INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
"Craft is what enables you to be successful
when you're not inspired." - Brian Eno
The Independent NOVEMBER 11, 2012 - by Holly Williams
ENO: ALL THE ANGLES
DAVID BOWIE: "Heroes" - One of a trilogy of Bowie albums Eno collaborated on - the others being Low and Lodger - Heroes was released in 1977. Eno played synths and keyboards, as well as influencing the overall sound of the album: a Rolling Stone review at the time claimed: "Bowie shows himself for the first time as a willing, even anxious, student rather than a simple cribber. As rock's Zen master, Eno is fully prepared to show him the way... Eno clearly has effected a nearly miraculous change in Bowie."
DEVO: Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! - Both Eno and Bowie expressed interest in producing the debut album by the American New Wave band; in the end, it was just Eno who would steer their chilly, ironic 1970s synth-pop, which included a robotic cover version of The Rolling Stones' (I Can't Get No) Satisfaction. Such high-profile support won them a record deal with Warner Bros and the album was released in 1978.
TALKING HEADS: Remain In Light - Eno had worked with Talking Heads on several albums, but his production on 1980's Remain In Light helped move their sound forward; the record was ahead of its time in its experimental use of African polyrhythms and the looping of melodies and beats. Eno - who also played on the record - was initially reluctant to produce, following tensions with Talking Heads frontman David Byrne during the recording of their collaborative album, My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts. Happily, the band's initial work on the album soon won him round.
U2: The Joshua Tree - Probably Eno's most commercially successful outing, U2's fifth album topped the charts around the world in 1987. As on their previous record, The Unforgettable Fire, Eno was to co-produce with Daniel Lanois, working alternating shifts in the studio with the band. Eno helped create the lush, layered arrangements and sonic soundscapes that proved so crucial to the record's appeal.
COLDPLAY: Viva La Vida - Coldplay's 2009 album was another mainstream hit for Eno, who was credited with adding new textures and nuances to their crowd-pleasing stadium rock. Not that he was entirely happy with the result - he told them there was room for improvement, and was keen to get back into the studio. When Eno produced their next album, Mylo Xyloto, he banned singer Chris Martin for the first few weeks, to allow the band to experiment more.