DAVID BYRNE The Catherine Wheel (1981) + BRIAN ENO & DAVID BYRNE My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (1981)

DAVID BYRNE The Complete Score From “The Catherine Wheel” (1981)
BRIAN ENO & DAVID BYRNE My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (1981/2006)
Brainy Groovy Weirdness

Back when music was making its conversion from 40 minute LPs to 72 minute CDs, David Byrne’s The Complete Score From The Catherine Wheel was one of the great examples of what the new format had to offer. Nearly twice the size of the original, not on two fumbling LPs, but a shiny new disc that played from start to finish. Of course, it was a baby step (the format was flawed at infancy and still cost too much) but it was the beginning of a brighter and sterile (at least, more convenient) new world… that would (in conjunction with computers and the internet) eventually make music free for the masses. I’d tell you about how cool the music is, but who has got the time? The Eno/Byrne disc is the 2006 bonus track remaster. Amazon’s got The Catherine Wheel (HERE) and My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts (HERE).

Light Bath (1:11)
His Wife Refused (4:32)
Ade (3:23)
Walking (0:54)
Two Soldiers (3:32)
Under The Mountain (0:53)
Dinosaur (2:34)
The Red House (3:18)
Wheezing (3:12)
Eggs In A Briar Patch (3:32)
Poison (2:32)
Cloud Chamber (2:50)
Black Flag (2:30)
My Big Hands (Fall Through The Cracks) (2:46)
Combat (2:45)
Leg Bells (2:41)
The Blue Flame (3:25)
Big Business (5:06)
Dense Beasts (3:12)
Five Golden Sections (2:54)
What A Day That Was (5:32)
Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open) (4:44)
Light Bath (1:10)

America Is Waiting (3:39)
Mea Culpa (4:58)
Regiment (4:11)
Help Me Somebody (4:17)
The Jezebel Spirit (4:57)
Very, Very Hungry (3:21)
Moonlight In Glory (4:31)
The Carrier (4:20)
A Secret Life (2:32)
Come With Us (2:43)
Mountain Of Needles (2:40)
Pitch To Voltage (2:39)
Two Against Three (1:56)
Vocal Outtakes (0:36)
New Feet (2:26)
Defiant (3:42)
Number 8 Mix (3:31)
Solo Guitar With Tin Foil (2:58)


  • Willard
    April 6, 2012 - 07:55 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • buzzbabyjesus
    April 6, 2012 - 08:36 | Permalink

    I dislike David Byrne intensely, although I have to admit “My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts”, and “Remain In Light” are amazing works of art. I credit Eno. Byrne is too “precious” for me.

    • Willard
      April 6, 2012 - 10:19 | Permalink

      You might like Catherine Wheel, then. It’s kinda along the same lines as Ghosts.

      • buzzbabyjesus
        April 8, 2012 - 16:14 | Permalink

        OK, I’m curious, and I like the comment further down singling out Yogi Horton’s drumming.

  • DW
    April 6, 2012 - 11:08 | Permalink

    Credit Eno all you want, but it is hard to dismiss Byrne’s work in toto as precious. Talking Heads were/are arguably the greatest band of all time. ’nuff said. Thanks for these Eno/Byrne collaborations.

    • buzzbabyjesus
      April 8, 2012 - 16:08 | Permalink

      “Talking Heads were/are arguably the greatest band of all time. ’nuff said.”

      I wish i could leave it alone, but you know me.

      Part of the reason I don’t like them is they were boring when I saw them play live in support of “Fear Of Music”, before they added Belew, Worrell and all. No argument the “big” band was an entirely different animal.
      To say anyone is the greatest anything is automatically false. Here are just a few a few acts I’ve seen who were better:

      The Kinks, The Clash, Cheap Trick, The Grateful Dead, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, Rockpile, The B-52’s (who opened for the ‘Heads, and even though I’d never heard of them, blew them off the stage, no shit), The Flat Duo Jets, Southern Culture On The Skids, and really the list goes on.

      As I said before, I recognize the talent, but If I’d known him in High School I’d have made sure that he received a “swirly”, just because he bugs the shit out of me.

