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Daniel Lanois Biography

Daniel Lanois Tickets

Daniel Lanois In-depth Biography

One of the most distinctive and celebrated producers of his time, Daniel Lanois} was also a gifted composer and solo artist; whether performing his own material or helming records for the likes of U2}, Bob Dylan} and Peter Gabriel}, the hallmarks of his singular aesthetic remained the same -- noted for his unparalleled atmospheric sensibilities, Lanois} pursued emotional honesty over technical perfection, relying on vintage equipment and unorthodox studio methods to achieve a signature sound both viscerally powerful and intricately beautiful. He was born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec; his French-Canadian family was firmly rooted in music, with his mother a singer and both his father and grandfather noted for their prowess on the violin. Following his parents' 1963 separation, Lanois} and his mother moved to the English-speaking suburbs of Hamilton, Ontario; there he learned to play guitar, and with his brother Robert} began making primitive home recordings on a cheap cassette player. In 1970, the siblings purchased a four-track machine, setting up a recording studio in the laundry room of their home and offering their services to local bands for a $60 fee.

Regularly aiding their clients not only as producers but also as songwriters and arrangers, the Lanois brothers' reputation quickly spread, and as the decade drew to a close, they were able to graduate to larger recording facilities, which they dubbed Grant Avenue Studios. There -- after sessions for performers as diverse as Ian Tyson} and children's artist Raffi} -- Daniel} first worked with Brian Eno}, who in the decade to follow would emerge as Lanois'} chief mentor and frequent collaborator. Together, they spent several weeks working on instrumental ambient material, experimenting heavily with sonic manipulation techniques; when Eno} eventually returned to the U.K., Lanois} remained in Ontario, recording a series of LPs for the local band Martha and the Muffins} and, in 1983, producing improvisational guitarist Jon Hassell's} album Aka Darbari Java (Magic Realism)}. In 1984, after working with Eno} on Hybrid} (a collaboration with guitarist Michael Brook}) and The Pearl} (another collaborative effort, this time with Harold Budd}), Lanois} responded to Eno's} call to co-produce U2's} The Unforgettable Fire}; the album was a major hit, and it so impressed another superstar, Peter Gabriel}, that he invited Lanois} to co-produce the soundtrack to the motion picture Birdy}.

Lanois} next scored with 1986's So}, Gabriel's} brilliant commercial breakthrough. However, it was his and Eno's} second collaboration with U2}, 1987's The Joshua Tree}, which launched him to true fame: after the album won a Grammy -- and after he subsequently co-produced Robbie Robertson's} long-awaited solo debut -- Lanois} emerged as one of the best-known and most respected producers in contemporary pop music. In 1989, he masterminded Bob Dylan's} Oh Mercy} -- widely regarded as Dylan's} best work in over a decade -- as well as the Neville Brothers'} Yellow Moon}, an artistic watershed for the venerable New Orleans group. By this time. Lanois} himself was a resident of the Crescent City, setting up Kingsway Studio in a mansion in the heart of New Orleans; there he crafted his own hotly anticipated solo debut, 1989's Acadie}. Two years later, he reunited with U2} for the stellar Achtung Baby}, and in 1992 re-teamed with Gabriel} for the wonderful Us}. In 1993, Lanois} issued the lovely For the Beauty of Wynona}; however, like Acadie}, it failed to reap the same commercial awards as his other production ventures. Other albums of note include Emmylou Harris'} 1995 masterpiece Wrecking Ball}, Luscious Jackson's} Fever In, Fever Out}, Willie Nelson's} Teatro} and Dylan's} 1997 comeback Time Out of Mind}; in between, Lanois} also recorded the score to the 1996 film Sling Blade}. Lanois sxcored ahain with U2's} All That You Can't leave Behind} at the end of 2000 along qwith working with Joe Henry} and others in a support capacity. 2003 sees the year of his third and finest recording Shine} that features guest perfomances from Emmylou Harris} and Bono}. In 2005 he released the outtake filled, "renegade CD" Rockets} through his website, which was followed quickly by Belladonna}, a proper album release on Anti}. ~ Jason Ankeny, All Music Guide

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