My Life In the Bush of Ghosts - Brian Eno & David Byrne

My Life In the Bush of Ghosts

Brian Eno & David Byrne

  • Genre: Rock
  • Release Date: 2006-04-11
  • Explicitness: notExplicit
  • Country: USA
  • Track Count: 18

  • ℗ 2006 Nonesuch Records, Inc.

Tracks

Title Artist Time
1
America Is Waiting Brian Eno & David Byrne 3:37 USD 1.29
2
Mea Culpa Brian Eno & David Byrne 4:57 USD 1.29
3
Regiment Brian Eno & David Byrne 4:11 USD 1.29
4
Help Me Somebody Brian Eno & David Byrne 4:19 USD 1.29
5
The Jezebel Spirit Brian Eno & David Byrne 4:53 USD 1.29
6
Very, Very Hungry Brian Eno & David Byrne 3:20 USD 1.29
7
Moonlight In Glory Brian Eno & David Byrne 4:29 USD 1.29
8
The Carrier Brian Eno & David Byrne 4:19 USD 1.29
9
A Secret Life Brian Eno & David Byrne 2:31 USD 1.29
10
Come With Us Brian Eno & David Byrne 2:43 USD 1.29
11
Mountain of Needles Brian Eno & David Byrne 2:34 USD 1.29
12
Pitch to Voltage Brian Eno & David Byrne 2:38 USD 1.29
13
Two Against Three Brian Eno & David Byrne 1:55 USD 1.29
14
Vocal Outtakes Brian Eno & David Byrne 0:36 USD 1.29
15
New Feet Brian Eno & David Byrne 2:26 USD 1.29
16
Defiant Brian Eno & David Byrne 3:41 USD 1.29
17
Number 8 Mix Brian Eno & David Byrne 3:29 USD 1.29
18
Solo Guitar With Tin Foil Brian Eno & David Byrne 2:56 USD 1.29
  ...

Reviews

  • Loved it then, loved it now

    5
    By AriesShion57
    Thirty-four years later, still an amazing audio experience.
  • Still On my all time top 10 album list.

    5
    By Synthwedge
    On my all time top 10 album list.
  • Landmark

    5
    By martin doudoroff
    This is one of the key works for both Eno and Byrne and a landmark collection of extremely influential music. Seriously, this is music you can revisit for the rest of your life. Personally, I’m quite happy to have this extended version with the extra tracks—in this case, I think more is better, even if the original track lineup was unimpeachable. The sound quality of this remaster seems preferable to me, too.
  • A great, and great sounding album still today

    5
    By Vichere
    What a collaboration, this is a fantastic album songs and sound recordings.
  • If Negativland hit the mainstream...

    5
    By WWHF
    ...it would sound exactly like this. The fact that Negativland is mentioned nowhere on this page suprises me. Since 1980, Negativland has been manipulating family recordings, field recordings and commercials and arranging them into themed compositions, something they continue to do today. If you like this album, then you need to check them out.
  • Listen to where it all started

    5
    By Paulious Maximus
    This album changed the musical world, and yes, very few non-musicians know about it, much like VU's first, but similarly, once you've heard it, you'll never think about music the same way again. Calling it groundbreaking or influential would both be understatements. But beware: you'll likely find the music of your favorite electronica/ambient/house/3rd world artist paling in comparison. I'm talking about the original album, with "Qu'ran" - which is not in this collection thanks to political correctness. Everything after "Mountains of Needles" is outtakes, I would assume. Find the original pressing, vinyl preferably.
  • Fantastic

