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EVENING STAR

Fripp & Eno

Progressive Electronic


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Fripp & Eno Evening Star album cover
3.66 | 67 ratings | 14 reviews | 33% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wind on Water (5:30)
2. Evening Star (7:48)
3. Evensong (2:53)
4. Wind on Wind (2:56)
5. An Index of Metals (28:36)

Total Time: 47:44

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Robert Fripp / guitar
- Brian Eno / synthesizer

Releases information

LP Antilles 7018
CD Caroline 1560

Thanks to Third Eye for the addition
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FRIPP & ENO Evening Star ratings distribution


3.66
(67 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(33%)
33%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(28%)
28%
Good, but non-essential (24%)
24%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (3%)
3%

FRIPP & ENO Evening Star reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Syzygy
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Fripp and Eno's second collaborative effort marked a considerable advance on their debut. On vinyl, tracks 1 - 4 took up side 1 while the lengthy An Index Of Metals filled side 2, and the contrast between the two halves of the album was striking.

Side 1 saw the duo exploring the more melodic possibilities of the guitar/tape loops/synth set up. Wind on Water, taken from a widely bootlegged French concert (Air Sculptures: the sound quality is appalling, don't bother) opens the proceedings with Fripp unleashing barrages of high speed clusters of notes over a backdrop of what would later be known as Frippertronics. For a piece created largely by tape delay systems it's a joyous, life affirming noise, which segues neatly into the gorgeous title track. Over a bed of tape loops (a couple of guitar arpeggios and a simple 6 note figure played on 12th fret harmonics) Fripp unleashes a slow paced, heartfelt solo of rare beauty and precision. Eno punctuates the music with the odd discreet synth embellishment, and at one point a few notes on piano are added to the mix. It seems that on this piece they took Miles Davis' advice and didn't play all the notes, just the beautiful ones. Side one closes with a couple of shorter pieces - Evensong is a Satie- esque piece composed of interlocking tape loops, while Wind on Wind is an extract from Eno's pioneering ambient piece Discreet Music. The mellow woodwind sound he coaxes from his synth brings the proceedings to an appropriately low key close.

The second half of the album picks up where the steely, dark ambience of No Pussyfooting left off and takes it to an altogether deeper level of intensity. Fripp's guitar noise is looped on itself to the Nth degree, creating a near impenetrable wall of sound. For much of the time it seems as though nothing is happening, although the odd fragment of something analagous to a tune can be heard from time to time. Where side 1 is full of space and light, An Index Of Metals exists in a disturbing minmal space where the odd flicker of light illuminates a distorted shape in the distance. Highly uneasy listening, but it rewards attention - there's a lot happening below the surface.

Although Fripp and Eno's paths would cross again, notably on Bowie's Heroes album, it would be almost 30 years before a third album would emerge, by which time technology had moved on an almost unimaginable distance. The fact that this album was made with a guitar, a monophonic synth and a couple of Revox reel-to-reel tape machines is remarkable. What is truly amazing is that so much could be achieved with such meagre resources.

