Eno/Byrne's My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts Reissued?

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I saw this listed as being released on Nonesuch this week at http://www.icemagazine.com/dates/221/aug30vault.asp

However, there's no mention of it at the Nonesuch site, and I don't see a new version available at any online stores yet. Is it a mistake? Is it a real remastered, repackaged surprise?

It's one of my favorites, recorded in between Fear of Music and Remain In Light. In fact, just recently I was convincing someone that it's worth checking out, using Reynold's excellent analysis:

Eno talked about the three areas he and Byrne planned to weave together for the album, disco-funk, Arabic music from North Africa, and West African polyrhythms. Soon a fourth element entered the picture: found voices. They became fascinated with American radio's menageri of evangelist preachers, right-wing pundits, and live callers to talk-radio shows. Radio, it seemed to Eno, was America's seething id, its political unconscious. 'In Britain or Europe the presenters are picked for their qualities of calmness and obvious rationality.' 'Here you get the nuttiest people in charge of the airwaves.' Tuning in to the born-again fundamentalists, they soon noticed 'a contradiction' at the heart of the ranting and raving. 'Some of it was declamatory finger-waving,' says Byrne, 'but with a lot of the preaching there was this ecstatic element: the performance was saying the opposite of what the text was saying. The words were all "thou shalt not" but the delivery itself was completely sexual. I thought, Great, the conflict is embodied right there. Similarly, the fervour of Baptist and Pentecostal congregations struck Byrne as 'very similar to wild rock concerts or discos, the communal feeling where everyone gets swept up.'

Part of what attracted them to the born-again Christian preachers were the rocking-and-a-rolling speech patterns, midway between conversation and incantation. 'When people speak passionately they speak in melodies." Eventually, they asked themselves why the fundamentalists sounded better than the regular announcers, and ocncluded it was because they transmitted 'a sense of energy and commitment to some belief or other.' They interests coalesced between the themes of tribalism, ecstatic communal trance, and rival fundamentalisms of East and West. Dancing was worship. Byrne and Eno imagined creating a ritual music for the postmodern West - a physically grounded transcendence connecting Funkadelics's 'dance your way out of your constrictions' with the holy-roller madness of born-again Protestantism.

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 2 September 2005 12:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink


prima donna, Friday, 2 September 2005 12:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think the reissue has been postponed to early next year.

Jerry the Nipper (Jerrynipper), Friday, 2 September 2005 12:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Sick Mouthy (Nick Southall), Friday, 2 September 2005 12:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

What a tease. Is that the same fate as the first four Talking Heads albums that were supposed to be out this fall w/ bonus tracks?

I'd like to read that book.

Fastnbulbous, Friday, 2 September 2005 13:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i really need to give that amos tutuola book another try...

stevie (stevie), Friday, 2 September 2005 13:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The Palm-Wine Drinkard is a better entry-point for Tutuola's work. Don't expect the book to be anything like the record...I actually started to hate the record once I read his books, because there's nothing similar about them, and they just grabbed the title because it sounds cool as hell.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Friday, 2 September 2005 13:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Cluster & Eno got reissued last week on Water. And for this week, these were slated:

* Brian Eno & John Cale - Wrong Way Up CD [reissue] (All Saints/Hannibal, US)
* Brian Eno & Various Artists - Music For Films III CD [reissue] (All Saints/Hannibal, US)

along with other All Saints older stuff (Harold Budd & Andy Partridge !)...

and, tying in that other guy in this thread (and partly the first guy as well...

* Talking Heads - Talking Heads 77 CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - Fear of Music CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - Remain in Light CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - Little Creatures CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - True Stories CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)
* Talking Heads - Naked CD [remastered DualDisc with bonus material] (Rhino, US)

all for early october. although i am not a fan of the dual disc format (much rather would have seen a 2CD or CD/DVD package, I'll take what I can get; should be interesting bonus material.

pher (pher), Friday, 2 September 2005 15:54 (twelve years ago) Permalink

This is the tracklist for a cd thats been doing the rounds among traders, It's said to have been leaked during the production of the bonus material discs for these reissues.

