Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar). Described by critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine as “one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the ’80s,” the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.
Artist: Talking Heads
Title: True Stories
Label: EMI Records
Catalog# 1A 062-240612-1
The album does not contain the actors’ performances from the film. Instead, this is a Talking Heads studio album featuring recordings of songs from the film. While an original cast recording for this movie was never released, several of the film performances did appear on single releases of several songs from the album.Time hasn’t been kind to Talking Heads‘ ancillary soundtrack to David Byrne‘s oddball directorial debut. Though it generated one of the band’s biggest radio hits (“Wild Wild Life”), both the film and its songs were dismissed as self-consciously quirky retreads of other, better material; and it’s well-known the quartet was beginning to splinter apart around the time of the sessions. Byrne himself has said that he regretted the whole notion of releasing True Stories with his own vocals, a decision made at the behest of the film’s financial backers: All along, he intended for the lyrics to be sung, in character, by Pops Staples, John Goodman, and the rest of the cast. (Some of these alternate-vocal versions were eventually released as B-sides.) Despite its perfunctory nature, however, True Stories is not without its charms.
Though an obvious swipe at consumerism, “Love for Sale” boasts one of the band’s best hooks, and it’s easily their hardest-rocking tune since the Fear of Music days. “Radio Head” is a successful continuation of some of the regional-American motifs Byrne explored on Little Creatures (and bears the distinction of inspiring Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and company to name their band after it).
Free from the movie’s weird patina of irony, “Dream Operator” is one of the most affecting tunes Talking Heads ever recorded; the closing-credits theme “City of Dreams” is similarly touching. Elsewhere, there is filler — touching upon gospel, country-western, zydeco, and sundry other Byrne influences — but the band’s skill at arranging an album and maintaining a mood remains intact. So while True Stories may remain a regrettable chapter in the band’s history, it’s certainly not an embarrassing one.
1. Love For Sale (4:30)
2. Puzzlin’ Evidence (5:23)
3. Hey Now (3:42)
4. Papa Legba (5:54)
1. Wild Wild Life (3:39)
2. Radio Head (3:14)
3. Dream Operator (4:39)
4. People Like Us (4:26)
5. City Of Dreams (5:06)
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar). “One of the most critically acclaimed bands of the ’80s,” the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, pop and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.
Artist: Talking Heads
Title: Remain In Light
Label: Sire Records
Catalog# WBN 56867
Remain in Light is the fourth studio album by American new wave band Talking Heads, released on October 8, 1980, on Sire Records. It was recorded at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas and Sigma Sound Studios in New York between July and August 1980 and was produced by the quartet’s long-time collaborator Brian Eno.
Following the release of Fear of Music in 1979, Talking Heads and Eno sought to make an album that would dispel notions of the group as a mere vehicle for frontman and chief lyricist David Byrne. Drawing on the influence of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, the group experimented with African polyrhythms, funk, and electronics, recording instrumental tracks as a series of sampled and looped grooves, an innovative technique at the time. Recording sessions also incorporated a variety of side musicians, including guitarist Adrian Belew, singer Nona Hendryx, and trumpet player Jon Hassell.
Byrne initially struggled with writer’s block, but soon adopted a scattered stream-of-consciousness lyrical style inspired by early rap and academic literature on Africa. The artwork for Remain in Light was conceived by bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz, and was crafted with the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology‘s computers and design company M&Co. Talking Heads expanded to nine members for a promotional tour, and following its completion the band went on hiatus for several years, leaving the individual members to pursue a variety of side-projects. The album was the last of the band’s collaborations with Eno.
Remain in Light was widely acclaimed by critics, who praised its sonic experimentation, rhythmic innovations, and cohesive merging of disparate genres. The album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard 200 in the US and at number 21 on the UK Albums Chart. Two singles were released from Remain in Light: “Once in a Lifetime” and “Houses in Motion“. The record was certified Gold in the US and in Canada during the 1980s. It has been featured in several publications’ lists of the best albums of the 1980s and the best albums of all time.
1. Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) (5:46)
2. Crosseyed And Painless (4:45)
3. The Great Curve (6:26)
1. Once In A Lifetime (4:19)
2. Houses In Motion (4:30)
3. Seen And Not Seen (3:20)
4. Listening Wind (4:42)
5. The Overload (6:00)
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar). Former art school students who became involved in the 1970s New York punk scene, Talking Heads helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, dance, pop and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and the anxious stage persona of singer Byrne. The group produced several commercial hits and a number of multimedia projects throughout its career, and often collaborated with other artists, such as musician Brian Eno and director Jonathan Demme.
