Stop Making Sense
(1984, 1999), 8/10
This review covers the 1999 special edition, which adds seven tracks and is much more rounded than the original album.
Stop Making Sense is the accompanying soundtrack to the Talking Heads concert performance movie, directed by Jonathan Demme. The film itself is an even more essential Talking Heads document, with memorable visual elements like Byrne’s enormous suit and his boombox accompaniment to ‘Psycho Killer’. But the soundtrack holds up as an excellent live document. The core Talking Heads are augmented by backing musicians; Parliament’s Bernie Worrell on synths, guitarist Alex Weir, backing vocalists, and a percussionist flesh out the group into a dynamic sounding ensemble. In particular, most of the material from Speaking in Tongues sounds stronger in the live versions – ‘Burning Down The House’ is much more explosive. The group also pull off a convincing version of the complex ‘Crosseyed and Painless’ as a closer, while the inclusion of the Tom Tom Club’s ‘Genius of Love’ is helpful – I enjoy the song a lot, but I found it hard to enjoy the entire debut from Frantz and Weymouth’s side-project. Stop Making Sense is well worth hearing – fans of the band need to at least check out the movie.