This second part begins with a summary of everything that Eno attempted to do in the world of rock – Before and After Science. Many people were involved – Fred Frith, Peter Gabriel, Jaki Liebezeit, Cluster...More than a hundred tracks had been written but Eno only kept the best. It would be his last pop album for quite a while...In parallel, he wrote Heroes with Bowie, the second part of the Berlin trilogy, which will always be considered a climactic moment in the history of rock. Eno's influence on the album was considerable. Bowie was fully immersed in his art of ‘process’ and most of the experimental composition took place in the studio. Eno then took over the production of DEVO's debut album, recorded in Conny Plank's studio in Cologne. The compilation Music For Films brought together various experiments recorded between 1975 and 1978. Back in England, he composed the now famous Music For Airports, an ambient piece, the first part of which was composed with his friend Robert Wyatt on the piano.
Eno then left the old continent to settle in New York. There he discovered an underground music scene that he immediately decided to produce: No-Wave. From there followed a decisive meeting with David Byrne, the mastermind behind Talking Heads, a band for which Eno produced three major albums from 1977 to 1980. His hand can especially be felt on Remain in Light. What makes this album so singular is its mix of African sounds (the considerable influence of Fela Kuti) as well as elaborate studio techniques. Eno went to Ghana in July 1981 to produce Edifanko, an African funk group who only recorded one (but still marvellous) album.
Eno joined up again with Bowie for the final part of the Berlin trilogy, Lodger, recorded in Switzerland then produced in the USA. He went deeper into his experiments with ambient music with Harold Budd and Laraadji. The latter improvised by reacting to Eno's sound productions, using John Cage-style instrumental exercises but with a splash of electronics thrown in. With trumpet player Jon Hassel he went even further, creating folk music cut with electronics. The result is prodigious: a music that is both primitive and futuristic (that they would call Fourth World). The album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts saw him exploring this idea of imaginary world music further, from a different angle. This was the result of a new collaboration with David Byrne, and which heralded sampling by using pre-recorded voices such as sermons, exorcisms, and excerpts from TV scripts.
Along with his brother and Daniel Lanois, Eno worked on a NASA documentary about a mission to the moon. As a solo artist, he now devoted himself to ambient music. Thus continued his quest for spatialised, static, landscapes of sound. To create was to generate a kind of space-time capsule, in which one could live differently. The listening experience was again at the heart of the composition process. Everyone can listen to this ambient music, and feel different things depending on one’s state (stress, calm, attentive or distracted listening...) On Land remains unique because it contains ‘a dissonance that resembles an imminent earthquake’. It allows for a kind of apocalyptic scenario to take shape in our minds. The far calmer “Thursday Afternoon” is the first work to use the full length possible on a CD, more than an hour of music. But Eno wouldn't be Eno without having taken a bit of a left turn! He produced for a rather commercial (and insignificant) Australian pop band called Icehouse, a very strange digression, before meeting an Irish band who had the promise of a very (very) bright future, but that's another story...