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Review by Eetu Pellonpää
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This record is an awesome example of the collaboration between Robert Fripp and Brian Eno. The way of using frippertonic-loops have matured dramatically since "No pussyfooting" record, done two years earlier. I guess Robert had more time to concentrate to this style of his playing, as red nightmares of King Crimson had dissolved a year before this release. The music emerges as vibrating large carpets of sound, multiple layers of fast guitar picks forming solid and stable tonal layers. The stagnation of the opening curtain starts pouring down like streams of a river, waving eternal peacefulness with subtle keyboard support from Brian. I see this "Wind of Water" as a part of following title track, creating an integral musical entity. The overall impression appears like the abstract album cover, night time ceasing the wind on the lake surface, small guitar picks shimmering like stars on the vast landscape. From the depths Robert elevates a long guitar solo which I personally consider his best on any recording I have yet heard. "Evensong" harks to vesper bell of soft, minor scale progression, harmonizing the interesting concept of day turning night by the waterside via musical expression. On the instrumental approach, I think this album is less dogmatic to music production methods, and I usually think most beneficial is to start form restricted, minimal starting points, and expand carefully beyond the refrained starting points, being wary not to break the goals being set earlier. A short excerpt from Brian Eno's "Wind on Wind" gives a glimpse to his ultimate half-hour long suite of meditative rejoice from record "Discreet Music". This short interlude prepares the listener for epic "An Index of Metals", allowing more culminated guitar motives let the elements be settled on Dmitri Mendeleev's periodic table. The sound collage is not in my opinion oppressive, but quite alien, like many familiar things might be when separated from their original context. The analogue recording technics deserve their appraisal on the end, where the volume peaks increase along with the metal element's atomic masses. On the album cover I felt this listing of heavier elements might be related to the mountain seen in the distance. These heavier elements being borne from stellar nucleosynthesis, I felt there could be a concept of an evening star, which gives birth to these substances at the hour of its evensong. These atoms then form the molecular basis to geology and biology for life on earth, nurturing themselves calmly under the wind-sheltered waters. This process would eventually lead to our humanity, exploring, exploiting and wondering about their chemical compositional aspects. I believe all this is just my own interpretation, but possibility for such is a fine quality in arts, allowing for example this record to grow as icon of simple but profound concepts larger than life. Robert and Brian did also some concerts based on this album's material, but I'm uncertain if their recordings have been released officially. All of them, this album and the concerts too, are standing as highlights of thoughtful, disciplined and empowering music for deeper realizations.

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Review by Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Folk
2 stars 2,5 stars at most!!!

In the footstep pf their first album , I had listened to this one at the same time and the same opening comment I made in the other review (the debut No Pussyfooting) applies here: where is the beef?

As the second vinyl side is a carbon copy of their debut , most of the hopes for this one relies on the shorter tracks on sode 1. Alas , to no avail. However influential this album and the preceeding one were , it is mostly due to musos's stamina and their high acceptance from the specialized press from Britain. All of this had been done in germany a few years earlier without havinf one tenth of the publicity.

As this second album is less important historically , I will not round up to the upper unit!

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Review by tarkus1980
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars The second album credited to Fripp & Eno is a bit different from the first in that it can actually be considered (in parts) music, as opposed to a presentation of research work into new and emerging sonic techniques. The tracks are completely instrumental, dominated by Eno's synths and Fripp's guitar warblings passing through the Frippertronics sound system, but some of them are downright beautiful and atmospheric and all those good things that an average good static instrumental should be (whereas "The Heavenly Music Corporation" was really just "interesting" and "disturbing"). The opening "Wind on Water," in particular, is a terrific piece of gorgeousness, with Eno's synths (the "Water") undulating and 'washing' up and down (in volume) and side to side (in channel) while Fripp's guitar (the "Wind") plays little compact swirling patterns, and the five and a half minutes really pass much too quickly (at least, when I'm paying attention and when I have the volume up loud to catch the dynamics).

Then it's onto the title track, which matches the atmosphere of the name and of the album cover very well. The purpose of the low, growling "biker" guitar noises that pop up from time to time is unclear to me, but they're only a slight blight on a bunch of gorgeous guitar noodling (Fripp wouldn't really ever make heavy use of this tone in his Crimson work until some parts of the 90's incarnation, and even then only very sparsely) over strummed acoustic guitars and some whee bits of Eno here and there (particularly in the second half, when some piano pops up). In its eight minutes, it does more for me than any selected eight minute bit from No Pussyfooting could do in a million years. And then there's "Evensong," which is more in the "Wind on Water" vein, only with a much sparser Eno presence (but still with subtle changes in volume and balance throughout), and "Wind on Wind," which is actually a brief passage from the upcoming Discreet Music, featuring only Eno's synths (the intent was to provide Fripp a base on which to play over this in concert). Both of these fit in with the mood of the first two tracks splendidly, even if they're not quite as amazing, and the end result of the first half is some of the best meditation (not to mention "communal with the universe") music I can imagine. In short, it's pretty much a total triumph.

