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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Ambient 1/Music For Airports

Brian Eno

1978

Ambient 1/Music For Airports

Album Summary

Ambient 1: Music for Airports is the sixth studio album by English musician Brian Eno, released in 1978 by Polydor Records. It is the first of Eno's albums released under the label "ambient music", a term which he coined to describe music "as ignorable as it is interesting" and capable of "induc[ing] calm and a space to think". While not Eno's earliest entry in the style, it is credited with establishing the term. The album consists of four compositions created by layering tape loops of differing lengths, and was designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation, with the intent of defusing the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. Eno defined his approach in opposition to "canned" Muzak and easy listening practices. The album was the first of four albums released in Eno's Ambient series, which concluded with 1981's Ambient 4: On Land. In 2004, Rolling Stone credited the album with defining the ambient genre. In 2016, Pitchfork ranked it the greatest ambient album of all-time.

Wikipedia

Rating

3.05

Votes

5143

Genres

  • Pop
  • Electronica
Reviews
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Thu Mar 11 2021
5

Yes please. So very pleasant and I believe wholly met Eno's goal of creating music equally interesting and ignorable.

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Wed May 19 2021
5

Awesomely beautiful. (And provided for a great bike ride.)

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Mon Mar 29 2021
5

Okay, I’m not going to lie, I actually really love this. It’s so calming and relaxing. Daughter liked it, too.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
5

I have this one on quite frequently whilst I work - on that basis, it's absolutely the perfect accompaniment to some gentle cogitating. The title gives it away, even if Eno was being semi-ironic - it's functional music. And on that basis, a triumph

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Fri Apr 23 2021
5

I've always had a soft spot for this album.

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Thu Mar 10 2022
5

This is the album that transformed ambient music from a concept that some artists used to toy with to a de facto music genre. Brian Eno's sensible minimalistic approach in those four compositions became a roadmap for ambient records in the late 1970s and it's still very much referentiated to this day. The piano improvisations stitched together, the vocal loops and the beautifully crafted synth sounds all come together to create an album that grows inside you like a very powerful feeling and leaves you calm, but also pensative. As a electronic music record, it also explored that dicotomy of a human-machine relationship, evoking the uniqueness of giant flying metal machines mixed with small helpless humans on the go. Altought the attempt to remove the tension of an airport terminal through music didn't really work on a practical level at the time, when it was used as an art instalation, airports enviroments changed a lot in the last 25 years and I'm curious to see how it would work like that again after all this time and in this world we currently live in. Nonetheless, it's a masterpice, an album that goes straight to the heart.

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Mon Apr 19 2021
4

Don't really know what to say about this except that it does exactly what it tells you it's going to do and it does it very well. Great studying music and very relaxing

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Tue Oct 27 2020
3

Ambient music is not my jam. I always prefer something with energy and drive. I expected this album to be a complete waste of my time. But... somehow... it's not. It's totally ignorable but also not offensively bland. It DOES have layers of interest. The engineering on this album is absolutely top-notch. Way beyond its time. I was actually kinda into the first track. The second track, however, completely lost me with its constantly ebbing and flowing generic human voices. It was creepy AF, to be honest. The third track redeems those vocals by using them as texture to a primarily piano-focused track. But it's only the first and fourth tracks that are listenable, in my opinion. It gets more stars than I anticipated giving it but it's still not a great listen overall.

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Tue May 18 2021
1

This is music. But it's background music. It's not meant to be listened to. (By Eno's own admission. It was literally written with the thought of having looping background music in airports and other similar spaces.) So it's inclusion on 1001 albums you've gotta hear really frustrates me. Since Eno pioneered ambient music with this album, thousands of other similar pieces of music have been made to serve as background music or meditation soundtracks. What makes this example special other than it being the first? It's not that I have a problem with this music (though I wouldn't choose to listen to it), but I have a bone to pick with its inclusion on this list.

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Wed Jan 06 2021
5

As far as music for work - this is best album ever made.

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Thu Apr 08 2021
5

PERFECT

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

Starts out as music for airports, becomes music for spaceships. Brian Eno, and more specifically his ambient albums, were a great comfort for me during a lot of recent stressful times in my life. Just to have something nice on in the background while working through some stuff. Just perfect.

