Brian Eno - Before and After Science
Vinyl Album, U.S. 1977
An album I like but never loved for some reason. I think more in the context of what Eno was doing during this period of music activity. At this time he had produced both Talking Heads and Devo’s first album, as well as Ultravox’s debut recording as well. All albums he produced are very good, but the weak link in all of them is actually Eno’s production.
I think he took his ideas to these other albums, and in one way they were wonderful, but also I got the feeling that he was more interested in what he can do with the band, then what the band can actually do. For instance Devo, who I have seen numerous times before the first album was recorded, is much more of an intense force. But through Eno’s assistance the sound is actually watered down, and I feel the same way about the Talking Heads albums as well. I missed the noise out of the mix from his early recordings. In other words his recordings became more respectable and ‘pleasant’ sounding. The grooves on Before and After Science are funky, sound sonically great, but the genius aspect of Eno’s technique is missing. Or perhaps it is me that lost the groove with Eno?
The one classic song on this album is “King’s Lead Hat” which when I first heard it in 1977, I thought it was a Devo reject. The rest of the album flows like a flower in a glass of water, yet, I missed the tension of noise, sound, and melody of his earlier works.