1. Psycho Killer (take 1)
2. I Feel It In My Heart (Talking Heads 77 outtake)
3. Uh Oh Love Comes To Town (alt ver)
4. The Big Country (alt ver)
5. I'm Not In Love (alt ver)
6. Warning Sign (alt ver)
7. Thank You (alt ver)
8. Life During Wartime (w/Fripp and long ending)
9. Dancing For Money (Fear Of Music outtake)
10. Unison (Remain In Light outtake)
11. Double Groove (Remain In Light outtake)
12. These Boots Are Made For Walking (Talking Heads 77 session)
13. I Walk the Line (Talking Heads 77 session)
14. Can't You Hear My Heartbeat (Talking Heads 77 session)

mzui (mzui), Friday, 2 September 2005 20:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You can get the Eno/Byrne record for under $5 at many outlets of used LPs. It's not that good.

Ian John50n (orion), Friday, 2 September 2005 21:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink


Matos-Webster Dictionary (M Matos), Friday, 2 September 2005 21:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ian & Matos horribly, horribly wrong

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 2 September 2005 22:09 (twelve years ago) Permalink

(some people might go overboard in their rabid praise of this record, but nothing stops me from liking it a lot)

milton parker (Jon L), Friday, 2 September 2005 22:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

If that record is "not that good," I'd like to hear a very good record.

I.M. (I.M.), Friday, 2 September 2005 23:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I can understand why it's not universally loved. Not really song-based, not as emotionally involving (or chilling) as the Talking Heads albums that bookend it. Some think the sampling and mixing of genres come across as too academic.

But hey, why should I have to hold people's hands in expressing themselves. This is the legendary ilx. Let's see some substance!

Fastnbulbous, Saturday, 3 September 2005 01:15 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There were a few different issues of Bush of Ghosts, since two tracks were pulled and replaced. One of those was the first version of Jezebel Spirit, featuring a famous mystic who got irate when her sermon was ripped off without permission (this will in all likelihood never be reissued - I can YSI if there's interest). The other was a track with a Koran reading, which was removed and then put back on the album, if I remember rightly.

I remember reading an interview with Byrne from two years back in which he was talking about the reissue, and that they'd have bonus tracks. I know that people either love or hate this record, but I would totally go for a 2CD version a la the London Calling reissue that included sessions, worktapes, etc.

I adore Bush of Ghosts, but I have a hard time touting its 'historical relevance' - things were definitely done 'first' on that LP, but how many people were listening at the time?

Brakhage (brakhage), Saturday, 3 September 2005 12:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Man, that was unfocused. More coffee ...

Brakhage (brakhage), Saturday, 3 September 2005 12:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's boring as shit.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 3 September 2005 12:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I mean, at least True Stories had catchy songs.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 3 September 2005 13:03 (twelve years ago) Permalink

And catchy songs is what it's all about.

Jay Vee (Manon_70), Saturday, 3 September 2005 14:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

haha, my dad gave me his old magnavox record player from high school a few days ago, so i went to a used vinyl shop and found this for $3... (and Warm Jets for $4, Graceland for $3, D. Summer On the Radio for $6... vinyl is so wonderfully cheap).

poortheatre (poortheatre), Saturday, 3 September 2005 15:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I want to hear that original version of "The Jezebel Spirit"!

Ian Riese-Moraine: Let this bastard out, and you'll get whiplash! (Eastern Mantr, Saturday, 3 September 2005 15:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yeah Brakhage, put it up please!

willem (willem), Saturday, 3 September 2005 16:12 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Eno/Byrne: Into the Spirit Womb

Sound quality on this is wretched, and if anyone can turn me on to a better quality version, let me know. All the Ghosts bootleg material that I've heard is like this.

the LP is much better with the inclusion of Qu'ran as Very Very Hungry is a dull track, I think. I remember Mountain of Needles not being on early pressings, either.

An Eno/Byrne record to look up if you dig Ghosts is The Catherine Wheel.

from enoweb.co.uk's Eno music FAQ:

"There was a version of this circulating as a bootleg tape long before the lp was released. One story explains this as delays in getting rights to use some of the material, which resulted in the track "The Jezebel Spirit" having a different radio evangelist used. Another rumor is that David Byrne's label stalled the release of a solo project by Byrne until the label released the next Talking Heads release, Remain in Light, which was actually recorded after MLitBoG using similar studio techniques but released before it. The original mixes were released as a bootleg in various forms over the years. Those include some different mixes and material not on the offical release.

