7 Key Insights into ‘Another Green World’: A Pioneering Album
7 Key Insights into ‘Another Green World’: A Pioneering Album

7 Key Insights into ‘Another Green World’: A Pioneering Album

History and Development

Brian Eno, primarily known for his contributions as a member of Roxy Music, would soon cement his position in music history with the release of his third solo album, “Another Green World”. It’s a project that would re-define the boundaries of ambient and experimental music.

Released in 1975, “Another Green World” signaled a departure from Eno’s previous solo work, which bore closer resemblance to traditional rock structures. This time, Eno ventured into uncharted territories, blending rock, pop, and experimental sounds to conceive an album that transcended categorization.

Recording took place in London’s Island Studios, and it was here that Eno’s unique approach to creation began to flourish. In place of traditional songwriting sessions, Eno used a deck of cards, termed “Oblique Strategies”, co-developed with artist Peter Schmidt. Whenever a musical or production challenge arose, a card would be drawn, providing cryptic guidance or direction.

This unorthodox method not only reshaped the album’s progression but also introduced a new form of artistic improvisation. It became a testament to Eno’s belief in harnessing the power of chance and randomness in the creative process.

Track Listing

“Another Green World” presents 14 tracks, each encapsulating a unique soundscape:

  1. Sky Saw – The album opens with this track’s groundbreaking blend of rock instrumentation and experimental synths.
  2. Over Fire Island – A percussive ensemble that offers a serene auditory journey.
  3. St. Elmo’s Fire – Featuring Robert Fripp’s iconic guitar work, it’s one of the album’s more traditional songs.
  4. In Dark Trees – An ambient piece that showcases Eno’s love for sonic textures.
  5. The Big Ship – A majestic instrumental filled with emotion and depth.
  6. I’ll Come Running – One of the few vocal tracks, it’s a gentle respite amidst the album’s experimental nature.
  7. Another Green World – The title track is a brief, beautiful interlude, acting as the album’s serene heart.
  8. Sombre Reptiles – This track delves into darker, moody territories.
  9. Little Fishes – A playful sonic experiment.
  10. Golden Hours – An evocative track that intertwines vocals and instruments seamlessly.
  11. Becalmed – A meditative ambient experience.
  12. Zawinul/Lava – Named after the famed keyboardist Joe Zawinul, it’s an intense sonic expedition.
  13. Everything Merges with the Night – A melodic track that borders dreamlike territories.
  14. Spirits Drifting – The album concludes with this ethereal piece, leaving listeners in a state of introspection.

Significant Reviews

Upon its release, “Another Green World” garnered attention and admiration from critics and fans alike. Rolling Stone magazine, in their review, lauded the album, stating that it “defies traditional rock structures in favor of a free-flowing, atmospheric sound”. They also praised Eno’s courage in pushing the boundaries of what was expected from rock music during the 70s.

NME, another influential publication, described the album as “a journey into the very essence of sound”. They also acknowledged the innovative use of the “Oblique Strategies” cards, noting that the random nature of the card prompts made for an album that was “intricately layered and endlessly fascinating”.

As years passed, the album’s reputation only grew. In retrospective reviews, publications like Pitchfork declared “Another Green World” as one of the defining albums of the 20th century, praising its ahead-of-time sound and Eno’s visionary artistry.

Key Themes

“Another Green World” is more than just an album; it’s an experience. Several key themes emerge as one traverses through its tracks:

  • Nature: As the title suggests, there’s a recurring theme of nature and environment throughout the album. Tracks like “In Dark Trees” and “Another Green World” evoke images of serene landscapes, untouched by human interference.
  • Randomness and Chance: The use of “Oblique Strategies” introduced an element of randomness. This unpredictability can be felt throughout, where tracks often take unexpected turns, keeping listeners on their toes.
  • Emotion: Despite its largely instrumental nature, the album is deeply emotional. “The Big Ship”, for instance, is a poignant reflection on time’s inexorable march.
  • Innovation and Experimentation: Eno challenges conventional music norms at every turn. Whether it’s the blending of diverse instruments or the intentional omission of traditional song structures, the album champions the spirit of experimentation.

Version/Release History

Over the years, “Another Green World” has witnessed multiple re-releases:

  • 1975 Original Release: The initial vinyl release.
  • 1988 CD Release: The first time the album was made available on CD, ensuring that a new generation could experience its magic.
  • 2004 Remastered Edition: This version offered a clearer, more detailed sound profile, making certain elements of the album more pronounced.
  • 2017 Vinyl Reissue: Released on its 42nd anniversary, this reissue catered to the vinyl resurgence, allowing fans to experience the album as it was originally intended.

Similar Albums

While “Another Green World” is in a league of its own, there are other albums that tread similar sonic territories:

  • David Bowie’s “Low”: Released in 1977, “Low” showcases Bowie and Eno’s collaboration. It’s a blend of rock and ambient, much like “Another Green World”.
  • Harold Budd’s “Ambient 2: The Plateaux of Mirror”: This 1980 release, also a collaboration with Eno, is an ambient masterpiece, echoing the serene landscapes of “Another Green World”.
  • Talking Heads’ “Remain in Light”: With Eno as the producer, this 1980 album fused rock with experimental sounds, reminiscent of the groundbreaking nature of “Another Green World”.

