The life and times of Brian Eno
Whichever, what's certain is that Brian Eno's address book is a who's who of rock On Some Faraway Beach: The Life and Times of Brian Eno. For some a pretentious art-school type who produces 'instrumental doodles' or 'jazz that nobody asked for'; for others a lightning rod or touchstone for directions in popular music and culture over the last four decades.
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Whichever, what's certain is that Brian Eno's address book is a who's who of rock and pop of the last thirty years. A founder member of Roxy Music, he's worked with everyone from Talking Heads and U2 to Pavarotti and David Bowie and is often billed as the founding father of ambient music.
The Life and Times of Brian Eno
A witty and unconventional thinker, ten years ago he had considerable success with A Year With Swollen Appendices, his diary of 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. During the Eighties, Eno relaxed into his role as rock's most employable boffin, a producer who used his belief in process and Oblique Strategies to enliven albums by Talking Heads, U2 and so on.
He became synonymous with a kind of safe avant-gardism, bestowing credibility without scaring away a mass audience, a function he performs to this day - Coldplay's new album was co-produced by Eno and marketed accordingly. These commissions allowed Eno to pursue his many interests outside music; notably art and technology. Which brings us back to the problem of the skyscraper and the suitcase. Sheppard's account of Eno's prodigious first creative decade is very good. Unfortunately, Eno's subsequent career - 25 years of installations, lectures, charity work and political activism - proves too diffuse to handle, partly because Sheppard's interests lie elsewhere and partly, perhaps, because only Eno himself would be able to give a full, informed account of it.
But until such time as the world's leading "failed musician" his description produces a sequel to his diary A Year With Swollen Appendices, On Some Faraway Beach provides an extensive introduction to a lifetime of constructive, and very English, pottering.
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On Some Faraway Beach : David Sheppard :
A complete edition of John James Audubon's world famous The Birds of America, bound in linen and beautifully presented in a special slipcase. Accessibility links Skip to article Skip to navigation. Tuesday 18 September The life and times of Brian Eno.