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Release Info: Brian Eno "Needles in the Camel's Eye" - An appreciation of, plus 12 interpretations.
All mysteries are just more needles in the camel's eye.
This is the second in my "appreciation" series, with from August of last year being the premiere. It's hard to believe that the first song on the first side of the first Brian Eno album () was so utterly enthralling and sublime that it would literally be all downhill for the man from there, but it was those very heights "Needles in the Camel's Eye" ascended to when it was unleashed on the public in 1974. Certainly, the remainder of Warm Jets was great, as were many of Eno's solo albums to follow, but that song, is so undeniable. A dense, three-minute, manicured maelstrom exuding such a visceral rush that I'm still virtually apt to stop dead in my tracks the very instant guitarist Phil Manzaneras paints the entire canvas in one fell swoop with that hyper-hypnotic riff, blissfully unrelenting for the entirety of the song. And so advanced for it's time I might add, especially considering that even David Bowie didn't concoct anything remotely similar beforehand.
So far as lyrical analysis is concerned, it's tempting to not even approach it's "deeper meaning," given there's a verse in the song that outright begs "Why ask why?" The song's title is derived from a passage that says to the effect:
"It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."
Yet "...Camel's Eye" doesn't broach the heady topic of religion at all. Uultimately, the song is a commentary on the resignation of the absurd and unexplained, and thus reading into it too deeply would be a contradiction unto itself. Enjoy it for what it is, and if you're anything like me, you might just find it to be in inseparable part of your life.
Though I haven't included the original studio version, there is a vintage, live incarnation of the song with Brian Eno and the Winkies, alongside renditions by Waxing Poetics, Volcano Suns, Elf Power, The Konks, Mary My Hope, and even '80s goth-rock footnotes Specimen. Absent is Queens of the Stoneage's version, so my apologies in advance. If you're still hungry, a quick search for the song on You Tube will generate about a dozen live clips of the song performed by a cavalcade of virtual unknowns.