Saturday, 17 July 2010

The Life of Brian

David Sheppard's book, about the life and career of Brian Eno is one the best music biogs I've read for some time. I'm a huge Eno fan and all the good stuff is here - his early interest in John Cage, tape recorders and experimental music; his pivotal involvement in the sound of Roxy Music, the avant-pop stylings of his early solo albums, the landmark ambient albums and his role in some of rock music's defining moments - David Bowie's triptych of Low, Heroes and Lodger; Talking Head's Fear of Music and Remain In Light, and U2's Unforgettable Fire and The Joshua Tree. Eno was involved in the book so there's very little among the pages to shame the man, but luckily Sheppard doesn't avoid some of Eno's more prickly collaborators - English composer Gavin Bryars, John Cale, Bryan Ferry, who wrestled for control of Roxy Music, and Talking Heads, who felt they were becoming Eno's backing band.

The backbone of the book covers the era of the late 60's up to the late 80's, and as the pages turn over to the 90's the pace of the book speeds up - its a minor quibble - Eno's work has after all been less visible in last decades - (his best music from this era is mostly found on hard-to-find Internet only releases), and Sheppard concludes his book as Eno and David Bynre record their newest collaboration together, Everything That Happens Will Happen Today. For Eno fans and lovers of experimental music, On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno is highly recommended.

Amazon UK / Amazon US

1 comment:

  1. I had friends back in school - brothers - who were fans of Brian Eno. I'm still not a music guy, but this does sound like a good book.