Before and After Science  

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Before and after Science is a 1977 album by Brian Eno. It is less experimental than its predecessor Another Green World, containing eight songs and just two instrumentals. The songs on the first side of the original album are more energetic, while those on the second side are languid and pastoral.

In addition to the ten tracks, four offset prints from water colour paintings by the artist Peter Schmidt were included in the first edition of the LP and reproduced on the back cover of later pressings (and are reproduced below). (Hence, the album's subtitle, Fourteen Pictures.) Eno's liner notes state, "Apart from our collaboration on this record, Peter and I have been working together and comparing notes for some time. In 1975 we produced a boxed set or [sic] oracle cards called "Oblique Strategies", which were used extensively in the making of this record."

A few of the very first UK albums had an extra 17x21 cm folder with the same structure as the larger one, but greyish in colour. The front has "Before and after science" at the top and "Brian Eno" at the bottom, written with the same fonts as on LP front cover. It contains six sheets, numbered A1-A6, the first 5 are brown and heavily structured, while A6 is white with a lighter structure.

A1-A2 = Enos autobiography. A3 = Discography with all appearances on record + publications and forthcoming collaborations. A4 = A Peter Schmidt presentation of Eno. A5 = Eno on his work with Peter Schmidt. A6 = A reproduction of a Russell Mills painting "Kurts Rejoinder"

Most likely this folder was for promotion only.

The first edition of the LP also contained album's original title "Arcane Benefits of Creed" inscribed in the run-off groove of the record on side 2). "Before and after Science" is in fact an anagram for "Arcane Benefits of Creed." Side 1) run-off groove has the inscription "Gone before to that unknown and silent shore"

The song "King's Lead Hat" was released as a single in January 1978. This features a different mix than the album version. The title is an anagram for Talking Heads, a band whose 1978 album More Songs About Buildings and Food was produced by Eno. The B-side of the single was a non-album track, "RAF".


LP track listing

All songs written by Brian Eno, except where noted.

Side one

  1. "No One Receiving" – 3:51
  2. "Backwater" – 3:43
  3. "Kurt's Rejoinder" – 2:53
  4. "Energy Fools the Magician" (arranged by Percy Jones, Brian Eno) – 2:05
  5. "King's Lead Hat" – 3:53

Side two

  1. "Here He Comes" – 5:40
  2. "Julie With ..." – 6:20
  3. "By This River" (Eno, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, Dieter Moebius) – 3:03
  4. "Through Hollow Lands (For Harold Budd)" (arranged by Fred Frith, Brian Eno) – 3:54
  5. "Spider and I" – 4:08


Cover art

  • Peter Schmidt - the pictures (back cover)
  • Ritva Saarikko - cover photograph
  • Brian Eno - cover design
  • Cream - cover artwork

Other technical details

  • The song "Kurt's Rejoinder" features a sample of Dada artist Kurt Schwitters performing his Ursonate.
  • "King's Lead Hat" is an anagram of Talking Heads, and the song is indeed a Talking Heads pastiche. Eno's intention was to record the song with members of the band but that could not be arranged. It was covered by Ultravox as a live B-side on the 12" version of their single "Passing Strangers" in 1980, and by The Dirtbombs as a limited-edition bonus track on their album Dangerous Magical Noise in 2003.
  • "Through Hollow Lands" is dedicated to Harold Budd. Various internet sites, including Fred Frith's own discography page claim that co-musician 'Shirley Williams' on this track is a pseudonym of Robert Wyatt. In fact, Wyatt himself admitted to as much on 2003's BBC Radio 2 documentary "A Quantity of Stuff - The Brian Eno Story".
  • The song "By This River" features in the Italian film The Son's Room and the Mexican film Y Tu Mama Tambien.
  • Martin Gore of Depeche Mode covered "By This River" in his solo album Counterfeit² in 2003.
  • Supposedly 109 tracks were recorded for the album, the majority of which remain unheard.
  • The song "By This River" was sampled by west coast Underground Hip Hop group The Living Legends, on their song "Never Fallin'" released on their 2005 album entitled "Classic"

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Before and After Science" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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