My Life in the Bush of Ghosts released with CC license.
March 30, 2006 1:36 PM   Subscribe

Brian Eno and David Byrne released My Life in the Bush of Ghosts in 1981. It's a great album--and now it's available with a Creative Commons License. "This is the first time complete and total access to original tracks with remix and sampling possibilities have been officially offered on line."
posted by dobbs (44 comments total)

 
That 'Regiment' track is niiice.
posted by NationalKato at 1:41 PM on March 30, 2006


As Boing-Boing says, "two of the songs are now being distributed as multitracks under a Creative Commons license for your remixing pleasure."
posted by 327.ca at 1:43 PM on March 30, 2006


One of the best, most forward-looking records ever. Its influence is so deep, it's hard to imagine what popular music would sound like if it had never been made.
posted by digaman at 1:47 PM on March 30, 2006


I loved this album when I was a kid, thanks for the news of its availability.
posted by fenriq at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2006


"This is the first time complete and total access to original tracks with remix and sampling possibilities have been officially offered on line."

First: it's two songs, as 327.ca and BoingBoing points out.

Second: The Beasties did it and there have been tons of less-popular acts that have opened up their studio files for this sort of thing.

Third: I love Eno's work and ethos, but between he and Byrne, there's a lot ego-slingin' there.

Finally: Man, I love iced coffee.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 1:48 PM on March 30, 2006


Good news, but this is the fourth time I've seen this in the past hour. Sometimes my Bloglines is so redundant...
posted by p3t3 at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2006


Where is it available? I've clicked all over the site . . .
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2006


I don't read boingboing but yes, they're correct. My brain added a "the" between "to" and "original" in the quote. Thanks for the clarification, 327.
posted by dobbs at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2006


Note that the remastered album itself isn't out in North American until April 11. And the remix site doesn't appear to be there yet, or it was there and yanked. I'm just getting a placeholder page.
posted by mikeh at 1:49 PM on March 30, 2006


Available April 11

Up toward the top of the page there is a buy option.

I bought the album in the 1980's and always found it almost too strange to completely get my head around. But its influence is undeniable and now when I hear it it seems less strange but certainly still vital; still cool.
posted by Rashomon at 1:54 PM on March 30, 2006


My brain added a "the" between "to" and "original" in the quote.

Wishful thinking, but completely understandable. Such a fine album!
posted by 327.ca at 1:55 PM on March 30, 2006


I tried to download the tracks but the links page says another page will open and it doesn't. Oh well. At least now I've been reminded about it again.
posted by fenriq at 1:55 PM on March 30, 2006


The fanciful link tittle got me really excited (my fault with equaing CC with "free download of a whole album"), the reality of it reminded me that I still haven't gotten this one on CD yet... it's still trapped on vinyl in my record collection.
posted by illovich at 2:08 PM on March 30, 2006


Hmm. Maybe I'll ask the admins to kill this thread. Wasn't what I thought it was (my own fault) and seems kinda silly to jump the gun on the album if it's not reissued to the 11th.
posted by dobbs at 2:11 PM on March 30, 2006


This has got to be one of my all-time favorite albums - the cassette tape version had a bunch of extra tracks not on the LP. I can't wait to get my faders on the multitracks!

By the way, the title is from an excellent magic-realistic novel by Nigerian author Amos Tutuola, who I consider to be the Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Africa. If you have any interest at all in African lit, track this one down and read it!

BTW, I've heard that if you start the album at the same time as the novel, it gets really trippy around the flying monkeys part...
posted by Aquaman at 2:48 PM on March 30, 2006


What was the line on MLITBOG from Great Pop Things? Something like “An almost completely original idea except Can did it first.”
posted by hilker at 2:53 PM on March 30, 2006


Still sounds fresh.
posted by Wolof at 2:55 PM on March 30, 2006


Especially if you put The Wall on the tv with the sound off at the same time, aquaman.

Anyway.

I'm curious how this news spread so quickly before the thing was even available... 'cause, yeah, it seems to have been posted simultaneously all over the place today. Is this album really that famous? I've got a copy on CD that I listen to occasionally, but I didn't know it was a modern classic or anything.
posted by ook at 3:00 PM on March 30, 2006


Can is also great. Nothing like MLITBOG, though. Check out Holger Czukay's awesome solo albums from the early 1980's if you have the chance, too.

Can's output is prodigious, and a little tricky to sift through, but Mr. Czukay delivers the goods pretty much 100% of the time, especially in my favorite album of his, "Der Osten Is Rot". It's like Nina Hagen beating up Steve Reich in Kraftwerk's back yard!
posted by Aquaman at 3:02 PM on March 30, 2006


Great, more BushFilter.

GET IT? GET IT?
posted by Simon! at 3:18 PM on March 30, 2006


The joke is that the album contains the last name of the president, who is a frequent and often frustrating topic on Metafilter.
posted by Simon! at 3:19 PM on March 30, 2006


It's like a reversal. Comedy people use these phrases.
Hey, the light's green.
posted by ook at 3:24 PM on March 30, 2006


Wait, what? I don't get it.
posted by 40 Watt at 3:28 PM on March 30, 2006


Didn't NIN do this a while ago? I seem to remember that somewhere.....
posted by Freen at 3:33 PM on March 30, 2006


"The Beasties did it and there have been tons of less-popular acts that have opened up their studio files for this sort of thing. "

Yeah, but the difference is that this is a good album.
(I remember when this was first reissued and my dad bought it, back in the early '90s. A huge part of what I listen to today).
posted by klangklangston at 3:39 PM on March 30, 2006


40 watt: here.
posted by ook at 4:06 PM on March 30, 2006


Freen, I think NIN released some tracks that he made on Garage Band for people to remix.
posted by dobbs at 4:37 PM on March 30, 2006


"America is waiting..."
posted by jaronson at 4:45 PM on March 30, 2006


I've got a rare CD copy that includes the track "Qu'ran." My vinyl copy was left behind at a house party circa in 1982. I never got it back. I had this stupid habit of wanting to turn everybody on to the cool music I was listening to.

