Ex-Talking Head David Byrne and actor/composer Ryuichi Sakamoto (who co-starred in the film) each get a side of this beautiful score to Bernardo Bertolucci's Academy Award-winning film, and each took home Oscars and Grammys for their efforts.
When the David Byrne / Brian Eno collaboration My Life in the Bush of Ghosts was first released in 1981, Rolling Stone called it “an undeniably awesome feat of tape editing and rhythmic ingenuity.” It was widely considered a watershed record for future genres from world music to electronica, and almost 25 years later, the influence of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is evident in music ranging from The Bomb Squad’s productions for Public Enemy to Moby, Kruder and Dorfmeister, and Goldie. Nonesuch reissued the album—remixed, remastered, and with seven bonus tracks—on its 25th anniversary, in 2006.
David Byrne is a visual artist as well as a musician, and ever since his early days as a member of Talking Heads, he's wanted his concerts to be more than just a static performance. In 1984, Byrne and filmmaker Jonathan Demme redefined the boundaries of the concert film with the Talking Heads documentary Stop Making Sense, and more than 25 years later Byrne has teamed up with David Hillman to create Ride, Rise, Roar, which documents Byrne's 2008-2009 concert tour, in which he performs new material written in collaboration with Brian Eno as well as favorites from his solo career as well as his tenure in Talking Heads.
It's not surprising that David Byrne and St. Vincent's Annie Clark were drawn to work together. While they're hardly sound-alikes, they are both keen but somewhat detached observers of the human condition who make music that's equally cerebral and passionate. However, it is somewhat surprising to learn that they created their collaboration Love This Giant largely online, meeting in the studio together with their team of musicians and producers a handful of times during the album's three-year gestation period, because they're on such a harmonious wavelength throughout it. Though the album's brass-driven sound suggests Byrne's post-Talking Heads work more than St. Vincent's guitar acrobatics (Clark fans may be disappointed that her playing is relegated to the sidelines here, albeit artfully so), it was actually Clark's idea to write these songs for a brass band when the project began as a handful of songs the duo was going to perform in a bookstore.
Longtime friends and collaborators Caetano Veloso and David Byrne joined forces for a special Carnegie Hall concert broadcast on National Public Radio in the spring of 2004. Eight years later, Live at Carnegie Hall is released, containing highlights from this stripped-down, primarily acoustic meeting of one of Tropicalia's biggest artists with one of the pillars of art rock. Sequenced in the order the concert was played, the disc begins with a solo set by Veloso ending with his cover of the Talking Heads' "The Revolution" to segue into Byrne's set. While not exactly a hushed affair, there's a quietly breezy feeling throughout the recording. Veloso's incredibly smooth voice is the definition of Brazilian pop: laid-back and welcoming at all times.