Who is Brian ENO? Top 3

Eno in 1974

Brian Peter George Eno was born on the 15th of May in Melton (Suffolk) as a son of a postal worker and clock/watch repairer. Brian is the oldest of 3 children. The others are his brother Roger (Ambient artist) and sister Arlette. He went to the Ipswich School Of Art where one of his teachers was artist Tom Philips who became a lifelong friend and encouraged his musical ability. Eno and Philips liked doing "piano tennis". They collected many pianos and lined them up in a hall and throwing tennis balls at the pianos to produce a sound. Then Eno went to Winchester School of Art where he met Who guitarist Pete Townshend. From Pete he learned it wasn't important if you can play an instrument. Eno couldn't play any music instrument at that time but he used a tape recorder as a musical instrument. In 1964 he joined his first band The Black Aces where he played drums. After that he played in more avant-garde music bands. He also learned to play guitar during this time.

Eno in 1975

In 1970 his professional music career finally started. he became involved with the Scratch Orchestra and the Porthsmouth Sinfonia. He appeared on a record titled "The Great Learning" (1971) by Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra where his voice can be heared on the track "Paragraph 7" and he made the soundtrack to a 9 minute avant-garde art film by Malcolm Le Grice titled "Berlin Horse" (1970). He met Andy MackKay at a train station and they formed the band Roxy Music in 1971. Eno played on their first 2 albums "Roxy Music" and "For Your Pleasure". He did synthesizer, tape effects, backing vocals and co-produced the albums. With his flamboyant costums and makeup he stole the spotlight from lead singer Bryan Ferry and he never got the chance to inorporate his own ideas. That led to his departure from the band to start a solo career.

His first 2 solo singles

He released 4 electronically experimental pop albums where he sang vocals (Here Come the Warm Jets (1974), Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974), Another Green World (1975), Before and After Science (1977)). During that same time he also collaborated with many other artists like Robert Fripp from King Crimson for experimental instrumental albums and produced albums for the Porthsmouth Sinfonia on which he played clarinet. And also Kevin Ayers from Soft Machine. His first 2 exclusive singles were: "Seven Deadly Finns" and "The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)". An important single of this period was "Third Uncle" which was later covered by Bauhaus and was adopted by the Gothic music scene. Throughout his career he collaborated very frequently. Also with Karl Hyde from Freur and Underworld. See my review for Freur's album "Doot Doot" here.

In 1975 Eno was hit by a taxi while crossing the street and was forced tho rehabilitate at home for several weeks. His girlfriend gave him an old record with harp music because she knew he had a weird musical taste. He set the volume to low and one of the stereo channels didn't work. He had no force to correct it and he heared an ambient sound of the harp music combined with the sound of the rain outside. That gave him the idea for making music the described as ambient music. It could first be heared on his solo album "Discreet Music" from 1975. His works after 1977 are mainly instrumental and ambient. His album "Ambient 1: Music For Airports" (1978) became a masterpiece in this genre.

Bowie, Bono en Eno

That's not all. Since 1977 he also started producing albums for other artists which gave him lots of recognition. He made 3 albums with David Bowie (Low (1977), Heroes (1977) and Lodger (1979)). For the Talking Heads another 3 albums (More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), Fear Of Music (1979), Remain In Light(1980)). As well as U2 where he produced together with Daniel Lanois (The Unforgettable Fire (1984), The Joshua Tree (1987), Achtung Baby! (1991))

Windows 95

He also made soundtracks for films and don't forget the startup sound of windows 95. That's not a joke he really composed the 6-second startup sound we all know when we had a PC with windows 95.

Eno in 2010

My top 3 of Eno albums:

  1. Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974)
  2. Before and After Science (1977)
  3. Another Green World (1975)

Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy) (1974)
Burning Airlines Give You So Much More / Back In Judy's Jungle / The Fat Lady Of Limbourg / Mother Whale Eyeless / The Great Pretender / Third Uncle / Put A Straw Under Baby / The True Wheel / China My China / Taking Tiger Mountain

Before And After Science (1977)
No One Receiving / Backwater / Kurt's Rejoinder / Energy Fools the Magician / King's Lead Hat / Here He Comes / Julie With ... / By This River / Through Hollow Lands / Spider and I

Another Green World (1975)
Sky Saw / Over Fire Island / St. Elmo's Fire / In Dark Trees / The Big Ship / I'll Come Running / Another Green World / Sombre Reptiles / Little Fishes / Golden Hours / Becalmed / Zawinul/Lava / Everything Merges with the Night / Spirits Drifting

Seven Deadly Finns

The Lion Sleeps Tonight (Wimoweh)

Sky Saw

I'll Come Running


Eno talking about "Music For Airports"

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