Brian Eno’s Here Come The Warm Jets

As long as I have been hearing the name Brian Eno, he has been referred to as “way ahead of his time” or “one of the most influential musicians in the past 50 years.” Here Come The Warm Jets, his 1973 debut solo album, is full of songs that demonstrate ideas that are the founding basis for much of music today.
It would be pretty simple to go song-by-song and name what bands operating today are obviously drawing upon Eno as an influence. The opening track, “Needle In The Camel’s Eye,” present the reverbed soaked, surf-new-wave sound that current bands like Surfer Blood draw upon for their sound. The mid-album track “Driving Me Backwards,” can have an obvious path traced to more obscure present-day bands such as Menomena. The pounding piano base and eccentric vocals that were ever-present on Menomena’s 2007 album Friend and Foe are obviously a throwback to what Eno was doing on this song. The final and title track of the album opens with an instrumental intro, which utilizes a wall of guitars playing a line that could find a very happy home on any Broken Social Scene record, before entering into the actual song.
This 1973 album was the beginning of Eno’s solo career, which would later lead him to become a pioneering force in the art of ambient music. The beginnings of this can be seen on Here Come The Warm Jets in the various textures Eno gives to the songs in order to push them beyond being just another set of early 70’s art-glam-rock songs.
Perhaps one of the most interesting things to note about this album is the way in which the lyrics were written. Eno played through the songs singing nonsense syllables to create a melody, and then going back and changing the nonsense into actual words. Because of this, many of the lyrics are meaningless, free-associations of words that Eno insists shouldn’t be thought into much, as he calls some of the songs “an instrumental with singing on it.”
What it really comes down to is that Here Come The Warm Jets is a pop/rock album at its most basic, but there are elements here that push it beyond just being another record and make it worth taking the time to listen to. Eno’s arrangements are interesting enough to make the listening superbly engaging. Among all the albums someone older than you has told you are “important” or “influential” or anything along those lines, this is the one to care about.

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