Unfortunately, the album doesn't sustain this sense of beauty throughout, which causes the rating to plummet a long ways. The second side is occupied by a single track, the 28:44 "Index of Metals," which falls back into the "show-and-tell" mode of No Pussyfooting, and given that it doesn't even have academic value for me (that is, I don't see what this track accomplishes that wasn't accomplished by the tracks on that album), it's hard for me to find any enjoyment here. I'm sorry, but while it's neat that the distortion of individual guitar notes essentially ends up getting stuck to the tape as if it were flypaper, causing the distortion of the whole piece to build up over time, it's extremely difficult for me to look past the fact that it seems like there are stretches that consist of one note being sustained for about ten minutes. My brother likes it because it functions as "music by which to scare small children," but given that I don't have any particular desire to give any children nightmares anytime soon, it doesn't exactly have much use for me in that direction either. And, well, did I mention that it's 28:44?

So basically this is an album that starts off fantastic and ends up buried in a giant pile of, well, Metals. If you can find some way to get the first side without the second, jump at it; if you decide to pay full price for this, be very aware that only half of it is good (at least, if you trust my taste at all).

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Review by colorofmoney91
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Evening Star take the same idea of the debut collaboration between Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, but ultimately comes off as a bit boring, in my opinion. The soundscapes on this album are roughly the same, if not a little more on the ambient side of things, and Fripp's wonderful guitar only makes a difference in sound on the last (and best) track of the album, "An Index of Metals", which is nearly 30 minutes of droning buzzscape with very alien and experimental sounding electrically manipulated guitar phrasing that adds a certain enigmatic texture to the track. Unfortunately, the rest of the tracks are nothing more than soothing ambient drones that sound full, but are not particularly interesting.

Though this isn't as experimental or overall interesting as No Pussyfooting, this album is still a beautiful listen. But, if you liked Music for Airports, then this will most likely be very enjoyable.

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Review by Warthur
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars A more diverse and mature album than No Pussyfooting, at least partially because both Fripp and Eno had had a chance to have a think about what this whole "ambient" thing they've cooked up is and what they might do with it, Evening Star consists of a side of shorter tracks based on a variety of approaches (and featuring some absolutely gorgeous guitar solos from Fripp) and a side-long epic in the form of An Index of Metals, which is a Frippertronic piece which essentially restates the premises of No Pussyfooting but does so in a more engaging and interesting fashion. In this particular case, experience really does show - No Pussyfooting might have shown promise, but it was Evening Star that fulfilled it.

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Review by TCat
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars Robert Fripp is the maker of Frippertronics, the structuring of layered tape loops of his guitar into pieces of music. Brian Eno is the credited creator of ambient electronic music. Put them together and you get some very beautiful and very interesting soundscapes. That is what is contained on this experimental album.

So, I know there are a lot of listeners out there that have a hard time with experimental music. However, it is this type of music that leads to discovery of different genres that keep the current of music flowing forward and not becoming stagnant. This album is important in that it was through experiments like these that created a new form of music that people enjoy. The sound of this album is the sound of discovery and of the expansion of musical form. It helped lay the groundwork for both ambient and drone music.

This album is all instrumental. The first 3 tracks are beautiful examples of the music that can be created from the minds of two geniuses. They consist of taped guitar loops from Fripp that have been layered over each other with embellishments of synthesizer sounds provided by Eno. The titles are descriptive of the sound of the music and you can close your eyes and visualize the pictures that are painted by the music with suggestions of where your mind is to go by the titles of the tracks. All three of these soundscapes are simply lovely, the first being very shimmery, soft and dreamy, the 2nd being brighter in tone with more exaggerated guitar sounds somewhat similar to what Fripp would produce in his later KC guitar solos, very connected with amazing phrasing. This is a free floating beauty of a track and the guitar work is stunning. The 3rd track is rather short and somewhat understated but still beautiful. Not much is developed in this track, but it still fills in nicely. "Wind on Wind" is 100% Eno on synthesizer creating a soundscape similar to his Ambient albums. This music was intended Fripp's use in live concerts as background music for him to solo over.