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Tue Aug 03 2021
5

Music for airports got me through a lot of grad school coding projects and has served me well when I’ve needed to call on it since. Good stuff, aptly named. I Stan Eno

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Mon Mar 21 2022
5

Maan... lyssnade på denna medan jag gick ut och promenerade med katten och det mesta i livet kändes ganska kristallklart... banger

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Wed Mar 23 2022
4

I didn't really notice it

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Wed Apr 20 2022
3

The most ronseal of albums, this sounds like ambient music for airports. Not something to be actively listened to, but nice and relaxing. I wouldn't be unhappy if this was playing in an airport or a spa. 5/5 for achievement of artistic intent. 3/5 for my enjoyment of the output. Rating: 3/5 Playlist track: 2/1 Date listened: 19/04/22

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Fri Apr 30 2021
2

Nah

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Tue Apr 27 2021
2

I don't know. I'm not hearing a single. I'm not sure what this album wants from me, except for me to let it play on in the background. And on that note, it works perfectly. It is, absolutely, ambient.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
2

You're better off taking some Xanax if you're that nervous about flying. Suitable album title, as it sounds what it's like to be stuck in an airport. But who the hell wants to spend time in an airport? I'm also guessing airports could get a better deal from Muzak than they could from Brian Eno. In the interest of full disclosure, I put this on once to put me to sleep, and I'm pleased to report that it worked in that regard. The only reason this album is getting bumped up a notch from a 1 rating is because I really needed sleep that night, so much so that Spotify kept playing a shitload of songs after this Airport Album ended. The following is an incomplete list of artists played after "Music For Airports" ended. I have to assume these artists are all approved by TSA, Airport Group International, and any other group associated with airports: • Galaxie 500 • Goldmund • Julianna Barwick • Scott Walker • Television (!) • John Cale • Library Tapes (go figure) • Harold Budd • Stereolab • The Fall • Boards of Canada (should have been called BORED In Canada, amiright?)

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Thu Jan 28 2021
1

Otra vez Brian Eno? Ideal para echarse una siesta, uf

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Tue Apr 20 2021
1

it's difficult to rate ambient music because I wouldn't vibe to this but maybe it would be nice for sleeping?? idk I've heard way better ambient sounds than this

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Tue Apr 20 2021
1

I wanted to like it because I've heard this album referenced before and I think it was kinda new or influential for it's time. Was painfully boring for me to listen to.

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Tue Aug 31 2021
1

It's not exactly BAD, but I'm still giving it one star because why in the hell is this part of the list? What's next - an album of elevator music?

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Fri Apr 02 2021
5

ÄR så jävla bäst

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Interessant, ein Ambience-Album zu hören

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Tue Mar 30 2021
5

Ein Hoch auf die Entspannung! Großartiges erstes Ambient Album

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Tue May 18 2021
5

I'm only two days in and this 1001 Album exercise has served its purpose. First though, the real job of a douchey music critic is to write reviews and say everything except how you really feel about something. But I'm going to shatter that and just say one word three times: "LOVE, LOVE, LOVE." I feel like we all have been listening to this album in our hearts since we were born, or at least since we hit puberty and experienced a wealth of emotion for the first time. I was two years old when this was released and this album plays as if it could've been released today. It's evocative, emotional, raw and unspoiled by the inter-workings of what a traditional album should be. I've heard this a million times since 1976, but this is the first time I've listened to Ambient 1/Music for Airports. This one pays dividends, I truly enjoyed it and is inspiration for me to find / listen / experience more Eno. Five stars for this album. Five stars for this exercise.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
5

I looooove Eno

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Sun Aug 22 2021
5

Elektro Jazz synfonie. Groß und besonders

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Thu Sep 09 2021
5

Tranquil loveliness! I am a massive fan of ambient music, so gotta give props to the album that started it all... Fave track "1-1", I guess - not that it makes sense to break the album down into tracks...

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Mon Sep 13 2021
5

Do not listen to this album if you don't want to feel like you're in an airport

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Wed Sep 22 2021
5

Absolutely classic

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Mon Nov 01 2021
5

Chill, relaxing, calm...yeah, this is meditation music and that is so nice sometimes.

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Wed Nov 03 2021
5

I love ambient, but I don't know what blocked me from Eno for that long time. Nevertheless - that is something I searched for. I think I will get to know with more music from the father of ambient. Short, 4-song-album, but outstanding.

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Fri Nov 19 2021
5

One of the defining releases in ambient music (one of my favorite genres). This album is beautiful and interesting, while also being able to fade completely into the background - exactly as Eno intended.

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Thu Nov 25 2021
5

First time listener, very interesting stuff.

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Mon Dec 06 2021
5

Hard to know how to rate this, as by design it’s not something to devote yourself to listening to. But by its own intentions, it’s a success.

