For a minute there after leaving Roxy Music, Brian Eno was poised to become one of the era’s most glam-tastic superstars. After recording Here Come The Warm Jets, he recruited a group called the Winkies to be his touring band. Alas, it didn’t last long: Eno & The Winkies recorded an oft-bootlegged BBC session and played only a handful of shows before the hard-partying Brian suffered a collapsed lung and—for the most part—pretty much gave up the touring life. What we’re left with, presented here, is just a hint of potential greatness.
It’s a shame. The Winkies sound like an amazing band: tight, glammy and able to follow Eno to the outer regions. Some of the versions on this comp may even surpass the Warm Jets versions. However, as amazing as they sound, don’t expect amazing things, sound-quality wise. The BBC stuff is well-preserved, but the only known live recording of Eno & the Winkies (from Kings Hall in Derby on Feb. 13, 1974) is extremely lo-fi. But this is all we’ve got, people! It’s also the only place you’re going to hear Eno doing the Who’s “I’m A Boy” or the Velvet Underground’s “What Goes On” and several other tunes. So, until some perfect soundboard of Eno and the Winkies comes along (let us pray), enjoy this historic recording. | t wilcox
Brian Eno & The Winkies, A Year With Collapsed Lung (Download)