Brian Eno (full name: Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno) turns 58 today. This should probably be a national holiday. No, wait, a world holiday.
Those of us of a certain bent feel about Eno much as Catholics feel about the Pope. Why do we love Eno so much?
- He has a cool name. Try saying it. “Eno.” Doesn’t it sound cool?
- He was a founding member of Roxy Music; during this period, David Bowie says, he was “an alarmingly glamorous young man.”
- He produced the following albums, among others: Talking Heads’ More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light; Devo’s Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo; Bowie’s Low, “Heroes,” and Lodger1; Ultravox’s Ultravox; and a bunch of albums by U2 (but we forgive him for that).
- Between 1974 and 1977 he recorded four experimental pop albums—Here Come the Warm Jets, Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), Another Green World, and Before and After Science—that remain crucial discoveries for every hipster egghead college kid.
- He invented ambient music.
- With David Byrne, he recorded My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, using African rhythms and found sound to create one of the all-time stoner masterpieces.
- He uses a set of cards called “Oblique Strategies” to help generate ideas.
- Did I mention that he has a cool name?
So if you own any Eno, I recommend pulling it out and listening to it today. If you don’t, I recommend you get some immediately.
(1) Those of you who are saying “Actually, technically, Tony Visconti was the producer of those albums”: Ding ding ding! You are correct. I’m leaving them on the list anyway.