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Thu Dec 16 2021
5

I don't know very much about ambient music. I got into it a while back. So this isn't my first time listening to it. I think it's the top-est of tiers as far as ambient music goes.

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Wed Dec 22 2021
5

airy

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Wed Dec 29 2021
5

Very cool album! Great atmospheric work.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Juste envie d'aller prendre un avion.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
5

Ça me fait sentir tout léger

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Fri Jan 21 2022
5

top 10 of this year

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Thu Feb 17 2022
5

A beautiful, relaxing album. Paired with news of a family member passing today, this feels perhaps more somber and melancholy than intended. But I know that the memory tied to this will make this a comfort album for me regardless, and the music is just amazing. Great job, Mr. Eno. Favorite tracks: the whole thing, no favorites. Album art: It's a map, it's minimal, it's perfect. If it isn't, this should be ambient music's bible. 5/5

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Wed Apr 20 2022
5

Actually listened to this in an airport. Honestly so fitting and so damn good.

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Thu Apr 28 2022
5

I know that these days, so-called 'ambient music' is a huge genre, so even though I do like it sometimes, I thought this album might suffer from being one of the countless albums in this area. I listened to it twice this morning as I worked. It's beautiful, and when I read about how it was pretty much the first album in the genre, it's all the more impressive.

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Fri May 13 2022
5

Quietly beautiful. The more I learn about the experimentation behind its creation, the more amazing it becomes.

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

Imagine a rainy day off work. It’s coming down decently hard but it’s early morning. So the rain is coming from above and the sun is streaming in the windows on your eastern side. Your cup of coffee is just at your elbow and you had a good night’s sleep. You can just kinda space out and watch the old dog dog at your feet breathe. Or you can read poetry from Lenore Kandel that fuddy-duddies were trying to ban for obscenity during the Summer of Love. Or you can try to figure some personal stuff out. Or you can rehearse your next argument with your politically awful relatives. And all the while, you can use the rain and the dog and the sunlight as anchors to the real world, or springboard for more abstract thought. This is kinda that.

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Fri Jun 03 2022
5

Really beautiful ambient music, I want to check out the rest of his Ambient Series I wouldn’t really call myself an ambient fan, like I don’t really go out of my way to listen to ambient music But I think it’s really nice to listen to and I appreciate it when I get it Overall, it’s just very lovely, 9/10

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View Author
Sun Jul 10 2022
5

Brian Eno is one of my favourites and so is this album. There are many no doubt who will be horrified by this and I enjoy reading their 'wtf?!' reviews but I'm happy it's found a place in the 1001. This is a cornerstone of ambient music and although I like Hendrix, Joy Division, Motorhead, Pet Shop boys and many more I also enjoy this and think if all music was the same life would be very dull. This is ambient.

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Mon Aug 08 2022
5

Эмбиент база

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Thu Sep 22 2022
5

For sleeping!!!

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Wed Oct 05 2022
5

Dude's insufferable but also undeniable.

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Sun Nov 13 2022
5

Ambient 1/Music for Airports is exactly as breathtaking and innovative today as it was when it was first released. Time simply flies by as you lose yourself in both the ethereal music and your own mind. This is genius. Pure and simple.

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View Author
Sun Nov 13 2022
5

The record that defined ambient as a genre, Brian Eno created this in 1978 and today it still sounds like it came from the future. I could actually feel my cortisol levels dropping while listening to this. Relaxing, but never boring. Beautiful, but still challenging. The heavenly choir on '2/1' is something else. From the liner notes: "Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting". Eno fully succeeded in this - Music For Airports creates a space that allows you to alternate between being lost in the music and being lost in your own thoughts.

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Sun Dec 11 2022
5

Beautifully crafted ambient landscapes. Brian Eno will always get 4-5 stars from me.

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Wed Dec 14 2022
5

4.5 stars, rating 5 for Drew's sake

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Fri Dec 30 2022
5

The point Brian Eno was making with this album was that there should be a genre that could be played as background music, but that would still benefit from closer listening if the listener so chose. This first of his series of four Ambient titled albums is probably his most significant achievement in that genre. It is relaxing yet strikingly beautiful. Brian Eno struck the perfect balance to create something that did not create a demand on the listener while providing something substantial to the development of popular music.

