"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."
Sandwiched chronologically between Eno's two best known (though radically different) "rock" albums, Here Come the Warm Jets and Another Green World, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) tends to be vastly underrated (or put more succinctly, under-appreciated), an ironic fate given that it may be the most consistent album of Eno's early solo career. Loosely constructed as a concept album based on a Chinese revolutionary opera bearing the same title, the songs, though uniformly dark, tend to be more humorous and playful than such an inspiration would seem to allow for. But then Eno's sense of humor and taste for ambiguity always were trademarks of his early Glam-influenced work. What is rarely discussed in reference to this album is its influence on the Post-Punk movement five years later. There is no better example of a Post-Punk prototype than "Third Uncle" with its scratchy guitars, clanging percussion and obliquely satirical lyrics. It is no coincidence that Bauhaus ably covered this song on their 1982 album, The Sky's Gone Out. Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) is endlessly inventive both musically and lyrically, and in my opinion stands shoulder to shoulder with the best albums of its time.
Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (2004 Remastered Edition)
1. Burning Airlines Give You So Much More (3:18)
2. Back in Judy's Jungle (5:16)
3. The Fat Lady of Limbourg (5:03)
4. Mother Whale Eyeless (5:45)
5. The Great Pretender (5:11)
6. Third Uncle (4:48)
7. Put a Straw Under Baby (3:25)
8. The True Wheel (5:11)
9. China My China (4:44)
10. Taking Tiger Mountain (5:32)
This is the concluding post of the Brian Eno series