The track Qu'ran was later left off the UK cd (and other euro pressings?) over concerns about its religous implications - the track includes a recording of a reading of the Koran and it may be considered insulting some followers of the Koran. It can still be found on the US releases.

On "Qu'ran" -- Qu'ran is the proper spelling of the Muslim book of scripture; "Koran" is an anglicized misspelling as is "Moslem."

"Very Very Hungry" was subsituted for Qu'ran. This was originally a b-side to a 12" EP.

Opal Information 12 (Spring 1989) explained: "A year or so after its release (1980) EG received a serious letter from the World Council of Islam in the UK stating that they considered the recording offensive. Brian Eno and David Byrne explained that no disrespect was intended and immediately agreed to remove the track." To put this in context, Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses was published in 1988, with the fatwah declared shortly after.

Gregory Taylor elaborates:

The Islamic Council of Great Britain had approached the record company with a complaint about the use of the "found" material [a ritual chanting of the Holy Koran. Actually, I'm surprised that anyone got permission to even tape it in the first place]; There are some expressions of Islam in which *all* music is considered "haram" [I think that's the Arabic term, anyway] - or against the teachings of the Koran. There is an argument about whether or not Mohammed (pbuh) stated that "music" for use in certain Islamic festivals or special occasions *is* allowable, but that's for folks who know the Surahs better than I.

At any rate, the Islamic Council voiced its strong disapproval of having the original source material used in the way it was used [in some ways, the objection is really quite similar to that raised by Kathryn Kuhlman's estate when they wanted her sermon on Lot and the angels removed from what finally became "The Jezebel Spirit"], and in the days of watching the Fatwahs [pronouncements of death] fly back and forth, Eno and his pals deemed it meet to exclude it. "Very Very Hungry" was added instead. However, my copy of it includes both, so some other judgements must have been made later [I think that my copy is a domestic one, so perhaps that's why]. {The track could for many years be found on the US releases of the cd.}"

Brakhage (brakhage), Saturday, 3 September 2005 16:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

An Eno/Byrne record to look up if you dig Ghosts is The Catherine Wheel.

IMO "The Catherine Wheel" is the single best thing that Byrne has ever done.

Sparkle Motion's Rising Force, Saturday, 3 September 2005 17:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanks, Brakhage! I'm downloading it now.

Ian Riese-Moraine: Let this bastard out, and you'll get whiplash! (Eastern Mantr, Saturday, 3 September 2005 17:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ahh, this is great, and I like how rough the recording sounds.

Ian Riese-Moraine: Let this bastard out, and you'll get whiplash! (Eastern Mantr, Saturday, 3 September 2005 17:57 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I can't believe the naysayers here. This album is fantastic, so textured, really one of the best things Byrne or Eno ever worked on. Absolutely critical in my musical education, one of the only albums I've listened to consistently over the past 18 years or so and constantly found engrossing.

True Stories is shit.

kyle (akmonday), Saturday, 3 September 2005 18:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I can't believe the naysayers here. This album is fantastic, so textured, really one of the best things Byrne or Eno ever worked on. Absolutely critical in my musical education, one of the only albums I've listened to consistently over the past 18 years or so and constantly found engrossing.

True Stories is shit.

OTM. Bush of Ghosts is funky as hell, compellingly weird, and deeply spacious. The production and editing throughout are phenomenal. Didn't the Bomb Squad cite it as an influence?

Dave Segal (Da ve Segal), Saturday, 3 September 2005 19:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I think it's QUITE unfunky and workaday (I vastly prefer The Catherine Wheel; Sparkle OTM upthread). Xgau's review is on-point:

"Something fishy's going on when unassuming swell-heads like these dabblers start releasing their worktapes. As cluttered and undistinguished as the MOR fusion and prog-rock it brings to the mind's ear, this album has none of the songful sweep of Remain in Light or the austere weirdness of Jon Hassell, and the vocal overlays only intensify its feckless aura. C+"

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Saturday, 3 September 2005 21:07 (twelve years ago) Permalink


That's rich. Xgau has never been more off point.

original plagiarist (Da ve Segal), Sunday, 4 September 2005 02:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well, he loved Remain in Light and The Catherine Wheel.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Sunday, 4 September 2005 12:28 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I've always enjoyed The Catherine Wheel, but more as pleasant listening than awe-inspiring head music. I have had zero luck getting a copy of Jerry Harrison's The Red And The Black from the same time period. I can't even find it on Slsk. How is it?

