Picture sleeve for the promotional release of the "Silver Morning" single.
Brian Eno was born on May 15, 1948 in Woodbridge, Suffolk, and was educated at St. Joseph’s College, Birkfield, Ipswitch; at Ipswitch Art School; and at the Winchester School of Art, graduating in 1969. His professional music career began in the early 1970s as a member of the glam/art rock band Roxy Music (1971-73), initially operating the mixing desk, processing the band’s sound with a VCS3 synthesizer and tape recorders, and singing backing vocals, but eventually appearing onstage as a performing member of the group, often flamboyantly costumed. He quit the band after the promotional tour was completed for their second album, “For Your Pleasure” (1973), due to disagreements with lead singer Bryan Ferry and boredom with the rock star life. Eno embarked on a solo career, initially releasing a series of electronically inflected pop albums: “Here Come the Warm Jets” (1974), “Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy)” (1974), “Another Green World” (1975), and “Before and After Science” (1977). He also produced a number of albums of highly eclectic and increasingly ambient electronic and acoustic albums, and is credited with coining the phrase ambient music, low-volume music designed to modify one’s perception of a surrounding environment. His efforts at composing ambient music began to consume more of his time, starting with “Ambient 1/Music for Airports” (1978) and “Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks” (1983). The latter album yielded the single “Silver Morning” b/w “Deep Blue Day”. This is today’s featured single.
The music on “Apollo” was originally recorded in 1983 for a feature length documentary movie originally entitled “Apollo” and later re-titled “For All Mankind”. The original version of the film had no narration, and simply featured footage of the Apollo moon missions accompanied by Eno’s music. The music on the album is thus a sort of ambient spacescape. “Silver Morning” is an instrumental track (as are all the tracks on the album”, in which Daniel Lanois’s pedal steel guitar provides the primary instrumentation, giving the song a warm, melodic, lazy feeling, conveying a sense of weightlessness quite effectively. With the pedal steel guitar, this track sounds not unlike one of the Grateful Dead’s side projects, and is an enjoyable listen.
The B-side of this single, “Deep Blue Day”, was included in the original “Apollo” soundtrack, but left out of the re-release of the film. Although the original version of the film had a limited theatrical run in so-called “art house” movie theaters, audience response was lukewarm. The filmmakers felt that the film could do better if it reached a wider audience, so they re-edited the film, added narration, re-structured the music and re-titled the film. As a result, several songs originally on the soundtrack were not included in the re-released version, including “Deep Blue Day”. Nonetheless, it is a compelling piece of music. In this case, the keyboards provide much of the lush, ethereal musical atmosphere, although Lanois’s pedal steel guitar adds texture to the composition, giving the track just a hint of a country flavor. This music won’t shake you to your foundations, but it is an evocative piece.
This single (catalog #: EGO 12) was issued on EG Records. There was a picture sleeve issued with this single (shown above). “Apollo” was one of two albums Eno would release in 1983; the other was “Music for Films Volume 2” (which contains some material also contained on “Apollo”). His next project was a collaboration with ambient musician Harold Budd entitled “The Pearl” (1984); next came the compilation albums “Benenungen” and “Benenungen II”, both released in 1985, along with his next album of all-new material, “Thursday Afternoon”. He would not release another album for seven years, with production work seemingly dominating his schedule. “Nerve Net” (1992) represented a return to more rock-oriented material, with heavily syncopated rhythms and a touch of jazz, which still retained Eno’s ambient sensibilities.