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Daniel Lanois

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 & the Muffins and, in 1983, producing improvisational trumpeter Jon Hassell's album Aka/Darbari/Java. 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 scored again with U2's All That You Can't Leave Behind at the end of 2000, along with working with Joe Henry and others in a support capacity. 2003 saw the year of his third and finest recording, Shine, that featured guest performances 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. Soon after, photographer Adam Vollick started filming the next year-and-a-half of Lanois' life, following him on the road, with celebrity friends, and in his second home, the recording studio. Here Is What Is was released on DVD in 2008. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

FU b can tell from your comments you have a boring bland mind lacking imagination that makes this song genius. What you do like is basic and easily appreciated by all. You think your name is clever it's gay and offensive. Your like a blind man in a museum complaining about things you can't even see....no offense meant toward anyone blind...
Scared me too! I thought he had left us, or they were talking about his brother Ron. Glad to hear he is still alive and well!
Blah
My dad said he played for the Team Permian the says he remembers that day they lost to Dallas carter he says it was very sad well I go to Bonham I will be going to Permian in 2 years
Of
this song reminds me out our last football game..i miss it...
I agree that lead for this bio needs to be updated to the present tense. He is very much alive and well and continuing to create with some of the legends of our time. I was privileged to meet him in 2010 and can say his talent is matched by his graciousness . I've been in Africa the last 4 months and for a moment my heart sank thinking he had left us while I was out of comm!
Love his song 'Sonho Dourado' on the 'Friday Night Lights' soundtrack, but gotta point out it's similarity to 'I am Australian', was listening thinking hey this is a great interpretati o n .
Be sure to check out his Acadie album. The cat is talented.
Lanois is one of the 'rare' talents in the world-of-mak i n g - m u s i c ! _ A great Songwriter; incredible Performer; and a genius in the Studio; able help other artists to bring out 'their' best._He has (& facilitates) perhaps the best place to record music in the world!_Artis t ; in the truest sense of the word._
tdjackson6
I like turtles.
yakatak
Check him out with Black Dub.
Strangely written bio, like Pandora is getting the jump on things or reporting back from 2081
Scared the crap out of me for a second there! Glad to hear he's not dead.
Lets just write everyones epitaphs now to save time.
traie.dockte r
I found a new artist, Daniel Lanois, and love his sound. Check it out on Pandora.
That kid really does like his turtles.
mfmelke
Does he happen to like turtles?
bishnow.2
Excellent music. This is my first listen, apart from Dave Matthews' rendition of "The Maker". Very impressive!
ken.weber
why is this bio written in the past tense - daniel is alive and well!
This is the first time I am hearing this tune- its a beautiful piece of music - I know that Michale hedges covers one of his tunes -wondering where the lions are. thanks pandora for turning me on to this
ckroon
Lanois is the master of sound. Period. His textures and his touch are unrivaled.
Great producer. Can't say the same about his musicianship (he's just good, not great), but should certainly be respected.
new to daniel. and i thank you and i like it.
yogalady2007
Pandora turned me on to Daniel Lanois. His music makes me sit up and pay attention, his tunes always catch my ear, I look up to see who is that! It is so beautiful! Hope to see him in concert some time in the SF bay area.
he is very much alive...just heard him at The Troubadour in LA on Thursday night...amaz i n g concert flanked by his talented friends..mys t e r i o u s sounds...
venstra
why the past tense? still alive and making music as far as I know.
An amazing artist. An unbelievable man. Will always hold a special place in my heart only for Daniel Lanois and his music.
Why is he being referred to in past tense? Is he dead?
a great influence on music- he knows what sounds beautiful. it's his feel. thats what makes most of what he touches sound so good.
jonathan_wag n e r
Tortoise are great in their own right. I'll try to catch the Lanois-Torto i s e tour...
Saw him and brian at SXSW 2008--awesom e show--sweet tones and much inspiration
All-time favorite,nob o d y turns the knobs like Dan. Recent live show also good, even with 'tortoise' back up outfit who seemed a bit hodge podge for the first few songs (yes it was still pretty early in the tour) but Dan got them really workign for him and eventually everything pretty much clicked
TRY Z1+ RADIO

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