A MUST-READ For All Musicians: Daniel Lanois "Soul Mining"


OK, I admit it, I had largely taken this guy for granted, maybe even attributed most of the genius of his most popular work to his partner Brian Eno, but the recent Classic Albums doc on Peter Gabriel's "So" accomplished two things:

1. It reminded me that Lanois had produced that record, and

2. It gave me an appreciation for his organic, honest approach to music, where "feel" and "mood" always take priority above "commercial viability

That he has been a part of some major game-changing records (Joshua Tree, So, Oh Mercy, Time Out Of Line, and Robbie Robertson's great 1987 release, just to name a few) is a testament to belief that "the cream will always rise."

So, still grinning from the experience that was the Classic Albums: "So", I stumbled across his book, Soul Mining, while browsing Half Price Books in the five minutes before they closed two nights ago.

Amazingly and, yet, unsurprisingly, the book is an absolute revelation. Most books by producers are only interesting, it seems, as long as they concentrate on those few famous acts with whom they are associated. As great as George Martin is, for example, I don't care where he went on vacation, keep the Beatles anecdotes coming. In the case of Lanois, we soon invest ourselves in his childhood pursuit to create the perfect studio with his brother Bob. We freeze right along side him as he awakens at 4AM to begin his paper route.

We follow him around Canada's most remote logging towns as he plays in a vaudeville strip show act. And we're there when Brian Eno contacts him after having heard a demo Lanois had done for a Canadian band.

By the time U2 aqnd Peter Gabriel enter the picture, they are but bit players in the opera of Lanois' ever-changing life.

If you haven't already read this book, I urge you to stop whatever you're doing and read it. Buy it, first, steal it if you must. :)

BUY IT NOW

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