"Slow Sitar" (1995)

Demo Song

Background Information

Brian Eno published his diary from 1995, called A Year with Swollen Appendices. It was published as a book in 1996 by Faber and Faber in the UK. That was the year that Eno worked with U2 on Original Soundtracks 1, and the book makes mention of a number of demos and working titles throughout. “Slow Sitar” is one of the songs included in the book.

The first mention of this song by Eno read, “Mixed ‘Slow Sitar’ (moving single vocal line forward into part of the song which was intact, adding MSG insects to cover distortion).” (Eno explains that this was a recording made in Tenkawa Japan of a small forest there, inhabited by a type of insect that has a chirp that makes everything sound better, which Michael Brook named ‘MSG’ after the flavor-enhancer used in Chineses cooking). On June 6 he wrote a list of progress off songs, and “Slow Sitar” appears in that list.

A song called “Slow Star (Time)” is also mentioned in a list of songs that the band was working on in studio in an article in Issue 23 of Propaganda Magazine, titled “All Passengers Present and Correct” we suspect it is a typo, and is actually meant to be “Slow Sitar (Time)” based on Eno’s mentions of this track.

“Slow Sitar” is mentioned again on July 10 in Eno’s diary, “In early (with the cleaners) to work on cover and ‘Slow Sitar’ (‘Time’) which we finished – fortunately Bono remembered a better mix, and we ended up using that with me overdubbing (doubling the piano part) to it.

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