Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

10. Brian EnoTaking Tiger Mountain By Strategy

There’s something very quirky about the two records Brian Eno made just after he left Roxy Music. They feel naturally ‘him’, in a way, like he didn’t really think about it too much. He did it very quickly, in a sort of ‘of-the-time’ kind of way, and those records really brought out his character more than any other music he’s done over the years, even including his ambient stuff – I think he thinks about all that ambient stuff too much, in a way. The earlier records feel like they were done with humour and fun. Obviously there’s a big cash incentive if you’re asked to produce Coldplay or U2, they’re difficult things to turn down if you’re any producer. But I think it’s been debilitating for him, he should just be more experimental. [But] I do hear a lot of good stories about his approach and the way he coaxes the best out of people as a producer.

There was a bit of a connection between him and Depeche Mode – he did some remixes for ‘I Feel You’, which were called the Swamp mixes, and they’re typical Eno. They sound exactly like the kind of thing you’d expect him to do, and I loved them. And I thought they were great. There was a connection because Flood had worked with on the U2 records, and they’d hired a house and built a studio there, and all lived together to make a record. I said ‘That’s a great idea, let’s do the same thing’. And it was a total disaster. We lived together and recorded together, and of course, it was one of the most uncreative recording sessions… actually, it wasn’t really – it was one of the most difficult recording sessions we’ve ever had. We were all living in this house and nothing was getting done, and yet, when I look back and see what we produced over a very long period of ten weeks, we recorded three of the best Mode tracks ever.

Selected in other Baker’s Dozens: Andy McCluskey
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