Brian Eno

Third Uncle

Composed by Brian Eno / Brian Turrington

Song Review by

While Eno's first solo album was very much an alliance of his musical ambitions and lyrical absurdities, his second, Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy, is dominated by words. Quick fire rhymes, oddball couplets, abrupt demands, and ruthless statements absolutely dominate the record, with the maniacal "Third Uncle" the epitome of the art. Opening with a bass rhythm borrowed from Pink Floyd's "One of These Days" but sent insanely reeling into a near punk attack of riffing guitars and clattering percussion, "Third Uncle" could, in other hands, be a heavy metal anthem, albeit one whose lyrical content would tongue-tie the most slavish air guitarist. On record, the song is furious; live, it was positive madness -- there is a pummeling version to be found on 801 Live. Almost a decade later, British goths Bauhaus cut their own, near-note-perfect rendering for their The Sky's Gone Out album and left a generation of listeners scratching their heads -- how did Peter Murphy ever distinguish all the lyrics?

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) 1974 EMI 4:47
Eno Box II: Vocals 1993 Virgin 4:50
No Image 1994 Griffin 0:00
Industrial Revolution: Second Edition 1994
Various Artists
Cleopatra 4:49