Brian Eno

Taking Tiger Mountain (by Strategy)

Before becoming the famously intellectual avant-garde creator of ambient music and after becoming the feather-boaed androgyne whose tape manipulations gave the first two Roxy Music albums their uniquely tweaked psychedelic aura, Brian Eno put out four albums of mutated “pop” music that sound as fresh and innovative today as they did 20 years ago, when this jewel first appeared. Using a lineup of standard rock band instruments supplemented with unspecified “electronics,” Eno applied his genius for sound manipulation and editing to construct densely layered tracks that on the surface sound like fairly normal songs but when scrutinized carefully reveal all manner of weirdness, such as the typewriter percussion beneath the freakish guitar solo of “China My China” or the calliope, celeste and string accompaniment to the twisted nursery rhyme “Put a Straw Under Baby.” “There’s a brain in the table, there’s a heart in the chair, and they all live in Jesus, it’s a family affair,” indeed. Beauty, mystery and humor swirl together in a delightful mélange that should not be missed.