|Wrong Way Up|
|Produced by Brian Eno and John Cale|
|Released on October 5, 1990|
|no chart information|
|Find it at GEMM|
W ith Brian Eno and John Cale, anything goes… even pop music. Wrong Way Up isn’t your typical pop album, anymore than “I’ll Come Running to Tie Your Shoes” or, more recently, “The Soul of Carmen Miranda” were typical pop songs, but it is much more accessible than anyone had a right to expect. Eno’s return to writing and singing pop music -- last heard on 1978’s Before and After Science -- has led to effusive praise, some critics calling it his best work in years. It’s really not. On the surface, songs like “Spinning Away” and “Lay My Love” feel like the lighter moments of Another Green World, but scratch away the drum beats and synthesizers and you won’t find much underneath. They’re still enjoyable songs, but on a more superficial level than Eno’s earlier work; if you like the melody, you’ve dug as deep as it gets. Cale’s songs, on the other hand, do rank with his better forays into pop. “Cordoba” and “Footsteps” in particular are nice settings for his voice, which is usually a sticky critter to pin down. However, “Been There Done That” doesn’t befit two of alternative music’s elder statesman; they should have sold the song rights to Tiffany and spent the money on drugs. The odd thing about listening to Wrong Way Up is waiting for boobytraps that never trigger. I keep thinking that there must be something more serious afoot than catchy melodies and relaxed arrangements, but apparently the pair were content to take a vacation from themselves in the studio. It’s hard to call this album essential since it’s antithetical to the music that both are known for making. As a novelty item, though, it’s kind of a hoot. If you’re in the mood for Eno or Cale but don’t feel like putting on your thinking cap, Wrong Way Up may be the way to go.
JOHN CALE -- lyrics, vocals, pulse piano, organ bass, Scarlatti piano, timpani, fairground organ, bass, harp, piano, horn, vocal arrangement, chord pattern, dumbek, keyboards, viola, strings, keyboards, snare, rhythm keyboards
BRIAN ENO -- lyrics, vocals, keyboards, rhythm bed, Indian drum, arrangements, treatments, guitar, voice/guitar duet, Shinto bell, slide guitar, harmony vocals, pulse organs, dark guitar, vocal arrangement, viola treatments, bass, wash guitar, little Nigerian organ, omnichord, high keyboard, engineer, mixing, artwork
Robert Ahwai -- rhythm guitar
Neil Catchpole -- violins, string arrangements
Rhett Davies -- mixing, backing vocals
Jeff Foster -- backing vocals
Daryl Johnson -- bass
Ronald Jones -- snare fills, bass drum, snare drum, tabla, drums
Bruce Lampcov -- mixing, backing vocals
Dave Young -- triplet guitars, bending guitar, bass, guitar, engineer
|REGION||RELEASE DATE||LABEL||MEDIA||ID NUMBER||FEATURES|
|UK||October 5, 1990||Land||LP/CD/CS||LAND12|
|US||October 5, 1990||Opal||LP/CD/CS||26421||picture sleeve|
I don't know what it has to do with the price of tea in China (my china), but the cassette version of Wrong Way Up features an ad for Earth Communications Office. You can learn more about them by visiting their web site at www.oneearth.org. Apparently, the organization is also known as One Earth (nice communications strategy there). Two signs of failing health: (1) the home page features an event from June of last year, and (2) Kevin Bacon is the draw.
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