Before and After Science - Brian Eno
- 1977 - LP - Polydor 2302 071 - UK
- 1977 - LP - Island Records ILPS 9478 - USA
- 1987 - CD - EG, Jem Records EGCD 32 - USA
- 1991 - CD - Virgin EGCD 32 - UK
Before and After Science is the fifth studio album by British musician Brian Eno. Produced by Eno and Rhett Davies, it was originally released by Polydor Records in December 1977. Guest musicians from the United Kingdom and Germany helped with the album, including members of Roxy Music, Free, Fairport Convention, Can and Cluster. Over one hundred tracks were written with only ten making the album's final cut. The musical styles of the album range from energetic and jagged to more languid and pastoral.
The album marks Eno's last foray into rock music for the 1970s as a solo artist, with all his remaining albums of the decade showcasing more of Eno's avant-garde and ambient music, which was hinted at on the second half of Before and After Science. The album was Eno's second to chart in the United States. The song "King's Lead Hat", the title of which is an anagram for Talking Heads, was remixed and released as a single, although it didn't chart in the United Kingdom. Critical response to the album has remained positive, with several critics calling it one of Eno's best works.
Unlike Eno's previous albums, which were recorded in a very short time, Before and After Science was two years in the making. During this two-year period, Eno was busy working on his solo ambient music albums Music for Films and Discreet Music. Due to the very positive critical reception accorded his previous rock music-oriented album Another Green World, Eno was afraid of repeating himself but still wanted to release a high-quality product.
As on previous rock-based recordings, for Before and After Science Eno worked with a plethora of guest musicians. Several artists from German and British groups of the era contributed to the album, collaborating with Eno for the first time. Guitarist Fred Frith caught the attention of Brian Eno who was "excited by the timbral possibilities that [Frith had] been discovering" on his album Guitar Solos. Eno asked Frith to record with him, and this resulted in Frith playing guitar on the album. Jaki Liebezeit of the German krautrock group Can played drums for Eno on "Backwater", while German ambient music group Cluster contributed to the songwriting and instrumentation of the track "By This River". Eno had previously worked with Cluster on their album Cluster & Eno released in 1977.Additional session musicians included Dave Mattacks of British folk band Fairport Convention, who contributed drums to "Kurt's Rejoinder" and "Here He Comes", and Andy Fraser of British blues rock band Free, who played drums on "King's Lead Hat".
Eno also had several musicians who he had worked with on previous solo albums return. Percy Jones of Brand X and Phil Collins of Brand X and Genesis, who had been on Eno's two previous rock albums, played bass and drums respectively. Other contributors included Robert Fripp of King Crimson, Paul Rudolph of Hawkwind and Bill MacCormick and Phil Manzanera of Quiet Sun. Robert Wyatt went under the pseudonym of Shirley Williams and is credited on the album for "time" and "brush timbales" on "Through Hollow Lands" and "Kurt's Rejoinder" respectively. Working extensively with the musicians and his instructional cards—the Oblique Strategies—during the two years working on the album, Eno wrote over one hundred songs.
1. "No One Receiving" 3:52
2. "Backwater" 3:43
3. "Kurt's Rejoinder" 2:55
4. "Energy Fools the Magician" (arranged by Percy Jones, Eno) 2:04
5. "King's Lead Hat" 3:56
1. "Here He Comes" 5:38
2. "Julie With ..." 6:19
3. "By This River" (Eno, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Dieter Moebius) 3:03
4. "Through Hollow Lands" (for Harold Budd) (arranged by Fred Frith, Eno) 3:56
5. "Spider and I"
Brian Eno – voices, synthesizers (Minimoog, EMS Synthi AKS, Yamaha CS-80), guitar, synthesised percussion, piano, brass, vibes, metallics, bell
Paul Rudolph – bass, rhythm guitar, harmonic bass
Phil Collins – drums
Percy Jones – fretless bass, analogue delay bass
Rhett Davies – agong-gong, stick
Jaki Liebezeit – drums
Dave Mattacks – drums
Shirley Williams (Robert Wyatt) – brush timbales, time
Kurt Schwitters – voice
Fred Frith – modified guitar, cascade guitars
Andy Fraser – drums
Phil Manzanera – rhythm guitar
Robert Fripp – guitar
Achim Roedelius – grand piano, electric piano
Möbi Moebius – bass Fender piano
Bill MacCormick – bass
Brian Turrington – bass
Brian Eno, Rhett Davies
Ambient, Experimental, Space Rock, Synth-Pop
Compact Disc, LP 33 1/3
Cream, Peter Schmidt, Brian Eno
Basing Street Studios, London; Conny's Studio, Cologne
Island Records Inc.