BRIAN ENO – Thursday Afternoon

It’s possible – nay, likely – that, had you bought Thursday Afternoon back in 1982, you’d have taken it back to the shop. “Hold on,” you might have said, “I expected the innovative new record by Brian Eno, the cleverest man in pop and the groundbreaking father of ambient music. What I have purchased is the Most Boring Album Of All Time. It consists of sixty minutes of some bald bastard playing ‘sonic clusters’, or to give them their layman’s name, chords, very slowly and with big gaps in between. Might I suggest that instead of stocking any more copies of this disc you repackage them as sophisticated implements of torture and send them to doubtful overseas regimes to the future embarassment of the UK Government?”

Such would have been your case, and the facts would have been accurate. But a refund would not have been forthcoming. Let us examine the evidence.

A: It’s by Brian Eno. You should by 1982 have known what to expect with a Brian Eno record, being as the man’s based a lucrative career on being too incompetent to even make proper lift music, and on being a keyboard player. A swift digression on keyboard players: generally they join for album #3, nobody can remember who they are, and their advent heralds the rapid decline of any group into terminal insignificance. Roxy Music however had their keyboard player on board from the start, which made them revolutionary and he famous, despite looking like a ninny. Eno’s every record is like a shovel smack in the face of Dame Quality, from his student-revue lyrical caperings to the poxy new age ones he made with his equally benighted brother (imagine being called Roger Eno. I blame the parents). And Thursday Afternoon is no exception.

B: It’s called Thursday Afternoon, for God’s sakes. What is the most tedious time of the week, eh readers? Sunday? No, you’ve got a hangover but you’ve also got tine to sleep it off, you can have a fry-up, it’s all rather civilised. Wednesday? Wednesday is horrible, to be sure, but at least it’s actively agonising. It lacks the sheer absolute pointlessness of 2PM-5PM, Thursday. Nothing has ever happened between those hours and nothing ever will. So when Brian Eno named an album after this weekly dead zone it’s hardly bloody surprising that it turned out to be so disembowellingly dull that you can feel your brain fossilize as you listen to it. Frankly, reader, if you do own this record I have even less sympathy for you than usual. Get out of my site.