  • dandor
    April 6, 2012 - 12:07 | Permalink

    The Catherine Wheel disc was also one of my favorite early cd purchases. Nothing really “precious” about it: it’s mostly instrumental (obviously a dance score) and the final part of Five Golden Sections through to the end is quite intense as it builds and builds! (especially Five Golden Sections). Eno plays a minor role in this album, as does Adrian Belew who adds some great K.C.-esque guitar parts & solos. The vocal songs are easily as good as most of the Heads material of the same time period.

    The real secret weapon of this album is imo the great ‘R&B’ drummer Yogi Horton (R.I.P.) who adds some extremely grooving, odd-time accented, complex drum parts which are so much more interesting than the basic time-keeping thump thump of Chris Frantz. (A shame that Yogi Horton was never recognized as the great drummer he was–a fact which directly related to his death.)

    • Willard
      April 6, 2012 - 12:10 | Permalink

      Thanks for the analysis I didn’t take the time for.

  • Simon
    April 6, 2012 - 16:30 | Permalink

    Thanx these are so great. I own CW on both LP and tape but “My Life” is still missing Qu´ran. Is that an american issue or what?

  • April 6, 2012 - 20:23 | Permalink

    When Bush was reissued, Qu’Ran was dropped out of concern for the safety of everyone involved. I think I may have that track however. If I find it I will post a link to it.

    • Simon
      April 9, 2012 - 08:05 | Permalink

      Thank you Sean but I do have the track already. Think I got it from an european CD. Just curious about the story behind. :-)

  • Anonymous
    April 6, 2012 - 21:55 | Permalink

    I agree that David Byrne has lost some of his creative mojo in recent years, but in the late 70’s and early 80’s he was one of the world’s greatest rock artists. Thanks as always, Willard.

  • MNW
    April 9, 2012 - 01:09 | Permalink

    Fans of “Remain in Light” and “Bush of Ghosts” should never forget: you also need Jerry Harrison’s “The Red and the Black” in order to complete your enjoyment of the 1980/81 quasi-trilogy “…and the Ghosts of Red Remain in the Black-Light Bush”.

    — mnw

    (Not to be confused with the St.Petersburgher/Frippsville/Hall “trip-tych” below:)

    [NOTE: All of the following info is excerpted from various Wikipedia entries.]

    In 1977, Robert Fripp received a phone call from Eno, who was working on David Bowie’s album “Heroes”. Fripp agreed to play guitar for the album, a move that initiated a series of collaborations with other musicians. Fripp next contributed his musical and production talents to Peter Gabriel’s second album, and collaborated with Daryl Hall on “Sacred Songs”. During this period, Fripp also began working on solo material, with contributions from poet/lyricist Joanna Walton and other musicians, including Eno, Gabriel, and Hall, as well as Peter Hammill, Jerry Marotta, Phil Collins, Tony Levin and Terre Roche. This material eventually became his first solo album, “Exposure” (1979). FYI: While living in New York, Fripp also produced The Roches’ debut album.

    Originally, Fripp envisioned “Exposure” as the third part of a simultaneous trilogy also comprising “Sacred Songs” and Gabriel’s “Scratch”, both of which Fripp contributed to and produced. Hall’s management and label resisted the project, fearing the music would damage Hall’s commercial appeal, insisting as well that “Exposure” be equally credited to Hall, initially Fripp’s main vocalist. Fripp instead used only two Hall vocals on his album, substituting vocals by Peter Hammill and Terre Roche in various places.

    According to the notes for the 1999 CD reissue of “Sacred Songs”, and to Eric Tamm’s study of Fripp’s music, Hall and Fripp had first met in 1974. Already familiar with one another’s work, the duo felt an instant rapport, and planned to work together. In 1977, they reconnected while Hall was writing his solo debut; Hall quickly drafted Fripp as producer and guitarist. Hall wrote all songs except for “Urban Landscape,” (a Frippertronics solo), and “NYCNY” for which Fripp wrote the music & Hall the lyrics.

    “Sacred Songs” was recorded in three weeks. Most songs were initially recorded with Hall singing and playing piano alongside Fripp’s guitar work, followed by overdubs by Hall & Oates’ regular touring band. “Sacred Songs” is notable as one of the first albums to feature the “Frippertronics” tape loop system to create the extended droning, synthesizer-like sounds on several songs. Very proud of the results, Fripp and Hall gave the album to RCA officials. Though still pop-oriented, it was very different from Hall & Oates; fearing the album might alienate mainstream fans, RCA shelved it indefinitely.

