Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Brian Eno - Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks (OST) CD (album) cover


Brian Eno

Progressive Electronic

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Here is a very consistent ambiant background album, closed to what Harold Budd, Robert Rich...have the best to offer. The compositions are all very floating and atmospheric, using electronic synth roots. The good point is that this album is enough complex and sophisticated to not be categorised as soft meditative music. It can be qualified as cerebral, visceral intergalactic music. The opening track of the album is so sublime, transcending music which culminates in a very attractive abstract universe. "Secret place" is in the same mood, very powerful and sideral atmospheric synth sounds. "An ending" and "stars" are also convincing and free-spririted adventures performed on synth and electronic equipements. We can only regret the Daniel Lanois' soft tendencies: the guitar touch of "Silver Mourning"... Captivating and relaxing this album figures among the best ENO's efforts in solo with his "ambiant part" project
Report this review (#37120)
Posted Tuesday, June 21, 2005 | Review Permalink
4 stars Extreme sofisticated and avant-garde music!!! I think that's the kind of sound that our grandsons will hear when they populate the moon. It's the perfect Space Travel soundtrack with relaxing sci-fi themes. If you are already familiarized with the genre then you will love it! Similar to the best albums of Tangerine Dream... 4,5 stars!!!
Report this review (#49009)
Posted Wednesday, September 28, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno (quite a long name, don't you think?) throughout his career has exercised a liking for making music in a number of very varied genres and styles. Ambient, however, seems to be his favourite, and the genre he most consistently excels in. Justifiably, he is known throughout the world for being the father of electronic ambient music. The fellow is quite ingenious at creating that liquid music, which I very much like to refer to as mush. Ambient is a very modern take on classical minimalism (though Apollo, specifically, has less minimalism than other releases). Eno quickly took to the electronic equipment available at the time (1975 being, arguably, the year his music first began the ambient approach) and the musical engineer (and sometimes, technical engineer) in him took over.

This begins as one of the more fluid ambient albums he has done throughout his career. In many cases, his influences from minimalism take over, and he will create a seventeen minute track with a simple, but effective, piano line repeating virtually statically, with absolutely no changes; with subtle waves of synthesizers washing on top. This case: Apollo, is different, and instead we have a more vaporous approach, with very little structure at all. I like to think that all the styles of each song, all the methods, approach, atmospheres, and moods of each song are distinct: and that may be true. To an untrained ear, and to an impatient mind, there is no difference between any of the tracks. A closer look will quickly dismiss that assumption; though many of the differences are painfully subtle. No one song lasts long, which leaves room for much gradual evolution.

The perpetual sea of music begins light and bright, subtler and uplifting. You can feel the emptiness of the void that inspired the music closing in around you. But over time, very gradually (as is the nature of this style of music) the musical storyline develops, and the music begins to take a mildly darker sound. A real change of things comes with Silver Morning, features a guitar of some description. And it is not played in some sinister, dark, swelling fashion - no, it's strummed, and plays an almost western-styled song. Where did this come from? To me, the change is odd, and the song seems a little misplaced. However, the mood it creates is not contrasting to the album, and it certainly does not last long, so I do not personally find it ruins the album's experience in any way.

After this short distraction, a less runny ambient style is adopted, and a more conventional take is in use (if ever so slightly). Even with these small changes to the mood, everything remains otherworldly and surreal, and still puts the listener in that head space. Few albums can successfully do this, and keep it up. It renders the listener to a transcending state of mind, and gives that weightless feel. Apollo is one of the few albums that genuinely captures me, albeit a bizarre and slow world it takes me.

(P.S. This is certainly music best listened to with headphones, and even better at night alone.)

Report this review (#132590)
Posted Friday, August 10, 2007 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars One of mankind's finer moments, scored by a great artist.

To properly review "Apollo" I felt I first had to watch the film it was written for, so I hunted down a copy of "For All Mankind." It was an incredible experience and a truly spiritual one. And yet there was a huge disappointment underlying it all-more on that later.

