Brian Eno, Kurt’s Rejoinder

Those solo records he made in the mid 70s are notebooks of sounds that he gave to Talking Heads, Devo and U2, but they also stand up on their own. This one from Before and After Science comes with a neat video, and like Eno’s other elpees of the period has Phil Collins playing drums, which was probably cool at the time but in retrospect is just a little paradigm shifting.

5 thoughts on “Brian Eno, Kurt’s Rejoinder

  1. I’m a big Eno fan. Good one, Peter, here is one that nails me every time. A lot of his early solo songs are really Roxy Music with Eno instead of Ferry, and as such they have to be great.

  2. Was trying to figure out what the hell Peter meant by “notebooks of sounds he gave to Devo” and I found this from a “New Yorker” article:

    Right around the release of “No New York,” Eno produced “Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!,” the début by Devo, the visionary band from Ohio. Producing DNA, Devo, and Talking Heads in the same year shows impeccable taste. But taste is not an act—it’s an opinion. On the astonishing, criminally out-of-print “Devo Live: The Mongoloid Years,” you can hear Devo performing at Max’s Kansas City in 1977. Even in low fidelity, their rendition of “Uncontrollable Urge” is merciless, an inhuman sound that summons a human reaction. Few bands have had a similar combination of hostility and control. Under Eno’s watch, “Uncontrollable Urge” became slower and tranquillized—it moved with an unnecessarily light swing. Devo’s Jerry Casale told the Guardian, in 2009, that the band found Eno’s approach “wanky.” “We were into brute, nasty realism and industrial-strength sounds and beats,” Casale said. “We didn’t want pretty. Brian was trying to add beauty to our music.”

    Here’s that recording:

    Shit. Do you realize how difficult it is to sound that tight and on-pitch on an impromptu live recording like this?

    Early Devo is so underrated.

  3. My point was Eno gave Talking Heads, Devo, and U2 sounds he invented for himself, and transformed them. I don’t have any idea about the reason. I love the fact that before Eno produced Talking Heads he named a song King Tut’s Lead Hat, which sounds like the band Talking Heads became, only more so.

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