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Never found in the '80s: 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts'



This is a slight departure from my profiling of artists never found in the 80s. Today I’m focusing on one particular effort by Brian Eno and David Byrne: the brilliant 1981 album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

David Byrne was certainly found in the 80s through his band Talking Heads, who don’t qualify for this series because they have had a couple of songs crack the American Top 40. Brian Eno was part of Roxy Music who had charting success in the '70s, so maybe they could be included. However, I would argue that if people paid attention to record producers Brian Eno would have been found in the '80s through his production work. He did produce U2’s The Joshua Tree after all.

While not the first to use sampling, Eno and Byrne pioneered the use of a sampled voice as the lead vocal for the songs. The samples include a talk radio host, a politician, a couple preachers, and an exorcist. Combining those samples with a funky, World music sound and percussion made with found objects, Eno and Byrne created this excellent and influential album.

The album did get as high as No. 44 on the American album chart, but neither of the two singles released (America Is Waiting and The Jezebel Spirit) had charted in America. And, as far as I could find, no videos were produced either. I am including my favorite track, The Jezebel Spirit. It is the track that uses an exorcist for the lead vocal and features some outstanding guitar playing.

If you are a fan of Brian Eno and David Byrne and you don’t have this gem, I strongly advise you to get it. Now!


[Last modified: Sunday, June 16, 2013 12:35pm]


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