Arch English ‘non-musician’, Roxy Music’s departed distortion master, the producer Television rejected, progenitor of the whole radical synthesizer trend, the receding video experimenter who breathed new life into New York by unearthing the ‘No Wave’ bands, Robert Fripp’s sidekick, the guy who helped David Bowie re-invent himself with Low and, perhaps most remarkably, the producer/collaborator who’s led stark American outfit Talking Heads through a series of albums which saw them ultimately metamorphose late last year, with Remain In Light, into a bizarre funk orchestra gang amid accusations of cultural imperialism.Nevertheless, after various copyright problems, group leader David Byrne and Eno have just unleashed a much-discussed LP project which further explores what Eno refers to as his ‘African psychedelic vision’. Called My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts, it features much ‘found’ material from disc and radio (everything from Algerian chants to politicians to exorcists) backed by Eno, Byrne and a host of other musicians working up a percussive sweat.What can it all mean? To try to find out we talked to Eno by ‘phone in New York, where he was busy smoking ciggies and drinking cups of tea…
I definitely grew up with this album. I still have the original on cassette and I recorded my own album in the same studio as Apollo which hangs in shimmering gold on the studio wall.
The excerpt below is from the end of the article. Much more good stuff. Read from the beginning.
Being grown up is also what inspired Brian, who recently had an asteroid named after him, to revisit Apollo. For him, the 50th anniversary of the moon landing serves as a yardstick for humanity and what we’re capable of.
“The trajectory of the world changed,” he says. “The period from 1945 to 1975, say, which is known by economists as the Golden Age of Capitalism, is entirely wrongly named in my opinion. It was a period of incredible social growth. Women got their rights and minorities got their rights. There was religious freedom in Europe, free healthcare, free education, workers’ rights were improved. There was new mobility between the classes and so on. These are all things that any socialist government would have been very proud of having achieved. I think that period should be named the Golden Age of Socialism. What we’re in now is the fucking Golden Age of Capitalism.”
“With those [Apollo] space missions, we were all riding an incredible wave of optimism,” Lanois says. “The Cultural Revolution at that time suggested a brighter future for all. … And now we move to modern times, and they’re more self-absorbed times. We’re not thinking about the cultural revolution we’re standing within now. The revolution seems to be more about our personal needs. It’s time to put our heads together, whether we listen to Brian Eno or Noam Chomsky or the sensible mother next day. She might know something.”
The way the world has changed weighs heavily on Brian, whose liner notes for the expanded Apollo release appeal to the listener to take care of the planet. One space-age worry he has is “if enough rich people become convinced that they can abandon the earth when we’ve fucked it up enough.” He says he’s also seriously looking into legal action against President Trump for the ways he has rolled back environmental policies that affect climate change. “Surely there must come a point at which that’s illegal,” he says. “If Holocaust denial is illegal — which it is and should be — why isn’t climate-change denial illegal as well?”
Although space travel inspired him to make the Apollo album and For All Mankind, Eno’s thoughts on the matter now, with this new release, are very grounded: “We’ve got to make this planet work.”
GO TO THE SOURCE TO HEAR THE MUSIC!
Obscure Records was a U.K. record label which existed from 1975 to 1978. It was created and run by Brian Eno, who also produced the albums (credited as executive producer in one instance). Ten albums were issued in the series. Most have detailed liner notes on their back covers, analyzing the compositions and providing a biography of the composer, in a format typical of classical music albums, and much of the material can be regarded as 20th century classical music. The label provided a venue for experimental music, and its association with Eno gave increased public exposure to its composers and musicians.
In their original editions, all albums used variations of the same cover art of a collage by John Bonis, covered up by an overprinting of black ink. The picture beneath the ink can be seen somewhat clearly under a strong light. Each volume except the seventh has one small window in the black overprint to reveal a different portion of the picture on each album. The red and white label design is a blurred photo that appears to be spires on roofs of buildings.
Brian Eno’s album Music for Airports (1978) was intended as the eleventh Obscure album, and has catalogue number OBS-11 written and then scratched out in the matrix area on original UK copies. But this album became the first volume of a new Ambient Records series (“Ambient 1”) instead, and this decision marked the end of the Obscure label.
The first seven albums were issued on the Obscure label in 1975 and 1976, manufactured and distributed in the UK by Island Records whose name appeared at the bottom of the label. These have a catalogue number expressed as “Obscure no. 1” through 7 on the covers, or “OBSCURE-1” etc. on the labels. All albums use the original, mostly black, cover art.
Only two of these albums were issued in the USA in the 1970s, on Antilles Records, a division of Island: album 3 as AN-7030, and album 5 as AN-7031. This edition of Obscure 3 uses new cover art.
In 1978, manufacture and distribution in the UK was resumed by Polydor Records who re-issued the first seven albums and three further volumes as OBS-1 through 10. These continued to use the original cover art. Polydor were able to obtain left-over covers made for Island Records, and issued their new editions of albums 1 through 7 with these covers marked as Island Records editions. Collectors seeking original editions are therefore advised that Island covers may contain Polydor manufactured records within. Later copies of albums 3, 4 and 7 with covers printed with Polydor markings and catalogue numbers have been confirmed. Record labels for the Polydor manufactured editions are similar to Island’s, but do not mention Island or Polydor.
Also in 1978, Ambient 1 was issued. Originally intended as Obscure OBS-11, it came out instead as Ambient / Polydor / EG AMB-001. This record has a new label design for the Ambient series, but it was not used on subsequent volumes. An American edition was issued on PVC Records (distributed by Jem Records) as PVC-7908. This edition has a picture label that is taken from the cover art (a different label from the UK edition, although both are similar in appearance), and is therefore a custom label design. Passport Records in Canada copied the US design, rather than using the UK one.
The next two Ambient releases were issued by EG Records in 1980 in the UK as EGAMB-002 and 003. They were also issued in the USA (together with a re-issue of Ambient 1) as EGS-201 to 203. At the same time, Obscure 10 was issued in the USA as EGS-301, and Obscure 3 as EGS-303. All of these editions in both countries have white, non-picture “Editions EG” labels. Both USA re-issues of Obscure albums use alternate cover art, Obscure 3 being the same as the earlier USA edition, and Obscure 10 using a similar, matching layout. Editions EG was distributed by Polydor in the UK, and by Jem in the USA.
In 1982, EG Records re-issued all ten Obscure albums on their “Editions EG” label in the UK as EGED-21 through 30. Albums 3 and 10 use the alternate American cover art in these editions, and album 7 uses new cover art as well. At the same time, the Ambient series was re-issued in the UK with a fourth and final volume added, as EGED-17 to 20. The new volume was also issued in the USA with the same catalogue number, EGED-20.
No complete re-issue of the entire Obscure series has appeared since 1982, and given that Gavin Bryars has re-recorded his two pieces on Obscure 1 as two separate albums, it is likely that he and other composers are unwilling to consent to future re-issues of the Obscure editions in their original form. However, selected volumes have appeared individually from time to time. Albums 3 and 7 have been in print continuously, but are now regarded as parts of the regular catalogues of Brian Eno and the Penguin Café Orchestra, respectively. These two albums, along with all four volumes of the Ambient series, were first issued on CD in the 1980s on the Caroline Records label, which was the USA imprint of Virgin Records. The complete Ambient series is still in print, now on the Virgin label. — Wikipedia
Source: UbuWeb Sound – Obscure Records