If you haven't seen "For All Mankind" you must really rent it immediately. It's a documentary showing off the best of the archived NASA footage that was not shown to the public, presumably because they didn't want to interrupt capitalism for a bit of education in the public interest. So while the public has seen the same 20 seconds of moon footage ten thousand times for nearly 4 decades, many never realized that the entire mission was filmed. Now you can watch the whole trip unfold and From launch pad to driving on the moon to splashing in the ocean the whole thing is gorgeously filmed and narrated. The huge disappointment I alluded to is that Eno's music was supposed to be the soundtrack for a narration-free showcase of the footage and this did not happen. Because someone decided the viewing public has not the attention span to watch a film without dialogue (and sadly, they are mostly correct these days), Eno's magnificent soundtrack was largely scrapped in favor of narration. The narration is interesting of course and that's great, but it's too bad the artist's original intent was gutted. Apparently National Geographic has a video release of the film under a different name with the soundtrack intact but the DVD release of "For All Mankind" uses just bits and pieces between the chatter.

In the liner notes Eno explained that Apollo "was an opportunity to explore the feeling of space travel: being weightless, seeing the night-time campfires of Saharan Nomads from high above the Earth, looking back to a little blue planet drifting alone in Space, looking out into the endless darkness beyond, and finally, stepping onto another planet. What this film can do is to present a set of moods, a unique mixture of feelings that quite possibly no human had ever experienced before, thus expanding the vocabulary of human feeling just as those missions had expanded the boundaries of our Universe. I hope this music will assist in that." [Eno, '83] "Assist" is an understatement. In terms of scoring music to aid the imagery of this particular film, Eno hits it into the upper deck. It could not be more perfect for viewing film of space travel. But it also works quite well as a stand-alone piece of music in the ambient style. A bit livelier than some of his more meditative works, Apollo has some gorgeous guitar elements by Lanois that literally paint over Eno's atmosphere. It is perfect music for contemplation, for relaxing, walking, or painting. Spooky electronic winds occasionally joined by piano, guitar, or other strange noises from far away places.

To me, the reaction to the film's subject is the perfect metaphor for one's reaction to Eno's work. Without attention, the Moon may well seem boring to you, grey, bland, and without much variation. Only when viewed closely from quality film of the surface does the incredible beauty of this strange environment become apparent. Likewise for Eno's soundtrack, which to those not paying close attention may seem like nothing. To those who look and listen with awareness there is beauty in every song..just as there is in every moonscape. I consider this album a triumph and recommend it highly, along with the film mentioned above, to anyone interested in space, history, or quality atmospheric music. There is a wealth of both information and great music to be had in these two related projects.

Report this review (#162157)
Posted Monday, February 18, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars From the beginning, I must say that I consider this album a little jewel in the field of electronic music!

The reasons could be many, but overall, the music is so sublime and enigmatic at the same time. This album, in fact a soundtrack of a NASA documentary film very known in the 80's (unfortunately I did not see it yet!) can be divided in 2 parts: the first one, very cosmic and ethereal music and the second (except the final track-Stars) a more melodic part, featuring some guitar sounds on an excellent keyboard background. Both parts in my opinion are pulling together to form a perfect unity, reached by Eno in an unique cosmic landscape!

Favourite tracks for me: An ending Ascent and the last one Stars- make me dream to the infinite Universe from the night sky and the infinity of stars!

Highly recommended for the electronic music fans!

Report this review (#199027)
Posted Wednesday, January 14, 2009 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
3 stars This was supposed to be the soundtrack for a film on the first moon landing. I guess it was scrapped because they decided they wanted narration instead of just music. I remember back in the summer of 1969 as an 8 year old the buzz about this event. My parents rented out cottages in the summer.There were nine of them that sort of were dotted around the perimeter of our property with our house in the middle out by the road. I remember it was a hot muggy evening and my mom took the TV out of our house and put it in the side yard along with folding chairs. None of the cottages had a TV. So there were all these people outside watching the moon landing on this small television. The first time I heard this cd I was at work and very much enjoying the spacey music when suddenly the music changed to this twangy, Country sounding guitar.I quickly went over to the stereo hoping this was a bonus track only to find that this track and the next three tunes were part of the original album. Why !? They just don't sound like they belong, and worse I don't like them.

The first seven tracks are dark, spacey, atmospheric and sometimes haunting.They're so good. The album closes with "Stars" which is a return to that spacey music thankfully but Danile Lanois and his steel slide guitar has already done his damage (haha). I'm going to copy this cd without those 4 tracks because the spacey atmospheres are too good to be infected by those Country sounds.