Artist: Talking Heads
Title: Stop Making Sense
Label: EMI Records
Catalog# 1C 064-240243-1
Stop Making Sense is a live 1984 album by Talking Heads, the soundtrack to the film of the same name. The original release of the album features only nine of the songs from the movie, many of them heavily edited. The album spent more than two years (118 weeks) on the Billboard 200 chart.
While there’s no debating the importance of Jonathan Demme‘s classic film record of Talking Heads‘ 1983 tour, the soundtrack released in support of it is a thornier matter. Since its release, purists have found Stop Making Sense slickly mixed and, worse yet, incomprehensive. The nine tracks included jumble and truncate the natural progression of frontman David Byrne‘s meticulously arranged stage show. Cries for a double-album treatment — à la 1982’s live opus The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads — were sounded almost immediately; more enterprising fans merely dubbed the VHS release of the film onto cassette tape. So, until a 1999 “special edition” cured the 1984 release’s ills, fans had to make do with the Stop Making Sense they were given — which is, by any account, an exemplary snapshot of a band at the height of its powers. Even with some of his more memorable tics edited out, Byrne is in fine voice here: Never before had he sounded warmer or more approachable, as evidenced by his soaring rendition of “Once in a Lifetime.” Though almost half the album focuses on Speaking in Tongues material, the band makes room for one of Byrne‘s Catherine Wheel tunes (the hard-driving, elliptical “What a Day That Was”) as well as up-tempo versions of “Pyscho Killer” and “Take Me to the River.” If anything, Stop Making Sense‘s emphasis on keyboards and rhythm is its greatest asset as well as its biggest failing: Knob-tweakers Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison play up their parts at the expense of the treblier aspects of the performance, and fans would have to wait almost 15 years for reparations. Still, for a generation that may have missed the band’s seminal ’70s work, Stop Making Sense proves to be an excellent primer.
1. Psycho Killer (4:28)
2. Swamp (3:50)
3. Slippery People (3:35)
4. Burning Down the House (4:14)
5. Girlfriend Is Better (3:32)
1. Once in a Lifetime (4:34)
2. What a Day That Was (5:08)
3. Life During Wartime (4:52)
4. Take Me to the River (5:59)
Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band comprised David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison.
Artist: Talking Heads
Title: Speaking In Tongues
Label: Sire Records
Former art school students who became involved in the 1970s New York punk scene,
Talking Heads integrated elements of punk, art rock, funk, dance, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and the anxious stage persona of singer Byrne, helping to pioneer new wave music.
The group produced several commercial hits and a number of multimedia projects throughout its career, and often collaborated with other artists, such as musician Brian Eno and director Jonathan Demme.
Talking Heads found a way to open up the dense textures of the music they had developed with Brian Eno on their two previous studio albums for Speaking in Tongues, and were rewarded with their most popular album yet.
Ten backup singers and musicians accompanied the original quartet, but somehow the sound was more spacious, and the music admitted aspects of gospel, notably in the call-and-response of “Slippery People,” and John Lee Hooker-style blues, on “Swamp.” As usual, David Byrne determinedly sang and chanted impressionistic, nonlinear lyrics, sometimes by mix-and-matching clichés (“No visible means of support and you have not seen nothin’ yet,” he declared on “Burning Down the House,” the Heads‘ first Top Ten hit), and the songs’ very lack of clear meaning was itself a lyrical subject. “Still don’t make no sense,” Byrne admitted in “Making Flippy Floppy,” but by the next song, “Girlfriend Is Better,” that had become an order — “Stop making sense,” he chanted over and over. Some of his charming goofiness had returned since the overly serious Remain in Light and Fear of Music, however, and the accompanying music, filled with odd percussive and synthesizer sounds, could be unusually light and bouncy.
The album closer, “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” even sounded hopeful. Well, sort of. Despite their formal power, Talking Heads‘ preceding two albums seemed to have painted them into a corner, which may be why it took them three years to craft a follow-up, but on Speaking in Tongues, they found an open window and flew out of it.
In 1989 the album was ranked #54 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “100 best albums of the 1980s”. In 2012 Slant Magazine listed the album at #89 on its list of “Best Albums of the 1980s”.
David Byrne designed the cover for the general release of the album. Artist Robert Rauschenberg won a Grammy Award for his work on the limited-edition LP version. This album featured a clear vinyl disc in clear plastic packaging along with three clear plastic discs printed with similar collages in three different colors.
1. Burning Down the House (4:00)
2. Making Flippy Floppy (4:36)
3. Girlfriend Is Better (4:25)
4. Slippery People (3:30)
5. I Get Wild/Wild Gravity (4:06)
1. Swamp (5:09)
2. Moon Rocks (5:04)
3. Pull Up the Roots (5:08)
4. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) (4:56)