David Bowie & Brian Eno’s Collaboration on “Warszawa” Reimagined in a Comic Animation

If you want to talk about David Bowie, you’ll soon­er or lat­er have to talk about Bri­an Eno. That music pro­duc­er, visu­al artist, tech­no­log­i­cal tin­ker­er, and “drift­ing clar­i­fi­er” has­n’t had a hand in all the image-shift­ing rock star’s work, of course, but what col­lab­o­ra­tions they’ve done rank among the most endur­ing items in the Bowie cat­a­log. “I’m Afraid of Amer­i­cans,” which Eno co-wrote, remains a favorite of casu­al and die-hard fans alike; the 1995 Eno-pro­duced “cyber­noir” con­cept album 1.Outside seems to draw more acclaim now than it did on its release. But for the high­est mon­u­ment to the meet­ing of Bowie and Eno’s minds, look no fur­ther than Low, and Heroes, and Lodger, which the two craft­ed togeth­er in the late 1970s. These albums became infor­mal­ly known as the “Berlin tril­o­gy,” so named for one of the cities in which Bowie and Eno worked on them. Oh, to have been a fly on the wall dur­ing those ses­sions.

Ani­ma­tors the Broth­ers McLeod have giv­en us just that per­spec­tive in the car­toon above. It opens in Sep­tem­ber 1976 at the Château d’Hérou­ville, the “north­ern French­land” stu­dio which host­ed the bulk of Low’s record­ing ses­sions. These three and a half min­utes, in which Bowie, Eno, and pro­duc­er Tony Vis­con­ti lay down a cou­ple of takes for what will become “Warsza­wa,” one of the album’s most mem­o­rable tracks, come loaded with gags just for the Bowie-Eno enthu­si­ast. The car­toon Bowie (voiced uncan­ni­ly by come­di­an Adam Bux­ton) sports exact­ly the look he did in the Man Who Fell to Earth pub­lic­i­ty pho­to repur­posed for Low’s cov­er. Eno offers Bowie a piece of ambi­ent music, explain­ing that, if Bowie does­n’t like it, “I’ll use on one of my weird albums” (like Music for Bus Stops). Vis­con­ti con­stant­ly under­scores his doing, as a pro­duc­er, “more than peo­ple think.” And when Bowie and Eno find them­selves in need of some cre­ative inspi­ra­tion, where else would they turn than to the infal­li­ble advice of Oblique Strate­gies — even if it advis­es the use of “a made-up lan­guage that sounds kind of Ital­ian”?

via Bib­liok­lept

Relat­ed Con­tent:

David Bowie Releas­es Vin­tage Videos of His Great­est Hits from the 1970s and 1980s

David Bowie Recalls the Strange Expe­ri­ence of Invent­ing the Char­ac­ter Zig­gy Star­dust (1977)

Jump Start Your Cre­ative Process with Bri­an Eno’s “Oblique Strate­gies”

Bri­an Eno on Cre­at­ing Music and Art As Imag­i­nary Land­scapes (1989)

How David Byrne and Bri­an Eno Make Music Togeth­er: A Short Doc­u­men­tary

Col­in Mar­shall hosts and pro­duces Note­book on Cities and Cul­ture and writes essays on cities, lan­guage, Asia, and men’s style. He’s at work on a book about Los Ange­les, A Los Ange­les Primer. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

by | Permalink | Comments (3) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Comments (3)
You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.