Fastnbulbous (Fastnbulbous), Sunday, 4 September 2005 14:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

'The Red and The Black' is definitely the weakest of the four Talking Heads-related albums released in 1981, but it still has some good moments. It's half way between Talking Heads and the Urban Verbs, to make an easy comparison. A little over-ambitious sometimes.

I.M. (I.M.), Sunday, 4 September 2005 16:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Throughout 1982 Talking Heads peformed tunes from Catherine Wheel, Big Business, My Big Hands and poss a few others.

mzui (mzui), Sunday, 4 September 2005 16:47 (twelve years ago) Permalink

"What a Day That Was" from The Catherine Wheel was on Stop Making Sense and the DVD featured "Big Business" in the extras.

Ian Riese-Moraine: Let this bastard out, and you'll get whiplash! (Eastern Mantr, Sunday, 4 September 2005 17:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ian Matos Alfred all stupid/ugly (Alfred isn't boring actually)

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Monday, 5 September 2005 13:31 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Maybe Chcuk doesn't like it easy, I can't see how it could be as kickinly disco as the third Krokus rec say

A Viking of Some Note (Andrew Thames), Monday, 5 September 2005 13:32 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There are arguments on both sides for this that I'm sure I've made elsewhere on ILM. Regardless, the worktapes of these worktapes are interesting, and I'd like to hear them in better sound quality.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Monday, 5 September 2005 17:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ian Matos Alfred all stupid/ugly (Alfred isn't boring actually)
-- A Viking of Some Note (andrew.thame...), September 5th, 2005

But I AM ugly.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Monday, 5 September 2005 18:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three months pass...
So is this still on for early 2006? Remastered? Extra tracks? Anybody?

StanM (StanM), Thursday, 22 December 2005 16:08 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one month passes...
Musictap has this news today:

It appears that Nonesuch will revisit the classic Brian Eno/David Byrne album, My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. But wait..there's definitely more. This will be an expanded version. I don't know about you but that was one of my favourite albums for quite a long time. In fact, I still listen to it from time to time, so you already know what a madman I'm going to be awaiting this one. Someone straitjacket me. My Life In the Bush of Ghosts arrives on March 28. Watch these pages for info as it becomes available.

StanM (StanM), Friday, 10 February 2006 13:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Great news! I wonder if they will include "Qu'ran" on this one (my CD version has it), or would its inclusion be more controversial than ever?

Joe (Joe), Friday, 10 February 2006 13:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

from talking-heads.net:

"The CD contains remastered versions of the original album tracks (sans "Qu'ran", which was only available on the first issues of the album and removed for later pressings because of sampled parts from the Quran) plus previously unreleased bonus tracks:

1. America Is Waiting
2. Mea Culpa
3. Regiment
4. Help Me Somebody
5. The Jezebel Spirit
6. Very, Very Hungry
7. Moonlight in Glory
8. The Carrier
9. A Secret Life
10. Come with Us
11. Mountain of Needles

Bonus tracks:
12. Pitch to Voltage
13. Two Against Three
14. Vocal Outtakes
15. New Feet
16. Defiant
17. Number 8 Mix
18. Solo Guitar with Tin Foil

When MLITBOG was originally released, a bootleg LP surfaced with some unreleased tracks (including the original version of "Jezebel Spirit" with Kathrin Kuhlman smaples) and alternative versions with weird titles. It's not sure if these tracks are featured on the new CD or if this is 'new' unreleased material."

weekly handle change (haitch), Friday, 10 February 2006 14:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i love that album. intellectual it is but what is bad about that? it's dense stuff, ahead of its time, ahead of any time. the way it melds tribal, authentic, ancient music with what was modern music at the time is as breathtaking today as it was at the time. breathtaking btw is a song i can never get enough of. it is something like the incarnation of the fruitful marriage of the cultures. clash of civilisations is so 911.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Friday, 10 February 2006 18:00 (twelve years ago) Permalink

i meant regiment. there has been a confusion somewhere in my brain.

alex in mainhattan (alex63), Friday, 10 February 2006 20:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The cover for the reissue:


telephone thing, Friday, 10 February 2006 22:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Fuck, this is good news.

Naive Teen Idol (Naive Teen Idol), Friday, 10 February 2006 23:21 (twelve years ago) Permalink

So. So. Excited.