    5
    By Masterman-Zedd
    This is LCD Soundsystem 24 years before LCD Soundsystem.
  • Recommended by Simon Glickman

    5
    By JTigger
    ...
  • A Perennial Electronic Classic

    5
    By MeerkatManor
    At the time it was released, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (titled after Amos Tutuola’s 1954 novel) was hailed as both a critical masterpiece and a definitive record for experimental electronica. Its success was a result of the collaborative efforts of Brian Eno and David Byrne - whom each lent themselves to the album’s frequency of modulations, sonic harmonies, and vocal mixes. To create the array of sounds found on the album, Byrne and Eno decided to use ‘regular appliances and objects’ as simulacra for drum beats, guitar strings, and other percussion instruments. An example of these found objects was a cardboard box and frying pan, which were used as replacements for the bass drum and snare drum respectively. These were techniques pioneered most prominently by Pierre Schaefer and Pierre Henry of the Musique Concrete school1 and are a fully exploited and expanded on in Ghosts. Thats not to say that traditional instruments are ignored - Eno himself is quite adept with both the guitar and the drums, and implements this talent quite frequently on the record. For the vocal samples, Eno and Byrne’s compulsions led them toward a found vocal strategy. To do this they sampled vocals from radio sermons, Arabic singers, radio jockeys, and even an exorcist (for the song the Jezebel Spirit). It is further worth noting the processing involved, as the technology was far and away from the clean splicing featured in modern programs. To sample the radio vocals they used an old-fashioned cassette player, which produced recordings of dubious quality. In a later memoir, Byrne notes that these lo-fi recordings at times actually made hi-fidelity sound overrated, as the resonance of the lo-fi quality generated a feeling that was both immediate and prescient (almost like a megaphone). As for the mixing itself, the musicians had to resort to a process of trial and error through analogue technique (as digital sequencing had not yet come into being) - leaving a lot of the combinatory aspects up to chance and good fortune. In his retrospective essay, Byrne highlights the influence that African pop music had on his own musical stylings, as well as the inspiration dub’s ‘extended mixes’ had on Eno. Dub was one of the first mediums to test the ‘electronic’ aspects of reggae and draw attention away from the vocals. As the two musicians fantasized about making a record, they became enthralled with the idea of an ‘imaginary culture’. They envisioned that a listener of their record would feel like they were experiencing a hereto undiscovered land. The producers themselves would sublimate into anonymity - as this was key to true immersion. With this ‘historical narrative’ out of the way, lets move onto the record itself. The album opens with the quirky vocals of radio host Ray Taliaferro from his show in 1980 in America is Waiting. The piece has a reflective, almost satirical quality to it - mixing a whimsical drum beat and guitar sequence with the musings of an embittered radio host (discussing violations of free will and the like). Talk-show samples are not an irregularity on the album, as they are featured in ‘Mea Culpa’ and ‘Come With Us’. ‘The Jezebel Spirit’ is an interesting track, for it juxtaposes the eery, religious orations of an exorcist with a jubilant, almost uplifting jazz track. It’s an interesting follow-up to ‘Help Me Somebody,’ a song Pitchfork’s Chris Dahlen notes, pulls off the difficult task of turning a St. Orleans preacher into an R&B singer. ‘The Carrier’ is a song clearly inspired by the Middle East and Africa - it pulls together the vocals of an Arabic singer with a percussion of ‘found sounds’ that immediately envelope the listener into the desert of an exotic land. This trend is continued in ‘A Secret Life’ which opens with a siren, violin strings, and the vocal stylings of an Egyptian pop singer. The atonal arrangement of the track and modulation of the singer’s voice, help warp the piece into something both foreign and familiar. The influences of both Musique Concrete and Elektronische music are most apparent in ‘Come with Us’, which pools together an array of food tin drums, radio frequencies and amplifiers, tape loops, echo, delay and cars honking. Somehow all of these sounds come together in a musical tapestry that exerts confusion, urgency as well as an invitation - into something new; something uncertain. ‘Mountain of Needles’ seems very reminiscent of some of Greek musician Xenakis’ work - especially its ability to create a ‘meditative’ soundscape by amplifying the recording of needles hitting the ground and water. Following the album’s success and recognition, it was re-released in 2006 with several bonus tracks. The album I’m reviewing is the original release, so I will not be commenting on those new additions - which have received mixed commentary. As a whole, My Life in the Bushes succeeds in creating the world Eno and Byrne envisioned. Their uncanny ability to mix familiar sounds and samples, and distort them in multiple has the effect of creating a new world of busy intersections, exotic deserts, futuristic tambours and guitarist, and comical, almost ‘amusing’ religious observation. Their work has clearly influenced the work of future technosonics artists - may it be Professor Burtner’s M.I.C.E. or Stanford’s STork and certainly will hold a ‘perennial position’ in the history of electronica and ambient music. 5 stars and one of my favorites.
  • punctuated equilibrium

    5
    By iy9g86
    After an extended period of relatively unpopular experimental musics, this album moved the music minions in a new direction. At the time it was considered a radical change, but surely It is seminal for so much music that followed, and continues to resonate in about every musical genre since. I wonder if we would have evolved a Pink Floyd, a Negative Land, Lauri Anderson, or the explosion of musicians that experimented with sound and technology with out this album. I am no music historian or musicologist but I can easily trace a line from what is now common, main stream and popular in experimental electronica, electronica, Dub, drum and base, trance, dance, lounge, trip hop, rock, jazz and even some contemporary classical musics back to this album. Alright I know I am probably over the top and lost most readers. But this is truly a classic worthy of all the praise and should be in the collection of every music student. I bought my first vinyl in 83, and added two more copies since. I knew it was important from the first listen.

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