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Fri Jan 13 2023
5

The ambition of many during the COVID lockdowns of 2020, that the extended free time and solitude would allow them to pursue hitherto neglected creative hankerings, oft proved overambitious. It turned out most lost themselves in chain-wanking and opening the first can of the day at 10am rather than nailing down chapter 14 of their epoch-shattering debut novel. Pointing this out is not to judge people; basically, most people aren't Brian Eno. In 1975, a taxi struck Brian Eno in New York, leaving him bedridden for several weeks. To ease his convalescence, his friend Judy Nylon brought him a record of harp music, leaving Eno alone when it began to play. But Eno found that the volume had been set very low, and that one of the stereo channels wasn't working anyway. He also found that he lacked the energy to change the setup, forcing him to listen to this hushed harp music mingle with the outside rain. Our Brian being a clever bugger, he realised that this accidental restraint meant that he was listening to music in quite an innovative manner, as a background texture rather than as a attention-demanding spectacle, as an ambient feature. Well, maybe "innovative" is a slightly generous adjective. The use of music as ambience may well be as old as music. Just think of the coffee shop pianist performing gentle, genteel trills to accompany the clientele's chatter. Those oddball good-eggs Erik Satie and John Cage wrote Dadaist pranks such as Satie's Vexations and Cage's 4'33" which inspired later ambient musicians. Satie's Vexations, a posthumously discovered work first performed by John Cage and a group of assistants, consists of a simple piano motif repeated 840 times: Cage and his chums didn't realise that such a performance would take 18 hours. Cage's own 4'33" is a three movement piece for any length of time and for any combination of instruments, the sole directive being that the musicians cannot touch their instruments. In other words, silence. Because of this, the John Cage Trust has claimed to hold the copyright on silence, and in 2002 sued Mike Batt (who wrote Art Garfunkel's Bright Eyes and was the mastermind behind the Wombles' music career) after Batt included a minute of silence on one of his albums and tried to claim joint songwriting credit with Cage for his silence (they settled out of court). These, and many others (American minimalists, Krautrockers, the raga ambassadors et al.) all pioneered the aesthetic which would become known as ambient, and that clever chap Eno definitely knew gulping portions of these. With these precedents, and his own incapacitated experience, our Brian codified ambient music as we understand it today, first revealing his formulation in 1975's Discreet Music, and cementing the name with his series of four Ambient albums, of which Music For Airports was the first. Our Brian has always been a nervous flier, finding airports generators for anxiety and disquiet. Hence, his goal of creating a musical backdrop which would seek to calm and mollify, not overwhelm and distract. I am not a nervous flier, indeed I relish flying, and the anxieties that fray me at airports concern tiredness and missing the flight, not fear of plummeting. That is, I find airports boring places, usually attended in some state of exhaustion, a purgatorial sentence before the heavenly delights of the heavens. Mind, I'm not listening to this in an airport, but rather on the sofa in pyjama shorts and with an enfeebled foot. Which I suppose is a convoluted way of saying that the listener need not heed the artist's intentions. One can treat this album as a wholly ambient experience, a sonic equivalent of a fireplace, an element to comfort oneself while one reads a biography of Harold Wilson, completes a crossword or writes a review of Ambient 1/Music for Airports. Yet our Brian was also clever enough to add a vital ingredient to Ambient 1/Music for Airports, without which the entire album would be a mere curio: he remembered to make it beautiful. One can just shut one's eyes and focus on the album, wallowing in the textures. The lack of direction becomes the central strength, allowing the listener to lose themselves without fear of missing some aspect. A still yet sensual pool of an album, and one that invites thought as well as serenity. Thoughtfulness is our Brian's hallmark, you know. Not everyone will embrace Ambient 1/Music for Airports. The meandering, the impassivity, the seventiesness of the record will bore and irritate many. This is no indictment on either them or Eno. What everyone should observe is that a preference is not a philosophy, and a fondness or distaste for ambient music is no more profound than a fondness or distaste for tomatoes. NoRadio, signing off.

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Sun Jan 15 2023
5

Groundbreaking music that your can't dance to, can't sing along with, can't rock out with? Love it. Eno uses his toys to make music that is texturally fascinating, layering fragments of melody to build a place of comfort.

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Wed Jan 18 2023
5

amazing all the way through

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Wed Dec 09 2020
4

pretty good

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Pretty nice, chill, ambient background music.

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Thu Jan 21 2021
4

nice

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Wed Jun 16 2021
4

To quote the man himself "music as ignorable as it is interesting". Great starting spot for ambient music.

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Wed Feb 10 2021
4

vibes

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Tue Jul 20 2021
4

Does what it says on the tin

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Thu Jan 28 2021
4

This would be interesting to come back to. Maybe background/ambient music for working to.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
4

good, repetitive but its ok

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Wed Mar 03 2021
4

Música instrumental. Sin más. Agradable. En todo momento pienso que estoy en el espacio :D.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

8/10 I guess, really pleasant ambient music. But still ambient music, so not the most exciting listen.

