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On Some Faraway Beach


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Eno's life story has never been told. Plenty of sex, drugs and ambient music. Features interviews with all his top collaborators over the years: from David Bowie and Bryan Ferry, to David Byrne and Damien Hirst - Eno's vast address book is at David Sheppard's disposal. Eno's 1995 diary, A Year With Swollen Appendices, sold over 20,000 copies.

About the Author

David Sheppard is a well-respected music journalist. He's written for numerous publications, including Mojo, Q, Uncut and the Observer. He's the author of two previous biographies of Leonard Cohen and Elvis Costello.


Sheppard (Elvis Costello and Leonard Cohen) aims to "reclaim [Brian] Eno from the Eno nerds" who've turned the musician/producer into a cultish figure, and though respectful of his subject's legacy, he rarely succumbs to outright worship. A large chunk of the biography recounts Eno's British art school roots and his first major music gig, as the synthesizer player for Roxy Music, where his flamboyance quickly made him even more prominent than lead singer Brian Ferry. Sheppard writes smartly about Eno's subsequent solo work and his forays into producing albums for artists like David Bowie and Talking Heads and extensive interviews and research bring out captivating backstories: it's worth noting that almost nobody, including Eno himself, thought he'd be a good fit to work with U2, until The Joshua Tree became one of the biggest-selling rock albums of all time. Sometimes, Eno's interesting projects from the last two decades seem to go by in a blur, compared to the in-depth treatment of the first half of his career, and his theoretical pronouncements might bear a little more critical scrutiny. On the whole, though, this is a valuable document of one of late-20th-century pop music's key influencers. (May) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

'This 450-page biography (written with the help of the famous piss-taster himself) fairly zips along.' OBSERVER MUSIC MONTHLY '[An] honourable, authorised attempt to do justice to a mind-bogglingly restless and prolific subject.' SUNDAY TIMES 'David Sheppard's authorised biography dispels some of the myths surrounding Brian Eno and provides a compelling case for his importance as artist and thinker.' WATERSTONES BOOKS QUARTERLY 'An accomplished and sprawling biography reflects Eno's scattershot apporach to life - all over the place but fascinating just the same.' BIG ISSUE (Scotland) Music Book of the Fortnight 'Few enigmas are as hard to unravel as Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno, but the Q contributor has done a bang-up job with this 450-page tome' HOT PRESS (Ireland) 'David Sheppard's meticulously researched biography ...[with] the kind of footnote that make this doorstopper such an engaging read' INDEPENDENT 'On Some Faraway Beach provides an extensive introduction to a lifetime of constructive, and very English, pottering.' SUNDAY TELEGRAPH Sheppard has corralled the many strands of Eno's hectic creative life into a coherent and highly readable accountOn Some Faraway Beach will take some beating as a chronicle of one of popular music's few truly original practitioners. TOTAL MUSIC MAGAZINE 'How do you pin down an enigma like Brian Eno? Music journalist David Sheppard makes a valiant stab at it in this lively biography.' YORKSHIRE EVENING POST

Musical Renaissance man and self-described "sonic landscaper" Brian Eno has been a band member (Roxy Music), producer (David Bowie, Talking Heads, U2, Coldplay), writer, and prolific solo artist, but his most famous piece of music may be the six-second start-up sound for the Windows 95 operating system. Sheppard (Elvis Costello; Leonard Cohen) has written a detailed study of this restless, innovative artist. Although Sheppard had access to Eno and relies heavily on interviews with the subject and his wife, this is not a fawning biography, and the author doesn't hesitate to examine Eno's musical and personal successes and failures. Sheppard is particularly good at placing Eno's work in the appropriate cultural context. Although the author's wordiness gets a bit exasperating, Sheppard makes up for it in attention to detail. Recommended.-Bill Baars, Lake Oswego P.L., OR Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.

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