Daniel Lanois (pron.: /lænˈwɑː/ lan-WAH; born September 19, 1951 in Hull, Quebec) is a Canadian record producer, guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter. He has released several albums of his own work and has produced albums for a wide variety of artists, including Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Peter Gabriel, Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson, and Brandon Flowers. Lanois has collaborated with Brian Eno on a number of projects, most famously producing several platinum albums for U2, including The Joshua Tree. Three albums produced or co-produced by Lanois have won the Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and four others received nominations.
As producer edit:
Lanois started his production career when he was 17, working in his own studio with his brother Bob Lanois in the basement of their mother's Ancaster, Ontario home, recording local artists including Simply Saucer. Later Daniel started Grant Avenue Studios in an old house he purchased in Hamilton, Ontario. He worked with a number of local bands, including Martha and the Muffins (for whom his sister Jocelyne played bass), Ray Materick, as well as the Canadian children's singer Raffi.
Lanois worked collaboratively with Brian Eno on some of Eno's own projects, one of which was the theme song for David Lynch's film adaptation of Frank Herbert's Dune. Eno invited him to co-produce U2's album The Unforgettable Fire. Along with Eno, he went on to produce U2's The Joshua Tree, the 1987 Grammy Award for Album of the Year, and some of the band's other works including Achtung Baby and All That You Can't Leave Behind, both of which were nominated for the same award but did not win. Lanois once again collaborated with U2 and Brian Eno on the band's most recent album, No Line on the Horizon. He was involved in the songwriting process as well as mixing and production.
Lanois' early work with U2 led to him being hired to produce albums for other top-selling artists. Bono recommended Lanois to Bob Dylan in the late 1980s; in 1989 Lanois produced Dylan's Oh Mercy. Eight years later Dylan and Lanois worked together on Time Out of Mind which won another Grammy Award for Album of the Year in 1997. In his autobiographical Chronicles, Vol. 1, Dylan describes in depth the contentious but rewarding working relationship he developed with Lanois.
Lanois spent most of 1985 producing So, Peter Gabriel's Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum-selling album, released in 1986.
Wrecking Ball, his 1995 collaboration with Emmylou Harris, won a 1996 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Folk Album. In 1998, he produced and appeared on Willie Nelson's album Teatro.
Lanois was working on Neil Young's record Le Noise in June 2010 when he was hospitalized after suffering multiple injuries in a motorcycle crash in the Silverlake area of Los Angeles. He has since recovered.
Lanois' production is recognizable and notable for its 'big' and 'live' drum sound, atmospheric guitars and ambient reverb.Rolling Stone called Lanois the "most important record producer to emerge in the Eighties."
As recording artist edit:
As well as being a producer, Lanois is also a songwriter, musician and recording artist. He has released several solo albums and film scores. A number of Lanois' songs have been covered by other artists, including Dave Matthews, Jerry Garcia Band, Willie Nelson, Tea Party, Anna Beljin and Emmylou Harris, and his albums have had some success, particularly in Canada. Lanois plays the guitar, pedal steel, and drums. "Belladonna", an instrumental album released in 2005, was nominated for a Grammy. Lanois also provided an instrumental score for LOUDquietLOUD, a documentary about the Pixies. He contributed lead guitar on two songs of Bob Wiseman's 1995 Accidentally Acquired Beliefs.
Lanois premiered a documentary entitled Here Is What Is at the Toronto Film Festival on September 9, 2007. The film chronicles the recording of his album of the same name, and includes footage of the actual recording. The album Here Is What Is was released, first by download, then in compact disc, in late 2007 and early 2008. Soon after, Lanois released a three-disc recording called Omni.
In October 2009, Lanois started a project called Black Dub which features Lanois on guitar, Brian Blade on drums, and Daryl Johnson on bass, along with multi-instrumentalist/singer Trixie Whitley. They released a self-titled album in 2010.
In 2005 he was inducted into Canada's Walk of Fame.