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Brian Eno - Desert Island Selection CD (album) cover


Brian Eno


Progressive Electronic

2.53 | 5 ratings

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2 stars DESERT ISLAND SELECTION is not a bad Eno compilation, but at only 49 minutes, it should have been at least 25 minutes and five or six tracks longer. As it is, there are a mere eleven tracks to represent the creative and varied period from the early "pop" works to the beginning of the composer/producer's ambient phase. Genuine Eno fans who manage to grab only this one before the ship slides beneath the waves to maroon them had better hope their unplanned residence on any lonely, uncharted isle will be mercifully brief.

I bought this disc back around the time of its 1986 release, in the pre-Amazon days when Eno CDs were scarce to non-existent in my local record store. I was longing for some of the good ol' wacky Eno I used to enjoy on vinyl, before I rashly flogged my old LPs and turntable, in my eagerness to embrace the new snap, crackle and pop-free digital technology. This far-from-exhaustive compilation was the best fix I could find to assuage my Eno withdrawal and its sweats and shakes.

As astute fans will glean from the track listing, my fevered, tremble-handed purchase got me only one miserly song from HERE COME THE WARM JETS, a tight-fisted two from my favourite TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN, a grudging four from ANOTHER GREEN WORLD, a paltry three from BEFORE AND AFTER SCIENCE, and a woefully insufficient one from MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS. (The latter of which I gladly would have traded for another from "JETS" or "TIGER MOUNTAIN.") Many essential Eno songs are missing: there's no "Baby's on Fire," no "Needles in the Camel's Eye," "Cindy Tells Me," "Burning Airlines Give You so Much More," "Mother Whale Eyeless," "Third Uncle," "Sky Saw," "In Dark Trees," "Backwater," "King's Lead Hat" or "Spider and I." Still, I knew how much was lacking as I was entering into the bargain with the shifty-eyed purveyor of mind-bending aural intoxicants, and there was just enough material present to keep my Enoid cravings manageable -- for a time.

DESERT ISLAND SELECTION is one for the bargain bin. I don't recommend it to newcomers interested in an overview of its famous author's excellent earlier works, as it omits way too much necessary stuff. Real Eno fans will have the full CDs from which these tracks were cherry picked (as does your reviewer, now). Don't get me wrong; none of this music is bad (just the opposite); there's just nowhere remotely near enough of it. New to Eno? Start at the beginning, and get the full albums!

Peter | 2/5 |


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