So 3.5 stars but it could have easily been 4 stars.

Report this review (#300199)
Posted Thursday, September 23, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars Not quite comparable to Eno's best works, "Apollo: Atmospheres And Soundtracks" is an excellent album, a little overrated, but still excellent.

We all remember Brian Eno's first ambient album, "Discreet Music", and his perfect ambient masterpiece, "Ambient 1: Music for Airports"; well, the sound and style here is perfected sublimely, and the quality is really impressive, and that's why it got so acclaimed. Minimalism is even more accentuated, we can't even talk about music, since it's basically a collection of different sounds, with some low synths in the background. It might remind "On Land" to some, but it isn't nearly as dark, and not quite that beautiful. Beautiful, in fact, isn't at all a good adjective to use for "Apollo".

"Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks" sounds like a trip to space, to the moon, or towards the never ending stars. A space journey, definitely. The album, like "Music For Films", was intended to be a collection of film scores, that have never been used. This time though, it's more like a collection of space fragments, strange but effectively potent image creator. Many songs here are most definitely worth listening, like "Under Stars", the creepy "Matta", the calm "Drift", the dreamy "Deep Blue Day". Songs that I guarantee will sync into you, in a way or the other.

The album, despite not being one of my favorite Eno albums, is definitely a piece of art that must be collected if you are a true music fan.

Report this review (#362893)
Posted Friday, December 24, 2010 | Review Permalink
3 stars The spacey moods are prolonged with this album. Gone are the new wave sounds of earlier releases and Brian Eno demonstrates (if needed) that he surely masters electronic music elements. But at the end of the day, this was not too evident so far in his musical career.

Few of his prior releases (if you would accept "Discreet Music" and "Ambient Four") were really good albums (this is how I feel anyway). And most of them were definitely not too proggy as far as I am concerned.

This Apollo stuff is certainly enjoyable. It is marvelously spacey at times: rather pleasant if you endorse the prog electronic genre. But it is also lacking in splendor, grace and melody. When I compare this work to the great German giants; only one consideration remains: there is little comparison in my views.

Still, this is quite a pleasant album which should fulfill your electronic ears. But since mine have listened to so many beauties, I can't rate this album with more than three stars. My marks in the style are still TD, KS or AST. OK: "An Ending" does play in the same division but a track as "Silver Morning" leaves me quite cold to say the least. I am still waiting for the true and first great epic from Eno. But maybe I shouldn't?

Report this review (#457478)
Posted Sunday, June 5, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars The brothers Eno team up with Daniel Lanois on guitar for an ambient tribute to the Apollo missions. It's the involvement of Lanois which is key to distinguishing this piece from Eno's other ambient works of the era; the inclusion of his steel guitar, just like the inclusion of Fripp's wailing guitar heroics on the Fripp and Eno albums, transforms the sound into something quite apart from Eno's solo work. In particular, Eno worked to include subtle country influences into the music, and though the pieces sound a million miles away from mainstream country at first, at points Lanois' playing puts one in mind of a lonesome lunar cowboy strumming peacefully away on the moon.
Report this review (#576017)
Posted Saturday, November 26, 2011 | Review Permalink
4 stars States of mind.

Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks (1983) is one of Brian Eno´s more inspired and distinguishable works due to some favorable factors. The teaming of both the Eno brothers with the highly eclectic composer / performer / sound engineer Daniel Lanois, conceptually inspired by the space travels of the Apollo missions and brought to life as the soundtrack for the film/documentary "Apollo" (later retitled "For All Mankind"), directed by Al Reinert.

So as I was telling, three creative composer/musican minds focused on a single project brings out the best of each one and one another in this specific fortuitous situation.

In this album, Daniel Lanois becomes the disruptive figure, which is usually Brian Eno´s job as collaborator, with his very raw, vaporous and metallic/earthly pedal steel guitar counterpointing alongside Roger Eno´s piano brushes over the evocative, beautiful, obtuse, emotional and profound sonic environments imprinted by Brian Eno.

All three musicians share credits as composers, therefore each track beholds its own charm and identity.

**** PA´s stars.

Report this review (#918388)
Posted Saturday, February 23, 2013 | Review Permalink

BRIAN ENO Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks (OST) ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of BRIAN ENO Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks (OST)

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives