INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
BBC JULY 3, 2004 - by Kris Shaw
BRIAN ENO: BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE
Rather than following the long lineage of post-men that earned the family crust in the Eno household for the previous three generations, Brian Peter St. John Le Baptiste de la Salle Eno decided to become one of the greatest experimental producers of our time.
Brian decided to step off the Roxy Music train early, after apparently drifting off into day dreams about washing his laundry while performing with the group. However, Eno's musings about washing his smalls seems to have left us with one of the finest solo back catalogues of the last thirty years.
Along with three other Eno classics that have just been remastered, re-digitised and re-released, Before And After Science provides an accessible gateway into the sometimes problematic and extensive Eno repertoire.
The album opens with the upbeat bouncing melodies of No One Receiving and Backwater, featuring the rhythmic talents of Phil Collins and the jazz bass of Percy Jones.
However, Eno soon loses the pop guise and ventures into the familiar territory of the experimental with the vocal talents of Kurt Schwitters and the familiar Percy Jones bass epitomised on Kurt's Rejoinder.
The entire second side of the album, that's tracks six to ten for those who've invested in the latest digital offering, provides a much easier ride for the new Eno listeners. Here He Comes and By This River allow room for thought after the intense rhythms of the earlier tracks. But the whole album seems to build towards the sublime and reverential final track, Spider And I.
In the '70s Before And After Science provided Eno's loyal fans with a selection of perfectly crafted, highly memorable songs and marked a departure from the experimental ambient music heard on his previous album Discreet Music. But, listening to the album nearly thirty years after its release, it manages to still sound as fresh and Eno's influence cannot be ignored as Franz Ferdinand and other avant-garde popsters assault the charts.