Electronic music didn’t start with Brian Eno, but it was certainly never the same after him. On Roxy Music’s first two albums he helped make synthesizers and tape effects part of a rock lineup, pricking the ears of future synth-pop creators such as Human League. As a solo artist he forged a new genre, which he dubbed ambient music, before effectively becoming a one-man genre himself, lending touches to Genesis (where he’s credited with “Enossification”), John Cale, and David Bowie during his golden Berlin period. There wasn’t much in the way of experimental 70s music that wasn’t made a little odder by Eno’s touch. But that touch could also be a multiplatinum one, as he showed as a producer for U2 in the mid-80s and Coldplay 20 years later. In the 90s he created perhaps the most widely heard music of all: the six-second start-up sound for Microsoft’s Windows 95 operating system. Typically mischievous, he later let it be known that he’d created it on a Mac.
(The token-tagged MP3 link this uses will probably expire at some point. You can listen to it at http://www.rbmaradio.com/shows/brian-eno-fireside-chat instead.)