John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno for this and other works in the field of music and visual art the honorary title of: Father of the Appropriation of Appropriation. Really, Brian? Are the natives getting restless as they wait for you to enlighten them as to their role in your future?
After the last few paragraphs you might be surprised to see this, but I think this is one of the finest and most far-reachingly influential albums of the last few decades. The sheer arrogance, the chutzpah of the thing means it broke boundaries and opened up new territory, and not just in music. The first African book I ever read was My Life in the Bush of Ghosts — because the album had introduced the title to me.
Before long I was reading Ben Okri. Today Byrne even runs a label — Luakabop that is dedicated to bringing Brazilian, Cuban and African music to a wider audience.
The Africaness of the album is actually part of a fashion, which reached its zenith with an African summer in Every goth with a guitar and a chorus pedal was suddenly wearing African print shirts and learning to play African style clean guitar licks.
A close listen reveals that this album is actually all about African America — albeit with the odd adventure into the Middle East. The musicians were by and large white but the style is rooted in African American forms of funk, replete with thumb slapping bass and the sound world of George Clinton.
Of the 10 tracks on the original release, there are 9 vocals and 6 of them are American, and at least half of them are clearly African American voices.
None are African. This writer treasured a cassette from this period that got me through many long journeys; Wall of Voodoo, Kurt Weil songs and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The album is comfortably at home among the Americana and classic songwriting. Sonically, this album still sounds incredible. It jumps out the speakers at you. The technology of this period is seen now in professional audio circles as some sort of pinnacle in technical achievement.
But the sound quality and the performances are all solidly grounded in the analogue domain. The same sound quality and technology, and importantly similar techniques. Throughout the Africanisation of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in the press release and in the mind of journalists, no one noticed that a huge part of the character of the album comes from dub, from Jamaican approaches to studio technology and mixing.
Energetic Happy Hypnotic. Romantic Sad Sentimental. Sexy Trippy All Moods. Drinking Hanging Out In Love. Introspection Late Night Partying. Rainy Day Relaxation Road Trip. Romantic Evening Sex All Themes. Articles Features Interviews Lists. Streams Videos All Posts. My Profile. Advanced Search. Retrieved 25 March Retrieved 12 October The Guardian. My Life in the Bush of Ghosts liner notes. Brian Eno and David Byrne reissue ed.
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