Myke. (Myke Weiskopf), Saturday, 11 February 2006 05:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

what are they changing the cover for?? morans.

weekly handle change (haitch), Saturday, 11 February 2006 05:52 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Seems that iI was too late to find this thread to get the tracks at yousendit. Any chance of a reload please.

Bananabob, Tuesday, 28 February 2006 06:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I will re-up it tonight if nobody else has by then.

zebedee (zebedee), Tuesday, 28 February 2006 10:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

OK, here's yet one more outing for that zip full of demos:


zebedee (zebedee), Tuesday, 28 February 2006 20:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Thanks zebedee! You are a master!

Bananabob, Wednesday, 1 March 2006 06:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...
Subject: Your Amazon.co.uk order

Dear Customer,

We wanted to give you an update on the status of your order.

We are sorry to report that the following items have been delayed.

Brian Eno (Artist), David Byrne (Artist) "My Life in the Bush of
Ghosts [IMPORT]" [Audio CD]

We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes.

(Amazon.co.uk first had March 28th, has now been changed to April 11th)

StanM (StanM), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 09:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Anything involving Bruce Conner is good. So maybe this will be a DualDisc then?

-- Brakhage (cognitivebia...) (webmail), February 16th, 2006 3:51 PM. (brakhage) (link)

i'm sorry, but this had me laughing.. nice of you to bring attention to one of your peers.

meth lab for doug flutie (sanskrit), Wednesday, 22 March 2006 13:40 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I try to send a little business his way now and then


Brakhage (brakhage), Saturday, 25 March 2006 00:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Of course they had to go and misspell his name on the site

Brakhage (brakhage), Saturday, 25 March 2006 00:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's in the shops in Belgium! (It's an Enhanced CD, no DualDisc. The Mea Culpa video is a 34Mb Quicktime file)

Please don't share that demos zip file from upthread anymore, the demos from in there are on the remastered edition (reworked versions, I think, they're not 100% the same). Here's the three that we knew from the crackly vinyl bootleg:

Pitch to Voltage (= cunning tendacy = on the way to zagora)
Two Against Three (= iron bed = the friends of amos tutuola)
Vocal Outtakes (not on the bootlegs) (weird vocal effects)
New Feet (not on the bootlegs) (weird rhythmical eastern thing)
Defiant (not on the bootlegs) (very different version of The Jezebel Spirit and Lot/Into The Spirit World)
Number 8 Mix (= late but not serious = les hommes ne sauront jamais)
Solo Guitar with Tin Foil (not on the bootlegs) (quiet ambient track, completely different from everything else on this disc)

First impression of the sound: much louder than before. it's not as drastic as I had expected, but the sound is WAY better. (I had feared the removal of all the tape hiss, but they haven't done that, so it still sounds like the analog cut+paste experiment it really is instead of some clinically clean digital sampler sequence they could have made from it.)

Very nice packaging & booklet. Essay by David Toop and a kind of Making Of report by Eno & Byrne, plus some of the studio pics that are also on the www.bush-of-ghosts.com site.

StanM (StanM), Saturday, 25 March 2006 17:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Here's the three that we knew from the crackly vinyl bootleg:

(... and the 4 new tracks we didn't.)

StanM (StanM), Saturday, 25 March 2006 17:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

http://www.bush-of-ghosts.com (very active lately: e.g. a press release dated 03/25/06 , but the remix site is still coming soon)

StanM (StanM), Saturday, 25 March 2006 17:41 (twelve years ago) Permalink

NOW I get it! That press release only concerns the US, apparently. "Nonesuch Records & EMI are proud to announce the release on April 11 of seminal collaborative"

But the one I just bought is Virgin Records/EMI and made in EU, release date March 27th. The one I had on preorder from Amazon UK was the import version, they added the regular European edition after I placed that order.

Anyway. Nevermind. I was slightly confused but now I finally understand the release dates are two weeks apart.

StanM (StanM), Saturday, 25 March 2006 17:48 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Sorry to hijack this thread, but I just discovered something. :-)

While making this mp3 file for you all (10 seconds of Regiment from EGCD48, half a second of silence and the same 10 seconds from the new edition), I found out that this section is at 2:40 on the old CD and at 2:54 on the new one. So they've done more than just clean up the old tapes.

