10 Songs, 48 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As wild as Brian Eno’s 1974 debut had been, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)—released at the end of that same year—was even more ambitious. Working with his former bandmates in Roxy Music, as well as a team of forward-looking adventurers that included Phil Collins and Robert Wyatt, Eno apparently had the goal of packing an album’s worth of ideas into each individual song. This was a notion that resulted in many of his peers making bloated and obtuse prog-rock, but Tiger Mountain remains impressively lean despite its kaleidoscopic concepts. Above all, it’s great fun. Eno gave many rock listeners their first taste of the avant-garde, but “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More,” “The True Wheel,” and “Mother Whale Eyeless” are proud pop songs—eccentric and sometimes elusive pop songs, but pop songs nonetheless. While Eno’s music often had a cheerful glow that was missing from most self-serious early-'70s rock music, it should be noted that Tiger Mountain incorporates passages of menace and rage. He forces you to experience the danger of “Third Uncle” and “The Great Pretender” before being rewarded with the tranquility of “Taking Tiger Mountain.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

As wild as Brian Eno’s 1974 debut had been, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)—released at the end of that same year—was even more ambitious. Working with his former bandmates in Roxy Music, as well as a team of forward-looking adventurers that included Phil Collins and Robert Wyatt, Eno apparently had the goal of packing an album’s worth of ideas into each individual song. This was a notion that resulted in many of his peers making bloated and obtuse prog-rock, but Tiger Mountain remains impressively lean despite its kaleidoscopic concepts. Above all, it’s great fun. Eno gave many rock listeners their first taste of the avant-garde, but “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More,” “The True Wheel,” and “Mother Whale Eyeless” are proud pop songs—eccentric and sometimes elusive pop songs, but pop songs nonetheless. While Eno’s music often had a cheerful glow that was missing from most self-serious early-'70s rock music, it should be noted that Tiger Mountain incorporates passages of menace and rage. He forces you to experience the danger of “Third Uncle” and “The Great Pretender” before being rewarded with the tranquility of “Taking Tiger Mountain.”

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Ratings and Reviews

4.9 out of 5
23 Ratings

23 Ratings

Marc Twang ,

Essential Eno

Of Eno’s four song oriented albums of the ‘70s this is the most consistent and least experimental. A collection of quirky, oddly poppy songs that range from the joyously chirpy break in “Mother Whale Eyeless” to the clockwork menace of “The Great Pretender”. The lyrics are clever and funny and the music is dominated by conventional instrumentation. Eno is a great songwriter and I wish he had kept it up. This is as conventional a rock record as Eno would ever make, and it is essential.

jah tovah ,

groundbreaking

In 1974, at the age of 13, one of my friends tried to get us to listen to this. At the time we were listening to Bad Company, BTO, The Doobie Brothers, etc. It sounded a little different, to say the least! We didn't like it at the time, but only a few years later, it was revisited. I love this album, like Another Green World, Here Come the Warm Jets, and Before and After Science. I never really got into ambient Eno, but always loved the collaboration with Talking Heads and Roxy too.

johnemr ,

The studio as...

Eno again succeeds in using the recording studio as an instrument in making an amazing record. The young genius employs his friend and mentor Peter Schmidt to create a record cover, and the Portsmouth Sinfonia to supply a touch of the avant garde...going, going, gone!

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