This sonic alchemist to the stars has contributed to the most challenging and critically revered work of Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Devo, U2, and Coldplay, and few collections remain untouched by his distinctive aesthetic. Tellingly, Eno's work with Roxy Music, David Bowie, Talking Heads, Devo, U2, and Coldplay has coincided with those artists producing their most critically revered work. Figures like Russell Mills and John Foxx, who have worked closely with Eno in different contexts, offer thoughtful, insightful observations. Portion of title Life and times of Brian Eno Variant title On some far away beach Notes Originally published by The Orion Pub. God bless the artists who refuse to slavishly follow. This is the first serious, critical examination of the life and times of Brian Eno. On the whole, though, this is a valuable document of one of late-20th-century pop music's key influencers.
Sheesh, what's the zappa line about Rock Criticism? Imagine James Lipton writing for Wire. This is fine by me, as I have little interest in U2, but it does serve to give the narrative a bottom-heavy feel, with almost every week in 1974 for example being covered before a sprint through two decades' worth of projects, the 80s and 90s, with many left out. From an idiosyncratic childhood in a sleepy British market town to the top of the international pop charts, this first critical examination of the life of Brian Eno charts a lengthy and colorful journey. Overall a wonderful insight into the life and work of Brian Eno. Brian helping Bryan invent Roxy Music, without knowing how to do anything on a musical instrument except loop and smear it with tape decks and a primitive synthesizer. David Bowie : Low or Heroes Talking Heads : Fear of Music or Remain in Light U2 : Joshua Tree or Auchtung Baby The Hastings Library has a large collection of Rock biographies please have a look at our catalogue for more information.
David Sheppard has interviewed key collaborators like David Byrne, Robert Wyatt, John Cale, Bryan Ferry, and Gavin Bryars. Sheppard touches on this with reference to Jon Pareles's 1981 Billboard review of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, one of the few contemporaneous responses suggesting a direction that more substantive critiques might take. In all, both books shed a light on the sometimes hidden-from-view process of the recording studio. Of course, it's covering the career of a man which spans the last 40 or 45 years and is all very documented. Due to the fact that Brian Eno's work has created an exponential amount of work, and effect upon others, the book has to economize on each as you get into the 80's and onward. The descriptions of the first four vocal solo albums are illuminating and done largely in a track by track fashion: read how that sublime album Another Green World came togther. I do pretty much what I want, and the only real problem I ever have is wondering what that is.
I think that this book could be a third as long and just as informative. There's some great stuff early on, and up until 1980 or so, the book is fairly compelling. Spock or Kwai Chang Caine of pop music. Great biographgy of Eno - it doesn't fall into the usual trap of only being about the Sex, Drugs and Rock and Roll of most rock bios. Yet, as much as they are icons of rock p In the course of observing the rock based recordings of the late 20th Century, two names keep surfacing when it comes to exemplary album production. A sonic alchemist is what he is called, and that is an apt description. Albums to check out: Brian Eno : Here Come the Warm Jets or Before and After Science.
Brian Eno and Rick Rubin. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts and Talking Heads' Remain in Light were the culmination of Eno's fascination with African percussion and African music in general, forms that - ironically - appealed to him precisely because of their dynamic, radical relationship with their site of production. After reading the story of John Peel debuting their No Pussyfooting album on the air by mistakenly playing it backwards and people nonetheless loving it , it has enchanted me, in both its forward and backward forms, thanks to people thoughtfully posting the versions on Youtube. I think we should be told. Nevertheless, despite the attractiveness of a non-hierarchical model and the displacement of the authorial figure in favour of team work and mutual participation, a clear hierarchy reconstituted itself in the case of Remain in Light as the band fractured into opposing camps and the songwriting credits identified Eno and Byrne as the record's principle composers. Synopsis Authorised biography of Brian Eno - the 'Father of Ambient Music' A sonic alchemist to the stars, Brian Eno's address book is a veritable who's who of rock and pop.
And in true swinging Sixties style, he was hustler and shagger par excellence; as Sheppard makes clear, it wasn't just Eno's thinking that was promiscuous. My kids have been introduced to Devo both Eno-produced and otherwise and won't listen to anything else. Why are pop musician biographers unable to write on their subject without slagging every other artist they come across? But this book reminds one of how fertile his thought has proven, missteps included here and there. The location of Eno's prosaic upbringing positioned him ideally for a series of encounters that would mould his sensibility. I've just finished reading an ace biography of Brian Eno On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno - David Sheppard which was brilliant.
But there are a thousand others like it. Eno's interactions with other artists I care about were really fun to read about. But if you've read, say, More Dark Than Shark, or A Year With Swollen Appendices, you might find yourself disappointed by the amount of stuff you already know. That said, Eno is one of my favourite musicians and one of the smartest and most interesting artists working today--so the book was not entirely useless. My one criticism is that after Eno stops working with The Talking Heads, the tome becomes a mere overview--in particular, Eno's co-production work with U2 gets very short shrift. But after that, perhaps the author's appetite dies with mine, for the whole U2 experience is dismissed within a dozen or so pages. Now that David Bowie has returned to the stars it is worth looking at his contemporaries.
But more importantly, Sheppard has had considerable assistance and input from Brian and Anthea Eno themselves, while retaining an edge and independence in keeping with his subject. Phillips also counter-balanced some of Ascott's more anarchic tendencies by instilling in Eno the importance of bringing discipline and rigour to bear on his work. There are few artists whose pop-oriented stuff and experimental stuff are equally brilliant. It is written with intelligence and an eloquence unusual in a biography. It was a very, very thoughtful gift from my girl While I was fascinated by the information about Eno's eclectic creativity, I was appalled: this book contains some of the worst sentences ever written in the English language! For him, this also resonated with the lessons on process and group-play learned from Ascott; with the possibilities for indeterminate music mapped by Cage and put into practice by Cardew's cooperative Scratch Orchestra experiments; and with the theories of organisation, management and performance developed by Anthony Stafford Beer, whose books had interested Eno since the mid-'70s. For the most part, it's only the notion of Eno's dilettantism that prompts less than favourable assessments by some interviewees.
Maybe Sheppard never even wanted to write a properly objective music critique on the life and times of Eno; maybe all he wanted was to offer a tribute to which all Enophiles could surely raise an assenting glass. Me, I paid twenty quid for it and I don't think it's worthwhile. There are a couple of books I'd recommend ahead of this one. Overall, I am glad I read the book. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Eno's recent return to a vocal album, Another Day on Earth, merits a more substantial track-by-track dissection. Between these two artists I see the way forward for myself at least through the frustrations of the music industry and an overly cliquey scene I currently see myself on the fringes of, trying to break in. I am not a fan of biographies in general, especially of living people.