Compare: 2 x 10 seconds of Regiment. (662 kb mp3 file, 256 kb/sec LAME compression, ripped with EAC, same settings, same drive, no normalization)

StanM (StanM), Saturday, 25 March 2006 18:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

It's in the shops in UK too. Got it in HMV last night.

Had a quick listen to the bonus tracks this morning. I could be wrong - I haven't done a side-by-side comparison or anything - but I reckon those demo files are still not redundant, not by a long chalk.

Anyway, what I really came here to say was:
- in the booklet there are great photos of Byrne and (especially) Eno in the studio looking geeky, plus new essays by David Toop and Byrne & Eno
- the booklet mentions that there are 2 tracks to download from a website that, after signing a license agreement, you are allowed to remix and sample in any way you like
- I couldn't see anywhere in the credits of the CD the list of sound sources / samples used (i.e. the ones that were on the original LP sleeve), which I thought was a bit odd.

zebedee (zebedee), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 10:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

but I reckon those demo files are still not redundant, not by a long chalk.

No, you're right, I recognised them in my previous message, but after listening to the bootleg again, I agree that the versions are very different indeed.

Also: new vocals at the end of The Carrier again? (there's one vocal on the three versions, but the demo had another second vocal, and this remaster has another second vocal, if I'm not mistaken)

StanM (StanM), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 10:51 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Great roundup StanM - this is the way I wish all reissues were packaged.

New mix sounds more claustrophobic and bass-heavy but I'm sure I'll get into it when I have the whole CD to listen to.

Brakhage (brakhage), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 17:18 (twelve years ago) Permalink

zebedee: yep, you're right, the "unidentified indignant radio host, San Francisco, April 1980" credits aren't on there. They're still on EnoWeb, though. (http://enoweb.co.uk -> lyrics -> my life in the bush of ghosts)

And the "remixes" part of their site is still "coming soon" - probably around April 11, when the US edition is released, I expect.

StanM (StanM), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the entire website, (cc) 2006 creative commons license. biggest project yet to go with lessig's baby?

is it just the website, or can someone with a physical copy confirm if the actual CD carries a creative commons license as well?

milton parker (Jon L), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:26 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Nope, just the site. The CD is (p) and (c) Virgin Records Ltd.

StanM (StanM), Tuesday, 28 March 2006 18:30 (twelve years ago) Permalink

the cd isn't creative commons licensed but two of the songs are being offered as remixable multitracks, check here: http://www.boingboing.net/2006/03/30/byrneeno_bush_of_gho.html

Juan44, Friday, 31 March 2006 14:04 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Remix site still not online? (the reissue was released in the US yesterday, right?)

StanM (StanM), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 17:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

There's a Nonesuch ad for the reissue in the New Yorker this week.

o. nate (onate), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 18:24 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I heard "America is Waiting" last night on public radio, and even on my tinny car radio speakers the new mix sounds really GOOD!

Daniel Peterson (polkaholic), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 20:11 (twelve years ago) Permalink

The good:
The music sounds great. I like the new cover art and the included short essays in the booklet are great.

The bad:
Another one of these damn cheap cardboard sleeves. You know, the ones that are so tight that it's a bitch to extract the jewel case and you're going to end up destroying it anyway or throwing it out since it has nothing inherently useful.

mike h. (mike h.), Wednesday, 12 April 2006 20:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...
I really want to like this but it isn't quite hitting me. Perhaps it would have seemed more revelatory had I been 26 when it first came out instead of now? At worst it sounds a bit like a big digeridoo/drum circle, at best it makes me think of an auditory counterpart to this:


Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 22:20 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Hmm. That's an. . . interesting take.

I first heard it when I was 20 (in 2000) and it was quite possibly the record that made the fact that something special had been doing on "post-punk," that the Talking Heads and Elvis Costello and Siouxsie & the Banshees and Gang of Four and Wire records I loved weren't abberitions. I think it startled me because it was borrowing from music from around the world *without* being awful hippie "world music," which I didn't know was the modus operandi of art/underground music of the time.

It probably says something that your ears are no so accustomed to the hybridisation this record captures that because of its relative simplicity you associate it with hippie appropriation from an earlier time (a la Beatles re: sitars, hippies re: drum circles, Paul Simon a la "Me and Julio").

