Looper's Delight Archive Top (Search)
Date Index
Thread Index
Author Index
Looper's Delight Home
Mailing List Info

[Date Prev][Date Next]   [Thread Prev][Thread Next]   [Date Index][Thread Index][Author Index]

Re: Negativland becomes U2 becomes Eno

Well said. I agree. I remember the Robert Palmer article
(and I beleive Christgau too, in the Village Voice) predicting
their imminent implosion. In the case of Talking Heads and
Devo, there was also some hostility, too: in the case of
Devo's Are We Not Men sessions, while Motherbaugh learned
and assimilated a lot from Eno, they butted heads quite
often. Note the huge difference between "Are We Not Men"
and "Duty Now.." on the guitar and treatments.

In the Talking Heads case, Tina and and the other Heads
felt a bit pushed aside by Eno and Byrne - of not being
given the credit due them in their own right. This was
Tina's Wordy Rappinghood period, when solo projects were

It's illustrative to note that the leap from the Eno-less
"Talking Head's '77" LP to "More Songs about Buildings and
Food". At first the Talking Heads were an arty NY punk band,
Eno put them on track to becoming a viable commercial entity.

And of course, the first Ultravox album. Yet another example
of the Eno touch, and the uncertain aftershocks each protege
experiences thereafter. Ultravox was HUGE, then John Fox left
the band, etc.

> So let me then rephrase slightly my comment amongst many, to say that Eno
> created for U2 an environment wherein they could achieve a sound unlike
> others', that might not have occurred otherwise.

I agree with this exactly.

- Larry T

----- Original Message -----
From: "Stephen P. Goodman" <sgoodman@earthlight.net>
To: <Loopers-Delight@annihilist.com>
Sent: Thursday, April 20, 2000 4:04 PM
Subject: Re: Negativland becomes U2 becomes Eno

> I have to recall comments written by Robert Palmer in the NY Times, right
> about the period of "Remain In Light" coming out, that quite possibly
> work with Talking Heads might very well be the end of them.  Whether this
> was part of the ultimate breakup of Byrne with the remaining 'Heads will
> doubt be argued for some time (the issues regarding Byrne's attachment to
> Santeria [sp] were also an element of course).  But at the time, Palmer
> postulated that, having attained a unique Sound all their own with Eno's
> help, it was inevitable that change of some kind would occur - with the
> easily predictable event being breakup, if not also after a period of
> stylistic stasis.
> One might theorize that only some have the creative drive to ascend above
> the plateau of work achieved in this way, such that "the work is done,"
> it's time to move onto the next project or level of work; undoubtedly all
> the members of Talking Heads, Material, Penguin Cafe, and Devo have
> experienced this effect.  It just remains to be seen as to how long one
> attempts to perpetuate the plateau effect, whether for artistic or
> purposes, or whatever.
> David Byrne and Mark Mothersbaugh are excellent examples of artists who
> appear to have not only learned from Eno during working together, but 
> what they learned forward, to explore more sonic landscapes, and provide
> also with new territory, to peruse or explore as we see fit.  It might be
> several years before we see this effect on a financial juggernaut like 
> but I would estimate that it WILL occur.
> So let me then rephrase slightly my comment amongst many, to say that Eno
> created for U2 an environment wherein they could achieve a sound unlike
> others', that might not have occurred otherwise.
> Stephen Goodman
> EarthLight Productions * http://www.earthlight.net
> "rich" <rich@nuvision.com> put forth:
> > However, I do disagree with the statement made by Mr. Goodman:
> >
> > > U2 owes the entire sound they've grown into to Eno's input - this is
> > >different than his input to the Talking Heads' work, Devo, you name 
> >
> > These bands do have their own sound and creativity outside of Mr. Eno.
> > Yes, he's a brilliant artist, and a wonderful producer, but U2, the
> > and for chrissakes Devo all have made cool albums outside of the
> > of Eno.
> >
> > Duty Now For The Future and Freedom of Choice still sound like Devo,
> > they?  They didn't just flop over and go "please Mr. Eno, come back!"
> >
> > Aren't David Byrne and Mark Mothersbaugh considered extremely prolific
> > creative people in their own right?
> (I now remember another comment by Robert Palmer in the NYT, when "Fear 
> Music" came out, that "David Byrne's guitar playing has improved greatly
> since the last album," which, at the time, seemed like a swipe, but in
> retrospective, makes a good deal of sense.)