7 Songs That Changed My Life – Day 4: A Jester in the Court of the Crimson King

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015 @ 4:38 pm

Day #4

BRIAN ENO – BABY’S ON FIRE

I got turned on to ‘Here Come the Warm Jets’ late one night in a haze of high school experimentation. We’d been listening to some of those prog-type bands, and someone had acquired this album after reading about it in an article about Robert Fripp and King Crimson. It had been released four or five years earlier, but things had a way of making it to Alabama a little late sometimes.

It was unlike anything we’d heard: crazy sounds and rhythms, simultaneously sinister and humorous, repetitive and chaotic, and surprisingly melodic. It was discordant, hypnotic, and beautiful. “Baby’s On Fire” became something of a weekend battle cry, but we perceived Eno as little more than the Jester in the Court of the Crimson King, not realizing he was actually more a Merlin whose sonic magic could prep our ears for the music in our future. He was duly noted, but not further pursued at that point.

Throughout the years, Eno’s name would appear again and again on the backs of interesting albums, and a worn cassette copy I had of ‘…Warm Jets’ kept returning to my playlist less a novelty than it had been before. The music had begun to make more sense as I began paying more attention. And I liked it. A lot. It helped me understand music that wasn’t structured in the expected way, and the more I learned about Eno’s philosophies and systems over the years the more I appreciated all the different things that music can be.

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