Pioneering ambient producer Brian Eno was in the news recently when he offered
at auction one of his works to benefit War Child USA's relief efforts in Kosovo.
The piece being auctioned is a limited-edition box set, Antennae #1,
compiled in 1994 for guests of a benefit for relief efforts in Bosnia. The set
includes performances by Tricky, Massive Attack, Portishead and others. The
online auction is open through Monday at tunes.com.
Eno, one of the most influential artists of the past few decades, was born Brian
Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno 51 years ago today in
Woodbridge, England. He attended art school, and his ambient experimentalism was
influenced by composers such as John Tilbury and minimalists such as La Monte
Eno started his career with the rock band Maxwell's Demon. In 1971, he co-
founded Roxy Music and became the group's synthesizer player and musical
conceptualist. Eno worked on the band's self-titled debut and For Your
Pleasure (1973) before quitting due to disagreements with singer Bryan
In 1973, Eno began his collaborations with guitarist/composer Robert Fripp on
the album No Pussyfooting.
Going solo, Eno issued 1973's Here Come the Warm Jets. An LP, including
Nico, John Cale and Kevin Ayers, was culled from his solo tour and released as
June 1, 1974.
He then received attention for creating his deck of tarot-like cards called
"Oblique Strategies," which he used to make career and artistic decisions.
In 1975, Eno founded Obscure Records. Among his releases was Evening
Star, another collaboration with Fripp that included experiments with tape
He also co-produced or musically collaborated on the David Bowie albums
Low, "Heroes" and Lodger. The Bowie LPs, which impressed
critics, were more ambient and synthesizer-oriented than anything the legendary
singer had tried before.
Eno produced landmark LPs by the Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings
and Food, Fear of Music and Remain in Light. He also worked
with bands like Devo and Ultravox.
As a solo artist, Eno recorded ambient LPs including Discreet Music
(1975), Music for Films (1978) and Music for Airports (1978). The
latter was once played regularly in New York City's LaGuardia Airport.
Eno built his reputation with such pop albums as Before and After Science
and his collaboration with Talking Heads' David Byrne on the techno-world music
set, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The album with Byrne made the U.S.
In 1980, Eno became partners with producer Daniel Lanois, with whom he produced
U2 on albums such as The Unforgettable Fire (1984) and The Joshua
Tree (1987) -- the latter established U2 as superstars. Eno later helped the
band plunge into techno music with Achtung Baby (1991) and Zooropa
(1993). Also with Lanois and his own brother, Roger Eno, he released 1983's
outer space-oriented Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks.
In the '90s, Eno released his own albums, including 1992's Nerve Net,
1994's Brian Eno I, 1996's Begegnungen and 1997's The Drop,
which featured "Hazard" (RealAudio excerpt).
Eno produced the 1980 vertical-format video "Mistaken Memories of Medieval
Manhattan" and 1995's "Self-Storage," a multimedia project with Laurie Anderson.
He also has designed a series of audio screen savers for PCs. In 1997 Eno
teamed with Michael Stipe on the spoken-word album by various artists, Man in
the Moon: the Loving Tongue.
Eno has been an innovator in the genres of techno, world music, art rock and
U2 guitarist The Edge said in the 1987 book "U2: Touch the Flame" by Geoff
Parkyn, "[Eno is] a really solid guy and he also agrees with so many of our
unwritten rules about music ... the axioms upon which we judge our music and
other music. He seems to have so many common feelings about things, it's
Other birthdays: Eddy Arnold, 81; Graham Goble (Little River Band), 55; Dennis
Fredericksen (Toto), 48; Mike Oldfield, 46; Andrew Eldritch (Sisters of Mercy),