The Brian Eno Discography: Stream 29 Hours of Recordings by the Master of Ambient Music

45 years have passed since Bri­an Eno left Roxy Music to strike out on his own, launch­ing a more or less unprece­dent­ed career spread across music pop­u­lar and exper­i­men­tal as well as oth­er forms of art entire­ly. It seems to have worked out for him: young stars like James Blake, Owen Pal­lett, and Seun Kuti con­tin­ue to seek out the bound­ary-push­ing cre­ative over­sight he pre­vi­ous­ly brought as pro­duc­er to acts like David Bowie and U2, and his own work as a “non-musi­cian” (which began with him twist­ing knobs and push­ing but­tons almost at ran­dom with Roxy Music) con­tin­ues apace, his lat­est album Reflec­tion hav­ing come out just last year.

If you looked for Reflec­tion at the record store, phys­i­cal or dig­i­tal, you might well find it filed under “ambi­ent,” a genre Bri­an Eno often gets cred­it­ed with, though nev­er seems to claim cred­it for, invent­ing.

Whether or not he came up with that atmos­pher­ic, almost spa­tial form of music sin­gle-hand­ed­ly — or its com­put­er-com­posed cousin gen­er­a­tive music, which you can expe­ri­ence with Reflec­tion in app form — mat­ters less than the intel­lec­tu­al frame­work he’s built, and that he con­tin­u­al­ly dis­man­tles and rebuilds, around it.

Though Eno has always insist­ed on the impor­tance of deep feel­ing in music, per­ceiv­ing a kind of sacred­ness in acts like singing and danc­ing, the cre­ation of his own music has also involved no small amount of cog­i­ta­tion, the fruits of which you can hear in the 29-hour Spo­ti­fy playlist above. (If you don’t have Spo­ti­fy’s free soft­ware, you can down­load it here.) If you got into Eno through his ambi­ent work, what you hear on much of this son­ic jour­ney through his discog­ra­phy might sur­prise you: the jagged­ness of a “Sky Saw” from Anoth­er Green World, the cyber­punk beats of Nerve Net, or the nervy grooves on his col­lab­o­ra­tions with for­mer Talk­ing Heads David Byrne. All of it evi­dences that Eno nev­er runs out of musi­cal ideas, nor the fas­ci­na­tion to exe­cute them; no won­der Roxy Music leader Bryan Fer­ry, near­ly half a cen­tu­ry lat­er, wants to col­lab­o­rate with him again.

The playlist starts with Eno’s first album, 1974’s Here Come the Warm Jets, and then moves through the rest of his discog­ra­phy chrono­log­i­cal­ly. It may not include every album Eno ever made. But it cer­tain­ly seems to include every Eno album cur­rent­ly avail­able on the stream­ing ser­vice.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

The “True” Sto­ry Of How Bri­an Eno Invent­ed Ambi­ent Music

Bri­an Eno Presents a Crash Course on How the Record­ing Stu­dio Rad­i­cal­ly Changed Music: Hear His Influ­en­tial Lec­ture “The Record­ing Stu­dio as a Com­po­si­tion­al Tool” (1979)

Bri­an Eno Explains the Loss of Human­i­ty in Mod­ern Music

Bri­an Eno Cre­ates a List of His 13 Favorite Records: From Gospel to Afrobeat, Shoegaze to Bul­gar­i­an Folk

Bri­an Eno on Why Do We Make Art & What’s It Good For?: Down­load His 2015 John Peel Lec­ture

Based in Seoul, Col­in Mar­shall writes and broad­casts on cities and cul­ture. His projects include the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.


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