I.M. (I.M.), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 22:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well, yeah, had I written a longer post I was actually going to say that part of my brain knows there's something smarter going on than just hippie appropriation of "world" music (especially since I remember reading a great article by Byrne dismantling the concept of that very genre), and yet Byrne seems, perversely, to have had a huge influence on less intelligent world music that has come since, and with which I associate a lot of the kind of vocal sampling and percussive jamming that happens on this record. But I also just find a bit dull - very repetitive, not very dynamic, etc.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 22:39 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I bought the reissue... I'm still very much into the record, years later. The structures are very repetitive, there's no forward motion, if you're expecting songs that develop & transition then this stuff might sound unfinished to you, usually when they've run through all their sounds the track simply fades out. a lot like 'another green world'. this record is about sound design and raw weird juxtaposition -- the textures, the details, the feel, I like better than 'catherine wheel' & 'remain in light', this record's still a mystery.

which is why I'm so allergic to the packaging on this reissue putting so much energy into making a case for it's 'importance', the new digital cover, the essays, the many boring pictures of them in the studio taking up full pages... the original packaging was perfect and author-anonymous. the new record ditches the sample attribtions in favor of a long winded toop essay about how important this record is. it's a fine essay, but bundling it with the record even puts me off and I love this record.

also... the new tracks are worth hearing but they're even more ephemeral and inconclusive... great to hear, but they do dilute the impact of the original record. calling them 'side 3' instead of 'auxillary' is going pretty far.

I've been enjoying the bad reviews the reissue's gotten though, they're validating... this record still isn't for anyone

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 22:45 (twelve years ago) Permalink

But there's other repetitive, non-dynamic music I like, I just don't find this all that interesting sonically.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 22:59 (twelve years ago) Permalink

really? wow

well, ok then. for me the sound design is the main appeal on this record. I'm hooked three seconds into the first track.

milton parker (Jon L), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 23:06 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I like the first track actually. That was what got me to buy the record.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 23:10 (twelve years ago) Permalink

>because of its relative simplicity you associate it with hippie appropriation from an earlier time (a la Beatles re: sitars<

George Harrison was actually a fairly decent player - nowhere near the way that Hindustani classical players can play, but I think the Beatles used sitar well and he wrote some good songs after having studied No. Indian classical music some. Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band was also a decent player.

How is this album a more "intelligent" use of world music elements?

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Wednesday, 26 April 2006 23:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

How is this album a more "intelligent" use of world music elements?

Well, for starters, Eno & Byrne don't attempt to sing the melodies themselves, knowing they couldn't do it as well as the music that was inspiring them. For me that differenciates it from appropriation--they aren't standing off from afar worshiping the purity of something, they're unafraid of recontextualisation, but they're not going to try to pretend to be the source. It's like the way hip-hop musicians can respect the originality of the breakbeats sampled, but not be afraid of creating something new. Much as I enjoy the Beatles cute use of the "exotic," it comes off as basically an adornment, rather than an integral element.

It's like a record I heard of my parents' friend, wherein a group of aging white hippie women decided they wanted to create a record of "Native American" songs and chants, out of some (to my mind) misguided desire to honour "the" culture. When you want to recreate "world musics" like that, it seems to me you've got to bear an incredible responsibility to understand the music on its own terms--which if you did might make it clear you aren't in a position to recreate it. Eno and Byrne aren't beholden to that responsibility because what they're creating is overtly a fantasy--not a facsimile. I imagine they hoped that if someone were pulled most especially to the vocal melodies in the pieces, that person would seek out original recordings. They weren't seeking to replace the originals--whereas plenty of people only know the Sitar as a sound in the Beatles music (though I'm not sure that's entirely the Beatles fault).

I.M. (I.M.), Thursday, 27 April 2006 02:43 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I guess I always figured Byrne is as much or more interested in globalization and media effects than in "authentic culture" of other parts of the world. But this record falls a little flat to my ears regardless of that.

I also wasn't really so much thinking of the early hippie indulgences in "Eastern" music as just bad drum circles I observed in college. And I was also thinking of bad "World" music artists that seem to think their unique blend of hip-hop elements and traditional Kora music, or whatever, is really innovative. I give Byrne and Eno more credit than that in terms of their inentions, but the sonic results of the former and the latter aren't all that different to my ears.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Thursday, 27 April 2006 02:56 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I.M., I don't see how your argument about how Bush of Ghosts recontextualizes world music, is not mere appropriation, doesn't attempt to replicate the original music (or replace the original music) without understanding it fully or understanding its cultural context implicates the Beatles in any way. I think a song like "Within You Without You" is also a "recontextualization" and a fairly serious one. I don't find it cute and I don't think it uses properties of Indian music as mere adornment.

