Born Brian Peter George St. John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno in Woodbridge, England, Brian Eno took his early music training at art school in Ipswich and Winchester, where he studied with composers Christian Wolff and George Brecht. His classical training of the 1960s also included work with the Scratch Orchestra and the Portsmouth Sinfonia. In 1964 Eno turned his focus to rock music, first with the band the Black Aces and then with Maxwell Demon. Eno's better-known third effort was the 1971 formation of Roxy Music with Bryan Ferry. After two albums, including the self-titled 1972 project and 1973's For Your Pleasure, Eno left the group to pursue a solo career.
In 1973, Eno collaborated with King Crimson guitarist Robert Fripp for an experimental album of tape delay manipulations called No Pussyfooting. Here Come the Warm Jets (1974) is a collection of experimental pop songs on which Eno revisits his Roxy Music role as "sound manipulator." After touring extensively and performing with the Winkies, Eno's suffered from a collapsed lung in 1974. He returned later that year with Taking Tiger Mountain (By Strategy), a project which utilized a set of "Oblique Strategies," which served as an aid for chance composition. In 1975, Eno began further experiments with ambient music and minimalism, including the highly regarded Another Green World. That same year Eno formed Obscure, a record company which specialized in experimental music, including his second ambient project, Discreet Music (1975) and Harold Budd's Pavilion of Dreams.
Eno continued in his collaborative efforts, working with David Bowie on Low (1977), Heroes (1977), Lodger (1979), and the German group Cluster. He produced a compilation album called No New York, which included the music of groups such as DNA, The Contortions, Mars, and Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, as well as Devo's 1978 debut album Q. Are we Not Men? A. We Are Devo!. Eno's work with ambient music continued, including Music for Airports (1979), the first in a series intended as background music. Perhaps the most fruitful collaboration of the time was with the Talking Heads, including 1978's More Songs about Buildings and Food, 1979's Fear of Music, and 1980's Remain in Light. In 1981, Eno and the Talking Heads' lead singer David Byrne produced My Life in the Bush of Ghosts, which combined electronic music, stylized African drumming, and "found" spoken material from around the world. This album was a continuation of the "fourth world" concept of trumpeter Jon Hassell, which began on the 1980 Hassell/Eno collaboration Fourth World Vol. 1: Possible Musics album.
Work with producer Daniel Lanois launched a successful series of albums with the band U2, including The Joshua Tree and Achtung Baby. He continued to work on his solo material, including 1982's On Land and 1983's Apollo Atmospheres and Soundtracks, as well as a collaboration with artist Christine Alicino in 1985's soundtrack Thursday Afternoon.
The 1990s found Eno involved in various solo projects such as Nerve Net and The Shutov Assembly in 1992, and Glitterbug, the soundtrack to a 1994 Derek Jarman film. His output in subsequent years spanned several genres and media: a diary published as A Year with Swollen Appendices, a multimedia project with Laurie Anderson, and even an "aural screen saver" for personal computers entitled Generative Music I (1996). In 1995, Eno also reunited with David Bowie for the industrial-rock project Outside. In 2000, Eno's art installation Kites was shown in art galleries around the world, including the Kiasma in Helsinki, Finland.