Jan 18, 2010, 06:56AM

Talking with Brian Eno

"Bono commits the crime of rising above your station. To the British it's the worst thing you can do. Bono is hated for doing something considered unbecoming for a pop star -- meddling in things that apparently have nothing to do with him."

When influential music website Pitchfork listed its 100 greatest albums of the 1970s – which in certain other lists is calculated to be the greatest decade for rock music – the modestly immodest, driven, musical non-musician Brian Eno was directly and indirectly involved in at least a quarter of them, including the number one, Low, on which he collaborated with a nomadic, post-"Fame" David Bowie and the producer Tony Visconti. As an intellectually mobile loner, scene-setter, systems lover, obstinate rebel, techno-prophet, sensual philosopher, courteous progressive, close listener, gentle heretic, sound planner, adviser explorer, pedant and slick conceptual salesman, and devoted fan of the new, undrab and surprising, wherever it fell between John Cage and Little Richard, or Duchamp and doo wop, or Mondrian and Moog, Eno busily and bossily remodelled pop music during the 70s. He looked at what the Velvet Underground, Can, Steve Reich and the Who had done, went forth and multiplied. Eno created an atmosphere, and helped determine what the history of electronic music was between the avant garde 1950s and the pop 21st century.


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