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

I put "recontextualization" in quotes, by the way, because it strikes me as a buzz word used to talk about "intelligent music" in which the "recontextualization" that is going on is perhaps the main aesthetic factor in the music. (And this being the case, if you want to talk about the music, you end up talking about this factor and you call it "recontextualization.")

Tim Ellison (Tim Ellison), Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:22 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well to a certain extent it's a "recontextualization" for anyone from one culture to perform the songs of a geographically distant other culture. I mean if a folk singer sang a coal mine song at Carnegie Hall, it wouldn't have mattered how true to the tradition he was because he'd have been singing it in Carnegie Hall and not in a coal mine.

I'd venture that the difference between Harrison and Byrne in this case has more to do with the type of "recontextualization" they're interested in -- with Harrison it seems like it had more to do with experimentation and spirituality, with Byrne it seems to be more about anxiety and dislocation.

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Thursday, 27 April 2006 03:33 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Well, looks like I joined this party wayyy too late for the YSI files -- any chance anybody would want to email me the mp3s of the deleted "Qu'ran" and "Jezebel Spirit"?

.... pretty please....?

Pober Saltine, Thursday, 11 May 2006 06:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You're not allowed to ask that any more, unfortunately.

PJ Miller (PJ Miller 68), Thursday, 11 May 2006 06:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

George Harrison was actually a fairly decent player - nowhere near the way that Hindustani classical players can play, but I think the Beatles used sitar well and he wrote some good songs after having studied No. Indian classical music some. Mike Heron of the Incredible String Band was also a decent player.

How is this album a more "intelligent" use of world music elements?

-- Tim Ellison (thefriendlyfriendlybubbl...), April 26th, 2006.

This is only tangentially related, but Jon Pareles and David Lewiston (Nonesuch Explorer series dude) were just on Soundcheck on WNYC talking about what "world music" is and George Harrison figured heavily in the discussion. The really interesting bits, though, are the parts where Lewiston talks about his first trip to Bali to record gamelan music:


Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Thursday, 11 May 2006 12:58 (twelve years ago) Permalink

six years pass...



still hissy, mastered very quiet, but still, better fidelity than the Ghosts bootleg

Milton Parker, Monday, 11 June 2012 20:29 (five years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Unfortunately, that's gone.

I recently pulled this out again as I got interested in finding out how Eno was using his AMS DMX delay box to do the cut-up vocals on this (that's been unsuccessful).

But a few days ago, I found an interview from 1980 with Eno in which he talks about MLitBoG a bit -- and plays a few rough mixes he'd done of "America Is Waiting" (sans vocals, which he calls "Garbage Disco"), "Mea Culpa" (just the synth arpeggio and vocals), and a very early version of "The Carrier" (I think -- I get some of those tracks on the second side mixed up). Pretty interesting stuff:


Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 8 November 2012 16:56 (five years ago) Permalink

oh, cool, think i've just heard an excerpt of that interview. thanks!

tylerw, Thursday, 8 November 2012 17:01 (five years ago) Permalink

Rough mixes supposedly from a cassette Byrne gave to a guy when he was living in Alphabet City in the late 70s/early 80s. By far the best quality boots I've heard of this material.


Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 9 November 2012 02:04 (five years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Holy shit, this sound pretty familiar:


Josh in Chicago, Monday, 19 October 2015 18:40 (two years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Admittedly late but what am I missing here, Josh? Is that supposed to be a groove Eno and Byrne appropriated?

Naive Teen Idol, Friday, 31 March 2017 13:46 (one year ago) Permalink

Kind of reminiscent of Regiment?

PURE, BEAUTIFUL OIL (Sparkle Motion), Tuesday, 4 April 2017 05:02 (one year ago) Permalink

No resemblance at all. A groove's a groove's a groove.

Max Florian, Tuesday, 4 April 2017 09:54 (one year ago) Permalink

five months pass...

So this is being reissued again, on vinyl this time, with additional bonus tracks:


Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 14 September 2017 04:54 (eight months ago) Permalink

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