The 2nd side of the album is made up of one long-single track called "An Index of Metals". Aptly named, it is more of a cold and metallic sounding track, not metallic in terms of genre, but in terms of feeling. It is set up with a drone that continues throughout the track with ambient sounds weaving around the basis. About halfway through, Fripp's distorted guitar starts to be heard as the drone subsides somewhat and the sustained notes of the guitar continue to layer around each other, repeating softer and softer until they meld into the drone as other sounds are being created on top of it.

This is headphone music like most ambient music is, at least that is where it is most effective. It has the best effect when you can listen to it uninterrupted and your mind can create the pictures or it can travel to destinations unknown. Some may say they need mind-altering drugs to get the full effect, but I don't find that necessary. The best music can take your mind away without chemical influence. I find this music soothing and relaxing. That is the overall feeling of this album. Even the long track, even though it is more dissonant and cold sounding, is still soothing to me. It isn't as harsh as "(No Pussyfooting)" or as clinical. It is a collection of beautiful soundscapes and part of a movement that would inspire artists still today. I love this sound as it is very visual and even though it is experimental and the sounds are more processed than actual, it was at the time a new way to manipulate sound into beauty and art. I love this sound when I'm in the right frame of mind and because of it's influence and it's originality of the time would have to consider it essential. The fact that I enjoy it so much cements the fact that it is a 5 star recording.

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Latest members reviews

5 stars This album is in my opinion the perfection of ambient music. I like all of Fripp and Eno's collaborations, but this one has much more of a sense of direction in my mind. They have clearly taken the tape loops concept to another level here, as parts fade in and out sometimes in phase with each ... (read more)

Report this review (#291791) | Posted by himtroy | Saturday, July 24, 2010 | Review Permanlink

2 stars Take the last 9 or so minutes of Moonchild from KING CRIMSON's In The Court Of The Crimson King and stretch it for 48 minutes and this is what you come up with. Sorry to say that the only things you will feel while listening to this album are boredom and occasional drowsiness. The album starts ... (read more)

Report this review (#160711) | Posted by manofmystery | Monday, February 04, 2008 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Celestial to the extent of vapor, Fripp & Eno's second collaboration is a finely pious experience. Terribly difficult to characterize, this unearthly music abducts its audience, soundly carrying them to the world unseen. Ambient music is a difficult thing to grasp for many. The connection between ... (read more)

Report this review (#129655) | Posted by Shakespeare | Saturday, July 21, 2007 | Review Permanlink

5 stars Simplicity in music world is the most beautiful of all feelings. Evening Star is not for everyone but for those who can feel is so delicate, lovely, and aesthetically moving. Brian Eno and Fripp are masters at making simple things sound more beautiful than the most complex pieces. The track "E ... (read more)

Report this review (#117355) | Posted by kanaanII | Wednesday, April 04, 2007 | Review Permanlink

3 stars It's not a bad album, I think. Of course, too much synths and repetitive musical ideas can exhaust. But I consider "Wind on Water" "Evening Star" "Evensong" and "Wind on Wind" are good themes, closer to Ambient music, and well-constructed. But this album should be only themes like these four, 'ca ... (read more)

Report this review (#96141) | Posted by komun | Sunday, October 29, 2006 | Review Permanlink

4 stars Quite simply a sublime and beautiful album. The songs are more fully realized than on the first Eno-Fripp collaboration No Pussyfooting and are consequentially more emotional and moving. The second side (when recordings had sides) An Index of Metals is one of the most dark and compelling ambient ... (read more)

Report this review (#46785) | Posted by Tylosand Ektorp | Thursday, September 15, 2005 | Review Permanlink

2 stars I have a particular tenderness for Robert Fripp (King Crimson, the first, second and third generations) and for Brian Eno (Roxy first generation and its first albums). I admit that I support badly this music type (said explorating music?). Impossible to vibrate, to commune. It is really too s ... (read more)

Report this review (#44984) | Posted by miedj | Wednesday, August 31, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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