Here Come the Warm Jets by Brian Eno - standing the test of time

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 March, 2015, 10:51pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 March, 2015, 10:51pm

Here Come the Warm Jets
Brian Eno

Shortly after the release of Roxy Music's second album, For Your Pleasure, in 1973, Brian Eno left the band - a move that turned out to be beneficial for all concerned.

Eno was responsible for many of the edgier, more experimental aspects of early Roxy Music. Without him the band went on to their greatest commercial success, playing more mainstream rock.

Eno had some major hits in his future, as well, but pursued an altogether more idiosyncratic musical career which began with the release of Here Come the Warm Jets. All the members of Roxy Music - apart from Brian Ferry, with whom he had differences that led to Eno's departure - contributed to the album, as did guitarists Robert Fripp and Chris Spedding, among other musicians.

Phil Manzanera is credited as co-composer of Needles in the Camel's Eye and Cindy Tells Me; Eno and Fripp co-wrote Blank Frank; and Dead Finks Don't Talk is credited jointly to Paul Thompson, bassist Busta Jones, keyboardist Nick Judd and Eno, but it's clearly the title artist's show.

Eno's remarkable originality is primarily expressed not through his limited instrumental skills, but through advanced conceptual thinking and the skilled processing of sound. The processing equipment at his disposal in 1974 was primitive by modern standards, but Here Come the Warm Jets sounds like absolutely nothing else recorded in the early 1970s, and remains surprisingly undated.

At this distance, the debt the songwriting and some of the guitar work owes to the Velvet Underground is clear. In 1974 Eno also performed in a concert at London's Rainbow Theatre with Nico and John Cale, among others, a live recording of which was issued on June 1, 1974.

However, his sound-processing ideas were way ahead of the production on the Velvet's rough-and-ready albums, and his skill in this area allowed him to carve out a niche of his own in rock and later ambient music.

His is one of the music industry's most extraordinary survival stories. Without compromising his avant-garde experimental instincts he has played a critical role in a long string of hit records from Roxy Music's Virginia Plain on.

Although he can't be credited with creating ambient music, he was among its pioneers, and has remained active in the field, as well as being the creator of the 3¼- second sound clip that every user of Windows 95 heard every time they switched on their computers.

Lux, his most recent album, for Warp Records, consists of ambient compositions intended to be played in art galleries and airport terminals.