Brian Eno releases Film Music 1976 – 2020: his first ever collection of music from his film and television soundtrack oeuvre on November 13, with the physical editions due for US release on 22 January 2021. Spanning five decades, Film Music features classic Eno compositions, and includes some lesser-known gems and seven previously unreleased tracks.
Eno’s long-standing affair with film goes all the way back to 1970 with his soundtrack to Malcolm Le Grice’s short experimental film Berlin Horse. In 1976 he followed this with Sebastiane and a long forgotten Greek B-horror film, Land Of The Minotaur AKA The Devil’s Men. This led to an unstoppable momentum largely initiated by the release of Music For Films. Early classic Eno film moments include “Prophecy Theme” from David Lynch’s Dune, “From The Beginning” from Dario Argento’s Opera, “Force Marker” and “Late Evening In Jersey” from Michael Mann’s Heat, “Under” from Ralph Bakshi’s Cool World and his moving cover of William Bell’s soul classic, “You Don’t Miss Your Water”, in Jonathan Demme’s Married to The Mob.
His 1978 studio album, Music For Films was a loose compilation of material recorded between 1975 ~ 1978. It was intended as a conceptual soundtrack for imaginary films and only the last track, “Final Sunset” was written for an actual film. It proved to be a fruitful project with nearly every piece on the album going on to be used in future films, including several of Derek Jarman’s, the remake of Jean-Luc Goddard’s Breathless, John Woo’s A Better Tomorrow, Rock ‘n’ Roll High School and Todd Hayes’ Safe.
Eno again explored this approach with U2 as Passengers on their collaboration album, Original Soundtracks 1. Four of the tracks from the album were used in films prior to release: “Beach Sequence” and “Your Blue Room” in Michelangelo Antonioni’s Beyond the Clouds, “Miss Sarajevo” in an eponymous documentary about a beauty pageant held in the midst of besieged ‘93 Sarajevo, and “One Minute Warning” in Mamoru Oshii’s Japanese animation classic, Ghost in the Shell. Another track, “Always Forever Now” later appeared in Heat.
In the mid-seventies Eno began a rich and rewarding collaboration with British film maker Derek Jarman, who initially commissioned Eno to record “Final Sunset” for the closing scene to his first feature film, Sebastiane. The collaboration continued all the way through until Jarman’s untimely death in 1994. Including the several tracks in Sebastiane, this collaboration resulted in Eno’s music in four of Jarman’s films, including “Still Water” and “Dover Beach” in Jubilee, “Blue” and the entire score of the autobiographical Glitterbug – his final film.
“An Ending (Ascent)” and “Deep Blue Day” are taken from Apollo: Atmosphere & Soundtracks, Eno’s collaboration with his brother Roger and Daniel Lanois. The music was originally written for Al Reinert’s landmark documentary of the Apollo moon landing, For All Mankind although since then “An Ending (Ascent)” has taken on a life of its own and is now remembered just as much from Steven Soderbergh’s Traffic, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later and Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner. It even made an appearance in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony. And then there’s “Deep Blue Day”, which will forever be identified with Ewan McGregor’s legendary toilet dive in Trainspotting.
Aside from Glitterbug and For All Mankind, Eno has also provided complete scores for a number of other films including Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones, and more recently, Henrique Goldman’s atmospheric Brazilian serial killer biopic, O Nome da Morte AKA A Man Called Death, Slavoj Žižek’s mind-boggling documentary, The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema, Gary Hustwit’s spotlight on pioneering industrial designer Dieters Rams, Rams, and most recently a documentary film on close long-time friend and associate, Stewart Brand, We Are As Gods, which will have its public premiere in early 2021.
Eno has also scored extensively for television, including all three series of award-winning UK crime drama Top Boy, for which he received a Bafta, and Danny Boyle’s Mr Wroe’s Virgins, which also earned him and brother Roger a Bafta nomination for ‘Best Original Television Music’. Other television credits include his scores to BBC Natural World’s Hammerhead, Francis Bacon’s Arena, Neil Gaiman’s futuristic urban series, Neverwhere, and Stewart Brand’s BBC mini-series How Buildings Learn.
Eno has had hundreds of pieces of his music used in films, documentaries and television programs, including more than 20 complete scores for some of the best known directors in the world. Film Music 1976 ~ 2020 is a long-awaited album that finally brings together seventeen of his most recognisable film and television compositions; a perfect introduction to this enormous body of work.
Film Music 1976-2020 is out on November 13. Scroll down to read the full tracklisting and pre-order it here.
“Top Boy (Theme)” from Top Boy – Series 1 (2011)
“Ship In A Bottle” from The Lovely Bones (2009)
“Blood Red” from Francis Bacon’s Arena (2005)
“Under” from Cool World (1992)
“Decline And Fall” from O Nome da Morte (2017)
“Prophecy Theme” from Dune, (1984)
“Reasonable Question” from We Are As Gods (2020)
“Late Evening In Jersey” from Heat, (1995)
“Beach Sequence” from Beyond The Clouds (1995)
“You Don’t Miss Your Water” from Married to the Mob (1988)
“Deep Blue Day” from Trainspotting (1996)
“The Sombre” from Top Boy – Series 2 (2013)
“Dover Beach” from Jubilee (1978)
“Design as Reduction” from Rams (2018)
“Undersea Steps” from Hammerhead (2004)
“Final Sunset” from Sebastiane (1976)
“An Ending (Ascent)”, from For All Mankind (1989)