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Talking Heads

Talking Heads Remain in Light

Talking Heads Album Reviews

Talking Heads began their career in legendary New York club CBGB, effectively the focal point for American New Wave;  The Ramones, Television, Patti Smith Group, and Blondie also launched their careers there. While these groups all came from the same place and time, they’re a diverse bunch, and Talking Heads have their own niche as an arty and endearingly dorky band.

Scottish born frontman David Byrne and drummer Chris Frantz recruited Frantz’ girlfriend Tina Weymouth on bass. Keyboard player and guitarist Jerry Harrison signed on after finishing his architecture degree, having earlier gained a profile as the keyboard player in seminal proto punkers The Modern Lovers, Jonathan Richman’s backing band.

The Talking Heads can sound thin, and on their best albums, they have either auxiliary musicians fleshing out their sound or Brian Eno’s production providing another point of interest. Their best albums involve all four members collaborating, but their later records are dominated by Byrne, and are less interesting for it. The group’s sound changed quite markedly over their career; on their early albums, they have a nervy, minimal new wave sound, with Byrne’s paranoid lyrics and vocals taking centre stage. But mid-career, they recruited extra musicians and often used funk grooves, while Little Creatures and True Stories have more of an acoustic sound with some country influences.

I am missing a couple of albums below – I don’t always bother with live albums, and have covered 1984’s Stop Making Sense, but the 2004 reissue of 1982’s live album The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads has generally been acclaimed. I also haven’t covered their final 1988 album Naked – I was disappointed enough by 1985’s Little Creatures and 1986’s True Stories that I haven’t ventured further. I have also tried the group’s solo careers, and have generally been disappointed – apart from Byrne’s collaborative albums with Eno, the one album that I’ve enjoyed is Byrne’s 1981 soundtrack for The Catherine Wheel.

Ten Best Talking Heads Songs

I Zimbra
Once In A Lifetime
The Great Curve
Burning Down The House
Naive Melody (This Must Be The Place)
Memories Can’t Wait
Uh Oh, Love Comes To Town
Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
Crosseyed and Painless
Listening Wind

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Talking Heads: 77

Talking Heads: 77- Talking Heads

1977, 7/10. I’ve always found Talking Heads: ’77 the most inaccessible of the Heads’ albums; it’s tuneful but insincere.

More Songs About Buildings and Food – Talking Heads

1978, 8/10. The Talking Heads’ second album captures the neurotic new wave that the band are known for.

Talking Heads Fear of Music

Fear of Music – Talking Heads

1979, 9/10. Fear of Music is even nervier than More Songs About Buildings and Food; dominated by effective dual guitar parts.

Talking Heads Remain in Light

Remain in Light- Talking Heads

1980, 10/10. Remain in Light marked the peak of development for the Talking Heads, marrying dense soundscapes and funk grooves.

Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues

Speaking in Tongues – Talking Heads

1983, 7.5/10. Speaking in Tongues successfully molds the group’s artistic tendencies into a more light-hearted framework.

Talking Heads Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense – Talking Heads

1999, 8/10. Stop Making Sense is the accompanying soundtrack to the Talking Heads concert performance movie, directed by Jonathan Demme.

Talking Heads Little Creatures

Little Creatures – Talking Heads

1985, 6/10. By the time of Little Creatures, David Byrne took control of the Talking Heads, producing an album of straightforward acoustic pop.

Talking Heads True Stories

True Stories – Talking Heads

1986, 4.5/10. The soundtrack for a David Byrne directed film, True Stories feels like a less successful version of Little Creatures.

Talking Heads Naked

Naked – Talking Heads

Naked (1988), not rated I’ve never heard this, mostly because I was underwhelmed by Little Creatures and True Stories. It … Continue Reading Naked – Talking Heads

Tom Tom Club 1981 Album

Tom Tom Club – Tom Tom Club

1981, 4/10. Funk ensemble the Tom Tom Club, also featuring stunt guitarist Adrian Belew and Weymouth’s sisters, was a shameless attempt to recoup some money.

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