Welcome to Breakdown, an unofficial resource and discussion list about the innovative guitarist/producer Michael Brook. This site is infrequently updated, but contains a great deal of background info which will remain online. For up-to-date news and information, visit Michael Brook's official site and MySpace page.

Discographies full details on every record featuring Brook

After escaping eg records, Michael Brook now associates himself primarily with 4AD and Real World Records. A number of his albums are distributed by Virgin Records in Europe and Caroline Records and now Narada Pro-ductions and Astralwerks in the US. He was involved with Opal for some time, but is now managed by Opium (Arts) Ltd..

It's worth noting here that the 1995 Shona bootleg makes claims to having come from both Opal Music and Caroline Records. The cheek!

The need for this area of the site may not be readily apparent. Granted, I'm splitting hairs here, but aside from some of this information simply being interesting, it is also pertinent as a bit of music industry history (q.v. eg records) and as providing a source for locating release information for frustrated US citizens (q.v. Narada Pro-ductions). That being said, I'm not even sure the information here is correct. I tried.

eg Records

Michael Brook was unfortunately mixed up with eg records for a number of years. His first major work, Hybrid, came out through them, as did a number of records with Brian Eno and Jon Hassell.

A money-strapped eg released a sampler of the various ambient-related records in their catalogue in 1989, called Angels in the Architecture. Naturally, it contained a track from Hybrid.

Eventually, eg went under, and became embroiled in a lengthy series of legal battles with Robert Fripp. Fripp martyred himself as the one to spearhead the attack against eg for years of unpaid royalties and the rights to owning recordings. Refer to his numerous writings on the subject for more details (especially the Intergalactic Boogie Express and Epitaph liner notes).

Virgin Records now owns the eg catalogue.

4AD Records

4AD is a well-established European small label that is most known for breaking in a number of "goth" acts (The Cure-type stuff).

Michael Brook has an informal contractual agreement with 4AD to release a recording every five years. In the interim, he is left free to work with whomever he wishes, being at this point mainly Real World Records. Being an artist is expensive, so it sounds like Brook has got a good deal here.

The bad news is, this news implies that the Albino Alligator cd may not have been released for entirely artistic reasons. Additionally, it may be past the millenium before another solo album appears.

4AD released All Virgos Are Mad, a compilation cd and a companion video, to promote Michael Brook and a number of "their" other artists.

4AD on the web: Visit the official Michael Brook site on the 4AD site. The Eyesore discographies is an unoficial (but endorsed) listing of the 4AD catalogue. It includes information about Michael Brook and Pieter Nooten and Michael Brook.

Real World Records

Michael Brook clearly has a special relationship with Real World Studios. As is made clear by scanning this select discography, he makes occasional (but fruitful) pilgrimages to Bath.

During these trips he participates in several projects at a time, sometimes during the semi-annual Real World Recording weeks. Often he will work on two projects at the same time involving the same musicians.

In keeping with the spirit of Real World Records as laid down by Peter Gabriel, these projects may range from the most traditional to the most funked-up avant-garde. For example, witness the chemistry of Rama Sreerama versus Dream or Mustt Mustt versus Shahbazz.

Despite all this activity, Brook does not appear on any of the Real World compilations made from the fruits of the Real World Recording Weeks (Jam Nation, Arcane, and A Week or Two in the Real World).

Brook must by now be considered one of Real World's best residents, an occasional contributor and facilitator of some fabulous world experimentation.

Real World on the web: Real World has set up an utterly fabulous site of its own, charmingly called Radio Real World. The name gives it away; they've somehow managed to make something practical, pretty, provocative, informative, fun, and useful out of this whole HTML thing. A feat to be commended. Dig around in there for everything from human rights concerns to Shockwave audio clips to official Real World recipes.

Virgin Records

Virgin Records has inherited the eg records and Opal catalogues. They also release Real World Records in Europe.

Caroline Records

Until late 1998, Caroline Records distributed Real World Records in the United States. Their Real World US site has since migrated to Astralwerks site.

The Real World albums that Michael Brook has worked on are released worldwide on Virgin Records but are distributed in the US on Caroline Records (it's confusing, yes, but just try and walk into a record store to find out release dates without knowing this piece of information).

Virgin bought out the eg records catalogue sometime in the 1990s, so Hybrid, Captive and all those Brian Eno and Jon Hassell records show up in the US through Caroline or Caroline Blue Plate.

Caroline Records on the web: Visit Caroline Transit Authority, Caroline Records' New York Metro-themed web site. There's nothing to be found diresctly concerning Michael Brook, but there is information about some of Roger and Brian Eno's releases. (while you're there, I stongly recommend checking out the elaborate FSOL pages.

Narada Pro-ductions and Astralwerks

Real World Records is now distributed in the US on Narada Pro-ductions / Virgin Records and Astralwerks. Astralwerks now hosts Caroline's former Real World US site.


Opal was founded by Brian Eno from 1975 to 1978 in the interest of releasing a number of avant guard classical recordings under the Obscure label, via Island Records. Ten albums were released on Obscure, by Gavin Bryars, Laraaji, David Toop, Harold Budd, the Penguin Caf» Orchestra, and others. Eno produced many of these albums himself. Music for Films III is an interesting compilation of many of these musicians.

Opal would appear to also have functioned as Michael Brook's artist management until it eventually folded. Some of the Obscure records are still available, now on Virgin.

Opium (Arts) Ltd.

Michael Brook is represented worldwide by Opium (Arts) Ltd, and managed by Richard Chadwick. David Sylvian founded the company with Chadwick and Yuka Fujii in 1985. Sylvian is no longer directly involved with the company as a director since leaving the UK in 1992.

Opium (Arts) on the web: Catalyst / Opium Arts.

Richard Chadwick
Opium (Arts) Ltd.
49, Portland Road
London, W11 4LJ

Fax: (44) 20 7229 4841

Catharina Masters-Plen
PO Box 17816
Beverly Hills, CA 90209-3816

Tel: (310) 271-7690
Fax: (310) 271-7066