New Anniversary Edition of Eno’s Book “A Year With Swollen Appendices”
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2020-07-31)
In 1996, A Year With Swollen Appendices was published by Brian Eno. The book was a diary that Eno had kept throughout 1994 and 1995. During that time, Eno was working with U2 on the Passengers project, Original Soundtracks No 1. The book contained diary entries about Eno’s daily activities as well as essays about music, events and more.
Eno’s work with U2 is featured throughout the book, featuring in about 65 pages of the original work. It was a small portion of the original 424 page work, but an important one. But the insights into the Passengers album and the way the album came together are fascinating.
The book covers up to the end of 1995, including the recording and release of the Passengers album, the trip to Modena to perform at the Pavarotti and Friends concert with Bono and The Edge, right up to an invite to spend New Year’s Eve in Sarajevo, ringing in 1996 with Bono and Ali. It even covers the start of recording of Pop:
“Howie B. came over in the afternoon. We talked about the new U2 record. There’s a lot of chefs in that kitchen – he, Flood, Nellee, and the band. I predicted a possible future that all the bright beginnings would get submerged in overdubs and then have to be rediscovered in the resulting Irish stew. I suggested that he keeps a separate, covert, version of the record – the Howie B. version, consisting of anything he likes as it happens – which, duirng some dark night of the soul, he can pull out and play to them – something clear, bright and bold. The thing they want from Howie is his weird sense of space, his ability to leave things along and let the listener do the work.”
The back of the book is a series of “Appendices” featuring essays by Eno, some dating back to the 1970s.
The book has been out of print and difficult to find for years. The book is being released for the 25th anniversary of the original publication. It will be issued in hardcover, and electronic formats. The release date for the book is November 19, 2020 in the UK, and will follow on February 9, 2021 in North America. The book will be published by Faber and Faber. The cover photograph is by Anton Corbijn.
This new edition will include a new introduction written by Eno. Alexa von Hirschberg, Editorial Director for Faber and Faber in a press release for the book said “We are thrilled to be bringing Brian Eno’s 1995 diary and ‘appendices’ back into print. A Year with Swollen Appendices is an intimate time capsule of the mind and working practices of a formidable thinker and creator at a pivotal point in history. It is an indispensable read.”
A preorder listing through Waterstones lists this new edition at a smaller page count (352 pages) than the original. It lists “This beautiful 25th anniversary hardback edition has been re-designed in A5, the same size as the diary that eventually became this book. It features two ribbons, pink paper delineating the appendices (matching the original hardback edition) and a two-tone cover on boards that pays homage to the original design.” The ISBN for the book is 9780571364619.