@U2 Forum

U2 => General U2 Discussion => Topic started by: Dali on November 11, 2008, 04:40:34 PM

Title: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: Dali on November 11, 2008, 04:40:34 PM
In retrospect, it's amazing that U2 has not, like many other bands, relied on outside help by lots of studio musicians, save for having one or two key collaborators who are usually also the producers of the project in question.

I'm not counting guest stars here, like Johnny Cash on "The Wanderer", Willie Nelson on "Slow Dancing", Sinead O'Connor on "I'm Not Your Baby", Bob Dylan on "Love Rescue Me", B B King on "When Love Comes To Town" or Robbie Robertson on "Sweet Fire Of Love".

Rather, this is about collaborators that worked behind the scenes with the band in a supporting role, like Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno, Howie B, Marius DeVries, Jacknife Lee, William Orbit and others (I'm sure I missed somebody here).
I have gotten to quite like Daniel Lanois' solo music, and Howie B's unique sounds as well, but have found Brian Eno's material rather less accessible.
What albums / recordings by U2's collaborators can you recommend?
Thank you for input.
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: Van the Man Fan on November 11, 2008, 05:40:07 PM
Have you tried Brian Eno's collaborations with Robert Fripp.  They did some great stuff together. 
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: guitarz on November 12, 2008, 09:59:35 AM
I really love danny lanois' work in general and I greatly appreciate what he has done with U2. Since TUF album, everytime Lanois is involved, a great album is produced.

This is why I'm happy that he's working on the next album instead of Rick Rubin. I was kind of weary of Rubin's influence...
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: Dali on November 12, 2008, 01:12:57 PM
Thanks for the replies. No, I haven't tried Eno's work with Robert Fripp, but had a listen in a store into "Neroli" and "Drawn From Life" w/ Peter Schwalm, and they didn't click with me. I figured I'd better check out his song-based recordings, and "Another Day On Earth" turned out to be quite great actually.
With Lanois, it's been different. I mailordered "For the Beauty Of Wynona" without having a clue what it would be like, solely based on my enjoyment with the arrangements of "Achtung Baby", and I wasn't disappointed at all. His other solo records joined my collection as time was passing, including the "Sling Blade Soundtrack" and his brother Bob's album "Snake Road", on which Dan plays almost everything, except the harmonica, which is played by Bob.
I took a similar risk when I mailordered Howie B's "Turn the Dark Off". This was different than anything I had ever heard up to that point, but I got to like it quickly. As time progressed, I got his other solo albums and even some of his productions for other artists, but I stayed away from remixes. "Folk", "Mayonnaise" and "Mayonnaise II" are what I'd call his best albums, maybe because they are at least partially song-based. Howie's soundscapes are incredible.

Now, I've been thinking of getting into other U2 collaborator's work. I think William Orbit, who plays on "Electrical Storm" has got a few solo albums out. I don't know about Marius DeVries, who plays keyboards on some songs from "Pop". Is he just a producer? Same goes for Flood? A few years back when Jacknife Lee was on Howie B's Pussyfoot label, I heard a tune of his on the radio, and didn't like it. Gavin Friday should be mentioned in this list, too, I think. What is his solo material like?
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: B-Wood on November 14, 2008, 10:18:36 PM
I like to listen to Eno's four Ambient albums on occasion.
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: StrongGirl on November 15, 2008, 10:17:35 PM
Ah, Dali, thank you for mentioning Gavin Friday.  I guess the members of this forum already know I am a long time fan of his as well.  His solo work is completely different from his band The Virgin Prunes.  He collaborates with many artists himself.  He has scored In America, In the Name of the Father and Get Rich or Die Trying (the 50 Cent biography).  He currently has 3 solo albums, the most recent (and probably most popular) one is Shag Tobacco from about 8 years ago. He certainly takes his time.  The single Angel was in the film Romeo and Juliet with Leonardo Di Caprio.  There are always glam references and this particular one was described as mainly dance influenced that ranges from "industrial slams to clean, elegant breaks." OK the quoted part was obviously not my words! He starred and sang in a great film called Breakfast on Pluto. Anyone know it? Oh, Bono and Edge did the background vocals on Little Black Dress from Shag Tobacco. He is an artist that has really done everything.  Very talented.  OK that is much more than you wanted to know I'm sure but I get carried away when it comes to Gavin. Give his stuff a try. See if you like it. It's definitely not U2.
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: Falling At Your Feet on November 16, 2008, 05:13:12 AM
These are fairly accessible:

Robbie Robertsons 1987 solo album titled "Robbie Robertson" is by any standards a superb album, Lanois produced it and U2 are on two album tracks. It's right up there with the best of releases from '87 including the J.T.

Daniel Lanois also produced Peter Gabriels stunning 1987 album titled "So"
Title: Re: Solo music of U2's collaborators?
Post by: Dali on November 19, 2008, 12:26:23 PM
Thanks for highlighting Robbie Robertson's 1987 album. The duet with U2, "Sweet Fire Of Love" feels almost like a "Joshua Tree" outtake and would have deserved to be included in the deluxe remastered edition of that one.
And thanks for pointing me in the direction of that Peter Gabriel album.

Other Daniel Lanois productions that I like include "Wrecking Ball" by Emmylou Harris, which has some wonderful drumming by Larry Mullen, Jr., too, and Bob Dylan's "Oh Mercy". I couldn't warm up to "Fever In Fever Out" by all-female four piece Luscious Jackson, which he also produced.

As far as other Howie B productions go, I really enjoy "Tender Hooks" by singer/songwriter Holly Palmer, the reggae/dub-ish instrumental album "Stripped To the Bone" by Sly and Robbie, the instrumental score music album to the film "The End Of Violence" by Ry Cooder, on which Howie B was one of the mixers, and both albums of his trio project with Crispin Hunt (singer of Longpigs) and Will O'Donovan, "Mayonnaise" and "Mayonnaise II".

Regarding Gavin Friday's solo work, I've heard "In the Name Of the Father" and I guess I'll have a listen to "Shag Tobacco" when I get around to it.

So how about William Orbit? What album by him would you recommend?