By the way - this story didn't just spring up today. Us Enophiles have been aware of it for weeks.
posted by davebush at 5:09 PM on March 30, 2006


delete "circa" or "in"
posted by davebush at 5:10 PM on March 30, 2006


One of the albums which set me off on my exploration of interesting modern music.

Used to get regular play on NPR's New Sounds program.
posted by HTuttle at 5:11 PM on March 30, 2006


God, it's a good thing this is happening now and not when I was a teenage music student and Eno fanboy. Then, I'd have been agonizing over the samples wondering why I wasn't as brilliant as him. Now I'm free to just think it's kind of nifty.
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:51 PM on March 30, 2006


This was a big album among my friends and me when it came out. In film school I even used "Regiment" as the soundtrack to one of the Super-8 films I had to make for a class. (Super-8! My God!) I remember one party where a bunch of us (some in a chemically enhanced state) were sitting around listening to My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, while the host's roommate and his friends kept drifting into the room and mumbling something about wanting to hear some Skynyrd. I believe Reid Fleming was there, too.

You can find all the latest Talking Heads-related new here.

"You need to take a good look at yourself and see if you're the kind of person that God wants you to be!"
posted by Man-Thing at 6:44 PM on March 30, 2006


There is copy of the Qu'ran track floating about.

There are plenty of torrents flitting about the web of this new remastered release, as well as the original CD version. You don't have to wait!
posted by blasdelf at 8:31 PM on March 30, 2006


Its influence is so deep, it's hard to imagine what popular music would sound like if it had never been made.

would you believe pretty much the same? ... faust, pink floyd, can, gong, grandmaster flash and various 20th century composers and musicians were all messing with similar ideas before 1981 ... it's a good and foward looking album as you said, but there were a lot of people working in the same direction ... one way or another, it was going to happen
posted by pyramid termite at 8:53 PM on March 30, 2006


Related: The WIRED CD
posted by tellurian at 10:48 PM on March 30, 2006


This has got to be one of my all-time favorite albums - the cassette tape version had a bunch of extra tracks not on the LP.

I'm pretty sure you're confusing this with David Byrne's score for The Catherine Wheel, which was only issued in its entirety on cassette.

There was only one "wayward" track from Bush of Ghosts, "Qu'ran," that appeared and disappeared from various pressings of the album.

The bonus tracks on the reissue are great; I've had an advance for about a month. Still no official release of the Kathryn Kuhlman version of "The Jezebel Spirit," though.

Oh, yes. I wrote a little bit here about Bush of Ghosts in the historical context of the whole Czukay/Stockhausen/radio-collage tradition.
posted by mykescipark at 11:34 PM on March 30, 2006


"Help me sombody!"

Second: The Beasties did it...

Yeah, but their albums suck.
posted by thrakintosh at 2:48 AM on March 31, 2006


Just a heads-up to anyone who cares: Eno and John Cale did a fantastic album in the early 90s called Wrong Way Up that was introduced to me by my SO, a wonderful present which I can probably never match. It's awesome, but probably not under any special Creative Commons license. I never liked either of the two much on their own, but the collaboration is a gem.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 4:11 AM on March 31, 2006


Thanks for the link to your article Mykescipark. I have had Czukay's Movies, My Life and Fripp's solo stuff since they first came out on vinyl. Never really knew the genesis of it all. I always thought the idea was a New York kinda thing. See I learnt something today.
That being said Man I miss the days of really intelligent Rock, Prog, Avant Garde musicians. The fact that any number of these albums ever got pressed is testament to how very different the music industry was back in the mid to late '70s and early 80's.
posted by Gungho at 4:25 AM on March 31, 2006


Gungho— Except that there are just as many really intelligent rock, prog and avant garde albums being pressed now. The differences are mostly in volume, in that because the total volume of releases has skyrocketted, it's harder to find the gems, especially the independently released ones.
posted by klangklangston at 6:09 AM on March 31, 2006


faust, pink floyd, can, gong, grandmaster flash and various 20th century composers and musicians were all messing with similar ideas before 1981 ...

That's only if you define "similar ideas" so broadly as to make what I was saying about the album meaningless. I've heard all those bands of course -- but Pink Floyd and Gong ain't nothin' like MLITBOG. I mean, you could say, "Sampled voices? That's so John Cage in 1945!" But that's not what I mean -- I mean a particular vibe: Arab voices, funk bass, electronically treated sounds, industrial percussion, etc. etc.
posted by digaman at 6:28 AM on March 31, 2006


Klangklangston, Yes I am sure they are out there, but back then this stuff was getting regular airplay on some of the largest commercial radio stations in town. (caveat; I live in Boston- somewhat of a college town)
posted by Gungho at 6:43 AM on March 31, 2006


I saw this on Boing-Boing and thought, Great, I remember sort of liking that album, I can download these instead of digging the CD out of the box in the closet. Hey! There's no download available and this is just trying to get me to buy something.

Now I don't even want to go dig the album out of the closet. Screw them! I'll just listen to something else, and block that site in my browser so I don't accidentally buy something from them someday.

It's not like there's any shortage of ambient prog rock from the late 70's and early 80's.
posted by milovoo at 8:32 AM on March 31, 2006


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