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My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Reissue):Brian Eno/David Byrne

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Artist: Brian Eno/David Byrne

Date Released: April 4, 2006 (recorded 1979-80)

Label: Nonesuch

Produced By: Brian Eno and David Byrne

Tracklisting:

  1. America is Waiting
  2. Mea Culpa
  3. Regiment
  4. Help Me Somebody
  5. The Jezebel Spirit
  6. Very, Very Hungry
  7. Moonlight in Glory
  8. The Carrier
  9. A Secret Life
  10. Come With Us
  11. Moutain of Needles
  12. Pitch to Voltage
  13. Two Against Three
  14. Vocal Outtakes
  15. New Feet
  16. Defiant
  17. Number 8 Mix
  18. Solo Guitar with Tin Foil

ReviewEdit

Influential and groundbreaking albums are frequently overlooked upon their first stint on cluttered record shelves, mostly because of mass culture’s addiction to conformity and fitting snuggly into the crowd. So anything ahead of its time is typically condemned to an undefined shelf life until… well until its time has come, if it comes. This musical paradox of either having a solid fan base (read making money) or creating significant, forward-thinking music (read not making money) is nothing new to sound pioneers Brian Eno and David Byrne. Thankfully, they chose the latter, and with albums like this one, being reissued more than 20 years after the fact, the cultural and musical influence is deeply apparent. Named after a visceral Amos Tutuola book, simply for the significance of the title, ‘My Life in the Bush of Ghosts’ is an invigorating listen of found sound, worldbeat, funk, electronica, dub and a slew of other international styles. Recorded between Talking Heads albums, the pair set out to create the soundtrack to an imaginary culture, but instead, they may have composed the soundtrack to all oddly interconnected life. Interestingly enough, they were heavily influenced by their friend Toni Basil’s (yes that Toni Basil) innovative dance teams, and the album took a sharp turn toward creating “a new kind of psychedelic dance music.” Using a trial and error technique, they interlaced vocal samples of angry talk show hosts, Arabic singers, radio evangelists and more injecting actual unrehearsed passion into the music and letting it take on a life of its own. The album was initially shelved as Eno, Byrne and the rest of the music industry dealt with clearing samples for the first time. Thanks to the extra tweaking time, some of the songs were revised and some left out all together. This reissue includes some of those tracks (12-18) along with a film clip of Mea Culpa by Bruce Conner and amazing liner notes. With bands like The Books and Fridge gaining popularity now, its easy to see how ahead of its time this album actually was and the cultural significance of it today. Mpardaiolo

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