ENO 2 Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)
Produced by Eno
Released on November 1974
no chart information
Find it at GEMM
ENO 2 cover  

A darker, more deliberate record than Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) supplants the exuberant art rock of his earlier effort with exotic arrangements and disciplined narrative structures. It’s not a charming record like Jets, but rather a captivating one. Crickets chorus creepily on “The Great Pretender,” de-tuned guitars bend in Oriental obeisance for “Burning Airlines Give You So Much More,” a menacing organ lumbers along for the sinister lullaby “Put A Straw Under Baby,” etc. Each song seems to generate its own landscape, from the verdant tones of “Back In Judy’s Jungle” to the castrated decadence of “The Fat Lady of Limbourg.” What Eno does with guitars and sound effects, set against his own flat but oddly expressive voice, is groundbreaking for its time; elements of it would appear years later in the work of David Bowie (Scary Monsters), Peter Gabriel (III) and Talking Heads (Remain in Light). In fact, Taking Tiger Mountain could in some ways be seen as an early punk album. It revels in confrontational sounds and what on the surface seems like lackadaisical musicianship, driving its obscure points home as if they were truly important (and thus de-valuing traditional song structures, which punk has always sought to do). “Third Uncle,” “Mother Whale Eyeless” and “The True Wheel” may not mean anything to anyone (including their author), but they’re presented as prophecy -- sacrilege in an age when progressive rock had taught audiences to expect profundity in their lyrics. As with Jets, Tiger waxes sentimental at the end with a pair of softies (minus one bumptious guitar solo): “China My China” and “Taking Tiger Mountain.” All told, a better crafted album than Jets. Eno could well have mined the pop/punk formula of Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) for several more albums had he not already set his sights on a different destination: ambient music.

ENO 2 inner gatefold ENO 2 back cover ENOC 2 cover
ENO 2 inner gatefold ENO 2 back cover ENOC 2 cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. BURNING AIRLINES GIVE YOU SO MUCH MORE    3:15
  2. BACK IN JUDY'S JUNGLE    5:14
  3. THE FAT LADY OF LIMBOURG    5:05
  4. MOTHER WHALE EYELESS    6:00
  5. THE GREAT PRETENDER    5:10
  6. THIRD UNCLE    (Eno, arr. Brian Turrington)    5:01
  7. PUT A STRAW UNDER BABY    3:28
  8. THE TRUE WHEEL    (Eno/Phil Manzanera)    5:20
  9. CHINA MY CHINA    5:45
  10. TAKING TIGER MOUNTAIN    6:00

    All songs written by Eno unless noted. Arranged by Phil Manzanera and Eno.

CREDITS

ENO -- vocals, electronics, snake guitar, keyboards
PHIL MANZANERA -- guitars, assistant producer
FREDDIE SMITH -- drums
BRIAN TURRINGTON -- bass guitar
ROBERT WYATT -- percussion, backing vocals
Phil Collins -- extra drums (4)
Polly Eltes -- vocals (4)
Andy Mackay -- brass (3)
Portsmouth Sinfonia -- strings (7)
Randi + The Pyramids -- chorus (8)
The Simplistics -- chorus (2,10)
Rhett Davies -- engineer

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
UK/US November 1974 Island LP/8T ILPS/Y81 9309 gatefold cover
UK March 1977 Polydor LP/CS 2302 068 gatefold cover
GER   Polydor LP 2344 080  
JPN   Polydor LP 23MMD123 gatefold cover, lyric insert
US   E.G. Records LP/CS ENO/ENOC 2 gatefold cover
US   E.G. Records CD/CS EGCD/EGMC-17  
US   Caroline CD 1511  

 

progrography

© 2003 Connolly & Company. All rights reserved.