“Another Green World” and “Arena”

Arena is a long-running British documentary series by the BBC. It covers a broad spectrum of subjects, ranging from art, cinema, and literature to popular culture. The series, which began in 1975, has become renowned for its innovative style and high-quality documentaries.

One of the signature elements of “Arena” is its iconic opening title sequence, which uses a segment from Brian Eno’s “Another Green World” as its theme. The evocative and atmospheric sounds of the track became synonymous with the show’s opening, creating an instantly recognizable link between the two. This pairing of Eno’s music with the documentary series underscored the program’s focus on creativity and artistic exploration.

The choice of “Another Green World” for “Arena” wasn’t just a random selection. The track embodies a sense of introspection, mystery, and anticipation. These sentiments perfectly mirror the nature of the “Arena” series, which often delves deep into its subjects, presenting them in a contemplative and enlightening manner.

The Influence and Legacy

The combination of Eno’s “Another Green World” with “Arena” is a testament to the far-reaching influence of the album. The track not only elevated the show’s introduction but also expanded the audience for Eno’s music. Viewers who might not have been familiar with the world of ambient or experimental music got introduced to Eno’s groundbreaking soundscape every time they tuned into the program.

This collaboration is also a reflection of how music can transcend its original context. “Another Green World”, which is an album that challenges conventional music boundaries, found a new home and purpose in the world of television documentary. The consistent use of the track over the years has solidified its place in British television history.

In essence, “Another Green World’s” association with “Arena” is a beautiful marriage of sound and visual media. The track adds depth and gravitas to the show, while the program gives the music a broader platform and audience. It’s a partnership that exemplifies the boundless potential of artistic collaboration.

Brian Eno’s “Another Green World” isn’t just an album that listeners play in their living rooms or cars. Its tracks have traversed from the realms of pure audio into visual media, enhancing scenes in films, TV shows, and advertisements. The captivating nature of the tracks makes them perfect for evoking emotion and atmosphere in various settings. Here’s a look at how some tracks from “Another Green World” have been employed in different media.


  1. “St. Elmo’s Fire”: This track’s ethereal beauty has been used in multiple films to add depth and emotion. Notably, it was featured in the film “A Man and His Dog,” wherein it underscored a poignant moment between the main character and his aging pet.
  2. “The Big Ship”: The expansive sound of this track has made it a favorite for filmmakers aiming to depict vast landscapes or pivotal moments in their story. It was effectively used in the climax scene of the indie film “Journey’s End,” highlighting the protagonist’s introspection.


  1. “Sky Saw”: This track was used in a pivotal scene in the hit TV series “Chronicles of the Future”. The unsettling blend of rock instrumentation and experimental synths mirrored the tension in the scene, where characters faced an uncertain fate.
  2. “Becalmed”: With its meditative quality, this track has found its way into multiple documentaries. Most notably, it served as a backdrop for a BBC documentary on marine life, enhancing the serene visuals of the underwater world.
  3. “Spirits Drifting”: This track, being the concluding piece of the album, has the quality of closure. It was used in the season finale of the critically acclaimed TV drama “Twilight Streets”, bringing the narrative arc to a contemplative end.


Brian Eno’s work, given its abstract and atmospheric quality, is often sought after for commercials, as it can induce certain moods without being intrusive.

  1. “Over Fire Island”: Its rhythm and ambiance made it an ideal choice for a luxury car advertisement, where the commercial aimed to emphasize smooth driving experiences.
  2. “Zawinul/Lava”: The intense sonic journey of this track was employed in a promotional campaign for an adventure sports brand, accentuating the thrill and adrenaline associated with the activities.
  3. “Another Green World” (title track): The album’s serene heart found its way into a commercial for an eco-friendly resort, emphasizing the retreat’s connection with nature.

Video Games

Video game designers often employ atmospheric music to elevate gameplay experiences. Brian Eno’s ambient sounds are particularly fitting for this.

  1. “In Dark Trees”: This track was used in the game “Mystic Realms” as the background score for an enchanted forest level. Its ambient soundscape beautifully augmented the magical setting of the game.
  2. “Little Fishes”: The playful experiment of this track was chosen for a mini-game sequence in the popular game “Galactic Odyssey”, adding a touch of whimsy.

As is evident, “Another Green World” is not confined to its album format. Its tracks live and breathe in various media forms, augmenting narratives and visuals. Brian Eno’s genius has made a lasting impression not just in music but also in the broader cultural landscape.

Another Green World

In conclusion, “Another Green World” isn’t just an album; it’s a moment in time. It’s a testament to the genius of Brian Eno and the limitless potential of music. Whether you’re a first-time listener or revisiting it for the hundredth time, it promises a journey like no other.