David Byrne and Brian Eno’s landmark 1981 collaboration “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” will be reissued March 28 via Nonesuch. The new edition features seven previously unreleased tracks that date from the original recording sessions.
By 1979, the artists had worked together on the Talking Heads albums “More Songs About Buildings and Food” and “Fear of Music.” While recording the follow-up to the latter, “Remain in Light,” they set out to make an album inspired by their fascination with the groove-driven music embodied by African artists like Fela Kuti. The pieces were then accented by African field recordings, as well as samples of everything from talk radio shows to evangelists.
Byrne and Eno were aided in the studio by Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz, bassists Bill Laswell and Tim Wright and conga player Steve Scales, who later played with Talking Heads on the tour in support of “Remain in Light.”
The extra tracks on the reissue, “Pitch to Voltage,” “Two Against Three,” “Vocal Outtakes,” “New Feet,” “Defiant,” “Number 8 Mix” and “Solo Guitar With Tin Foil,” are bolstered by a film for album track “Mea Culpa” by Bruce Connor.
While the decidedly un-poppy “My Life in the Bush of Ghosts” threw many Talking Heads fans for a loop at the time of its release, it has since come to be viewed as an important forerunner in the burgeoning world of sample-based music later perfected by artists like Thievery Corporation and DJ Shadow.
In related news, Byrne is preparing for performances next month of his musical project “Here Lies Love – A Song Cycle,” which is based on the life of former Philippine first lady Imelda Marcos. The artist has been assisted on the project by Fatboy Slim and has been recording music in recent days at Slim’s studio in Brighton, England. “Here Lies Love” will be staged March 9-11, 13-14 at Adelaide’s Bank Festival of Arts.