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In-depth Feature:  Brian Eno Profile
Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno
Simon Power writes: .

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20:40 mins
Eno - Life
Brian Eno's seminal influence on contemporary music cannot be understated.
By introducing minimalist, surreal and abstract models, he turned the ridged structures of pop music into something far more fluid.

He regarded the recording studio as a tool and enjoyed the process of creation as mush as the end result, although always maintaining that he wanted to produce music that he personally enjoyed. His art school roots allowed him a kind of freedom of expression that lacked pretensions but displayed emotion and understanding and his quietly humorous mannerisms endeared him to hordes of electronic music fans as
'probably quite a nice bloke'.

"Once the search has begun, something will be found"
(Oblique Strategies edition 4 1996)

  • 1948 - Born the son of a postman in Woodbridge Suffolk, Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno was raised as a strict Catholic in the nearby town of Ipswich.
  • 1966 – Eno graduates from Winchester Art School with a diploma in Fine Art.
  • 1971 - A chance meeting with saxophonist Andy Mackay leads to Eno joining the fledgling band, Roxy Music.
  • 1972 - Blistering songs, razor sharp production and a glamorous image catapult Roxy's first album to the top of the charts. The album showcased Eno's VCS3 processing techniques on Andy MacKay's sax and Phil Manzanera's guitar.

Eno in the studio around 1990
"Destroy nothing; destroy the most important thing" (Oblique Strategies edition 4,1996)

  • 1973 - Dressed in a feather boa and wearing heavy make up Eno's ambiguous image and subsequent press attention lead to differences with front man Ferry and Eno quits the band after the second album For Your Pleasure.
  • 1974 - Influenced by Steve Reich's It's Gonna Rain tape loop montage, he began collaboration with King Crimsonite Robert Fripp. The resulting Heavenly Music Corporation is heard on Eno's first solo album No Pussyfooting.
    He releases a further two solo projects Here Come the Warm Jets and Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy).
"Do something sudden, destructive and unpredictable" (Oblique Strategies edition 4 1996)

  • 1975 – Eno is knocked down by a taxi and admitted to hospital with a suspected skull fracture. While recuperating at home in Maida Vale a friend brings over a recording of harp music for him to listen to. Incapacitated and unable to adjust the low volume of the music from his bedside, Eno listens as the harp intertwined with the sound of rain and traffic from outside the window. Eno draws on this experience in the studio to produce Discreet Music. An atmospheric sonic wash that utilises the unstable oscillation of an aging EMS Synthi processed through a tape driven Gibson Echo Delay and bounced between 2 revox A77's.
  • 1977 - Eno decamps to Europe to co-produce Low with Rock superstar David Bowie. Side two features the systems-tinged Weeping Wall and the synthesized soundscapes of Subterraneans and Warszawa. Success spurned the equally revered follow up, Heroes featuring guitar by Robert Fripp and the synth washed Moss Garden, Neukoln and V2 Schneider.
  • 1979 – Eno co-produces his third Bowie album Lodger before moving to New York for another solo album Music For Airports.

"Go to an extreme, come part way back" (Oblique Strategies edition 4 1996)

  • 1980 – Eno forms record label EG Music and Produces Talking Heads Remain in Light. Eno embraces the arrival of the Yamaha CS80 synthesizer.
  • 1981 – Eno Produces My Life in the Bush of Ghosts with David Byrne, Bob Laswell and Robert Fripp.
  • 1982 – Eno Records Ambient 4: on Land an acoustic representation of childhood memories.
  • 1983 – Eno produces Apollo: Atmospheres and Soundtracks.13 years later the track Deep Blue Day would be used on the soundtrack of the movie Trainspotting adding to and extending the Eno mythology.
    Yamaha release the DX range of FM synthesizers, much to the delight of Eno who works extensively with the DX7.
  • 1984 – Eno collaborates with Daniel Lanois on U2's Unforgettable Fire
  • 1987 – A further Eno/U2/Lanois collaboration, The Joshua Tree sells 15 million copies Worldwide and the production on tracks like with or Without You, Where the Streets.. and I Still Haven't Found... transform U2 into the greatest rock band of the 80's.
"Take a break" (Oblique Strategies edition 4 1996)

Eno moves back to Suffolk, but never stops working with many production collaborations and solo projects on the go at any one time.
During The 90's, there are further collaborations with U2 (Achtung Baby) and Bowie (1995's Outside). There are collaborative projects with John Cale and Laurie Anderson and production for James and most recently Paul Simon.

Eno also composes the start up music for Windows 95 (on a Mac!) and even appears on Irish sitcom Father Ted as Father Brian Eno.

2005 sees the release of Eno's first vocal album for 15 years, Another Day on Earth.

Eno Videos. Eno talks about the vocal processing techniques used on Another Day on Earth, his return to song writing and the concept for Music For Airports.

20 reasons why it's OK to admire/worship/idolise Brian Eno
Babies on Fire
The VCS3
Oblique Strategies
Deep Blue Day on Trainspotting
The feather boa
Remain in Light
The DX7
Ambient music
Discreet Music
Another Green World
A Year With Swollen Appendages
We Are Devo!
My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
Windows 95 start up jingle
The Joshua Tree
The Leopard Skin jacket
No New York
The Portsmouth Symphonia
Music for Airports
An Ending (Ascent)

More Resources              Articles - full listing
  • Eno Web (fansite)
  • Eno at Wikipedia

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