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Fri Jun 18 2021
4

Super chill and gentle! Not really sure why its on this list but is great background, definitely helped me concentrate. 8/10 for nice sounds

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Tue May 11 2021
4

Very interesting and soothing

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Mon Mar 15 2021
4

Znam, dobre

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Sat Jun 05 2021
4

Certainly is calming and ambient. It is pretty good for what it is.

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Sat May 15 2021
4

Exactly as advertised. Beautiful and serene

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Tue Jul 06 2021
4

Very pretty. It does what it says on the tin.

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Sun May 30 2021
4

This album is everything about being calm. Really relaxing listen and very enjoyable to have on in the background!

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Tue May 25 2021
4

Calming, really good for learning 4/5

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Wed Jun 23 2021
4

Neat album, very relaxing and warm. I didn’t care for the breathy choir though. It’s definitely not an album for everyone, but I enjoyed it

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Sat Jun 05 2021
4

Great studying music

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

Eno is a genius and this offers great background music for what it intends to do. Not only is it Eno quality but it is highly influential, popularizing the genre. However, the parts only differed slightly, making the album feel tiring with full attention. Nevertheless one of the best ambience works out there cause Eno duh.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

So exciting!

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Sat Jul 24 2021
4

Does its job

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Wed Jul 28 2021
4

I had an ambient music phase around fall of last year so I’ve already listened to this piece before. However I forgot everything about it. But this is an essential album for anyone who wants to get a start into the ambient genre. Honestly all of Brian Eno’s works are good “starter” albums. The sound is so peaceful and it would be great to listen to while doing any task. Again I really enjoy this album, I haven’t listened to ambience in a while, but I might hop back in

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Wed Jul 28 2021
4

Eno is a master of ambient music. First listen of this album. Extremely mellow and transcendent. Somewhat lengthy and repetitive.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
4

Really good background music for just chilling. 0RS

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

well this is an interesting album from Mr. Eno. Be told I<m a fan of Eno but never heard this before. I think Another Green World is brilliant. as is Here Come The Warm Jets. Taking Tiger Mountain.... and Before and after science are great but not quite uo to the lofty standards of AGW. So where does this album fall...Not sure. It;s great late-night, lights out music that blends into the background but also bears stands up well to further scrutiny. After it finished I wanted to hear it again. I hear some of AGWs quieter moods in the opening piece which aided in my appreciation of the album. I can see this becoming an addictive album. 4 stars with a bullet

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

Dakle, ovo. Ovo je za mene jedno od savršenijih ambient materijala. Definitivno ako ikad budeš imao problema sa spavanjem, da se umiriš itd, ovo je taj album koji ti treba. Brian Eno je legenda ambijentalne glazbe, i to sam se bome uvjerio kroz dosta njegovih albuma. Uglavnom, ako nisi slušao, a paše ti ambijentalna glazba, ovo je pod MUS!

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Fri Nov 05 2021
4

1975??!! very innovative

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Mon Nov 08 2021
4

I first heard of Brian Eno as a producer of other bands that I like (including U2 and the Talking Heads). I listened to Ambient 1/Music For Airports before, to find out what Eno's own music sounded like. I'm not sure who to recommend the album to, but it's good enough. I know when I would play the album. I would have no problem listening again. Rounding up to 4 stars.

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Fri Nov 12 2021
4

I like ambience. Very nice flow 👍

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Sun Nov 14 2021
4

Wow. I didn't know it was possible! A Brian Eno album I liked! Obviously very chill and sleepy, not particularly attention grabbing, but great mellow music for the background.

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Thu Dec 09 2021
4

Вот они, истоки эмбиента. Идеально для медитации.

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Mon Dec 27 2021
4

Música instrumental. Sin más. Agradable. En todo momento pienso que estoy en el espacio :D.

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Fri Jan 07 2022
4

48 minutes of ambient music, eh? well I guess. Eno says that this is music "Really, it’s music to resign you to the possibility of death." Its very calming after a while, so thats nice. Wow that album passed me by in a flash. Defintely soothing.

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Mon Jan 17 2022
4

Not his best, but essential anyway.

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Thu Jan 20 2022
4

moi aussi j'ai peur de l'avion et donc je testerai le concept de l'album prochainement, en attendant c'était très relaxant pour commencer ma matinée de travail en mangeant des miel pops

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Loved it.

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Thu Feb 03 2022
4

amazing atmospheric ambient

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