    Outraged, Hall and Fripp passed tapes of “Sacred Songs” to music journalists and disc jockeys. Tosches notes that a groundswell of interest was generated inside the music profession and from Hall’s fans with a letter-writing campaign directed at RCA requesting the album’s release. Upon release, “Sacred Songs” sold relatively well, even though there was no hit single from the record. It has since come to be regarded as a high point in the careers of both Hall and Fripp. Afterwards, Hall recorded vocals for most of the tracks on Fripp’s solo debut, “Exposure, however due to pressure from Hall’s management this was cut back to 2 songs on the final release (“You Burn Me Up” & “North Star”).

    Nearly thirty years later, most were finally released on the 2006 re-issue of “Exposure” by Fripp’s Discipline Global Mobile label. In notes for the 1999 Buddah Records CD reissue, Fripp describes Hall as the best all-around singer he’d ever met and speculates that had “Sacred Songs” been released as planned in 1977 at the height of the punk rock zeitgeist, music fans and critics might have seen Hall not only as a good R&B and pop singer, but rather as a creative innovator comparable to iconic British singer David Bowie. Fripp and Hall seriously considered forming a full-time band together (with bassist Tony Levin and drummer Jerry Marotta), but plans fell through, and the band eventually morphed into the 1980s King Crimson.

    The trilogy never worked out as intended, although all three albums eventually appeared in the marketplace. The songs “Urban Landscape” and “You Burn Me Up” appear on the Hall album as well, in addition to “NYCNY” which is “I May Not Have Had Enough” with different lyrics written by Hall. The Gabriel record also features a version of “Exposure.” “Here Comes the Flood” had previously appeared with orchestral arrangement on Gabriel’s first album but Gabriel disliked the production, and created a far simpler rendition of the song for “Exposure”. Fripp stated in liner notes that “Exposure” is “indebted to all those who took part in the hazardous series of events culminating in this record, and several more who do not appear but whos work helped determine the final shape: Tim Cappella, Alirio Lima, Ian McDonald & John Wetton.”

    Songs in common between the 3 albums of the Fripp/Gabriel/Hall “trilogy”:

    “Urban Landscape” (Robert Fripp) – 2:29
    “I May Not Have Had Enough of Me but I’ve Had Enough of You” aka “NYCNY” (Walton, Fripp, Hall) – 4:33
    “You Burn Me up I’m a Cigarette” (Fripp, Hall) – 2:20
    “North Star” (Fripp, Hall, Joanna Walton) – 3:10

    “Urban Landscape” Robert Fripp 2:35
    “I May Not Have Had Enough of Me but I’ve Had Enough of You” aka “NYCNY” (Walton, Fripp, Hall) 3:38
    “You Burn Me Up I’m A Cigarette” Daryl Hall, Robert Fripp 2:24
    “North Star” Daryl Hall, Joanna Walton, Robert Fripp 3:06
    “Exposure” Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp 4:25

    “Exposure” (Peter Gabriel, Robert Fripp) – 4:12

  • ducksoup
    August 16, 2012 - 10:14 | Permalink

    I really thank you, willard!

  • Erik
    May 7, 2013 - 20:48 | Permalink

    Thank You! I have had these albums for a long time, but not the extended Catherine Wheel.

    Talking Heads were amazing in 1981, just spread across 4 albums- Tom Tom Club, Red and The Black, and the two posted here.. I have never put them all together before, but thanks to you (and MP3 playlists), I can listen to the whole set in one 4 hour block.

    Thank you again, this blog is a bottomless well of goodness.

  • thankyou very much
    March 15, 2014 - 04:11 | Permalink

    Bought this album on cassette rather than LP when it came out, only because it contained the complete score. Played it a few times, and stored it carefully for many years. Went to digitise it a few weeks ago, but it would only play for a few seconds before the machine stopped. No matter what I did, it didn’t work. As all my other, small number, of cassettes, from that period work perfectly. I think that the thinner tape formulation has something to do with it.

    Anyway this has been a lifesaver – thankyou very much.

    • Willard
      March 15, 2014 - 08:36 | Permalink

      Hard to believe that cassettes were once considered the future.

  • Anonymous
    August 26, 2015 - 10:23 | Permalink

    Thanks for The Catherine Wheel Willard. I played my vinyl copy a lot back when I had one and didn’t realize that you had it here.

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