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David Byrne and Brian Eno’s My Life in the Bush of Ghosts Remix Site Launches Today Submitted by Eric Steuer on 2006-05-09 04:57 PM.

May 9, 2006

For the first time ever, fans are able to legally remix and share their own personal versions of two songs from David Byrne and Brian Eno’s groundbreaking album My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. The interactive forum has been developed to celebrate the reissue of the album 25 years after its original release.

By agreeing to the terms of download, users will be able to download the component audio for two tracks from Bush of Ghosts – "A Secret Life" and "Help Me Somebody.” This component audio is licensed to the public under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike license. Consistent with that license, users can legally create remixes and upload them to the site. Visitors can listen to, rate, and discuss the remixes, and are also encouraged to create their own videos, which will be streamed on the site.

Yay! Thanks David and Brian and gratz to the CC team!


This was announced some time ago and I've been waiting for some of the tracks to be made available. Gotta say I think this is a great thing and its probably impossible to state how influential this album has been to many many musicians.

Listening to it again makes me long for the days when one could use "found sound" with relative impunity. OTOH, Eno & Byrne are rich and powerfull enough (if not them directly then the entities that back them) that they can still get away with this sort of thing.

Anyways I look forward to checking the links from a machine which can digest the vomit inducing flash site they foisted upon us.

Such a wonderful thing to do.. its just a pitty they didnt release the whole album for mixing.. (neither of the 2 selected were favs of mine)

So I wonder who is next.. Bowie? Beck?

Bowie has already done some contest with IIRC. The license terms were proprietary and restrictive.

Besides bands that arent giving away snippets of back catalog for closed loop release, some are making parts of their work available for sale/license. Public Enemy put out a sampling CD (nothing good on it and very expensive), some world class drummers have libraries available through, Norman Cooke and others have put out libraries through AMG (avoid this company, the licenses are way out of line) and of course the one who started it all, George Clinton has had the "Sample some of this, sample some of DAT" CDs out for years. I like the license he did which was basically, you can use it without an massive upfront downpayment, just pay us a small royalty percentage if you actually manage to sell something.

Personally I prefer buying libraries that I can include in my own work and then release under any license I choose. This closed loop Eno & Byrne stuff is cool in that they are offering WAVs of the full multi tracks, but these two songs are relative duds on the album and legally I cant do anything more than give it back to them for their own publicity purposes. Dont get me wrong, its cool that folks do this and I enjoy doing the remixing, but in a way its like a publicity stunt for the artists.

What I'm wondering is who approached whom about CC'ing this stuff to begin with rather than doing a proprietary license like NiN. Was this initated by B&E or the CC folks?

Oh BTW the download servers are hammered right now, the full WAV zips for both tracks are only about 1.1GB total and Safari is telling me I have 3 hours to go on the DLs.

BTW2 the BoG site is a Flash horror story.

Bowie recently had a "mashup contest" in which participants mixed two Bowie songs together. (I think that rather missed the point of mashups, but anyway....) Is that the Acid Planet thing you mention, Chris_B?

Way back in 1999 or so, Bowie had an interactive version of "Fame" that was remixable via Thomas Dolby's Beatnik Player software, but back in those dial-up days I didn't want to even touch that.

Considering that Byrne put a track on Wired's CC CD, I'd like to think that this project was his idea.

amida, maybe that was it. I didnt participate in the contest so my memory is questionable. I dont get the point of mashups at all and find much of bowie's later work to be tiresome so its unlikely that it stuck in my mind well at all.

So far I've loaded up one of the MLitBoG multitrack sessions into Logic and what is interesting is this really seems to be right off the 2" tape, low signal levels, false starts and all! I like this better than the obviously half processed stuff that NiN released as it is much closer to the experience of "real" mixdown.

I thought mashups were interesting when they took two songs you wouldn't think would go together well and somehow make them work. Missy Elliott with AC/DC or Salt n Pepa with the Stooges. Obviously, the novelty wears off pretty quickly, though.

Mixing a new Bowie track with... an old Bowie track just doesn't have the same effect. The winner was, I think, "Rebel Never Gets Old," a mashup of the classic "Rebel, Rebel" with a newer Bowie track "Never Get Old." That really felt like a publicity stunt--the Byrne/Eno thing is more interesting to me. (Of course it helps that the album is an all-time favorite.)

I listened to some of the MLitBoG remixes and they sounded pretty good! I wonder if some of the restrictions on the license have to do with the fact that it is material that has already been released.

Hey all. I'm writing from Creative Commons and wanted to offer some answers. First off, Byrne and Eno decided to use CC from the start. We didn't initiate.

Also wanted to address Chris_B'S concern ("legally I cant do anything more than give it back to them for their own publicity purposes.") This is actually not true -- you can post your remixes on your own Web site, burn them on free CDs for friends, etc.

Thanks for the interest!