead Over Heels". Uncut. No. 85. London. p. 102.
  32. ^ Warwick, Kutner & Brown 2004, p. 379.
  33. ^ a b Tamm 1995, p. 103.
  34. ^ Walters, Charley (6 May 1976). "Brian Eno: Another Green World". Rolling Stone. New York. Archived from the original on 18 April 2008. Retrieved 2 September 2008.
  35. ^ a b Tamm 1995, p. 105.
  36. ^ "The 1976 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". The Village Voice. New York. Archived from the original on 29 July 2016. Retrieved 30 May 2009.
  37. ^ Christgau, Robert (31 January 1977). "Pazz & Jop 1976: Dean's List". The Village Voice. New York. Archived from the original on 15 August 2013. Retrieved 30 June 2013.
  38. ^ "The Musical Life of Brian!". NME. London. Archived from the original on 3 May 2008. Retrieved 16 May 2008.
  39. ^ "Brian Eno: Another Green World". Q. No. 198. London. January 2003. p. 140.
  40. ^ Considine 2004, p. 279.
  41. ^ "The 100 Best Albums of the 1970s". Pitchfork. 23 June 2004. p. 10. Archived from the original on 27 February 2009. Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  42. ^ Wenner, Jann, ed. (2012). "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. New York. ISBN 978-7-09-893419-6.
  43. ^ "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time". Rolling Stone. 22 September 2020. Retrieved 14 July 2021.
  44. ^ "500 CDs You Must Own: Alternative Rock". Blender. New York. 15 March 2003. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009. Retrieved 7 July 2009.
  45. ^ Smith, Nigel (22 February 2010). "Brian Eno and the Arena Bottle". BBC Music Blog. BBC. Archived from the original on 15 February 2011. Retrieved 6 April 2012.
  46. ^ Another Green World (Media notes). Eno. Polydor Records. 1975. ILPS 9351.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  47. ^ " — Brian Eno — Another Green World". Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved 8 July 2010.

Works cited

External links[edit]