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Author Topic: Talking Heads
Tubby Isaacs
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Right, I have the double CD compilation Sand Vaseline from about 10 years ago. Like most of that.

I've got a bad feeling about that David Byrne chap because he turns up at Whitechapel Art Gallery rather too often, and I have a low tolerance of music that has anything to do with art. Am I advised to stick to the singles? They might be an albums band but I'm not an albums person these days.

Where do I (belatedly) go from here?

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Amor de Cosmos
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Tom Tom Club?
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Inca
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The essential albums are More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light.

You might consider picking up the live album The Name of This Band is Talking Heads, you get a good sampling of their best songs and it's really good for a live album.

I can put up some songs I like that aren't on Sand in the Vaseline.

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Tubby Isaacs
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I'd appreciate that a lot, Inca.
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wingco
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Inca has it right.
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Janik
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Have you ever seen the film True Stories. That is a little odd. I recall finding the footage around the song Radio Head distinctly creepy.

Anyway, one of my very favourite bands. Mostly because of David Bryne's unashamed artiness. Sometimes you need that in a band, especially if they are patently a bright bunch. It adds a sense of purpose that all the best bands have, even if that purpose is to have the best mindless good time imaginable. For the guys and girl in Talking Heads such behaviour would have played false, so taking themselves seriously was a good idea, I think.


Some of the early stuff is the best to check out when a punky element was still to the fore, before they became essentially the instrument of Brian Eno's vision on Remain in Light (not that I'm dissing that, it's great in it's own way, especially the Side A run of Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Crosseyed and Painless and The Great Curve). Seconded on More Songs About Buildings and Food, as inca has already said, and their first album Talking Heads: 77.
Off the live albums, the only one I have is Stop Making Sense, so that's all I'm inclined to comment on. Good performances of Life During Wartime and What A Day That Was on it. Less happy with the arrangement for Psycho Killer.

A couple of David Bryne's solo albums have been good. The ones where he avoided to much World Music, basically. An eponymously titled one from '94 and Look Into The Eyeball from '01 are worth a listen.


The break-up was rather acrimonious, wasn't it? Tina Weymouth came out of things pretty badly as I remember, ranting about Byrne not being the star and the rest of them not needing him, and then taking part in a dire album that proved she was talking via another part of her anatomy this time.

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Tubby Isaacs
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That's the video where he starts on stahge on his own, and people keep coming on? Bit like Norbert Smith in Where Eagles Dare? I did like that. Or is that called Stop Making Sense?
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Crusoe
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True Stories used to be my favourite film, in that pretentious teenage way. I still enjoy the bewildered pointlessness of it - David Byrne affecting mild confusion at everything the small town has to offer, the wilfully "kerrrazy" characters. I don't know the entire Talking Heads back catalogue, but the accompanying album seemed to be one of the most accessible/laziest (depending on your view; I liked it).
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Not me
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You should get 'Speaking in Tongues' Tubby. It's their party record, and probably their least obviously 'arty' or wacky record too. You'll know half the songs from BigSexyLand.

It's the equivalent of Roxy Music's 'Stranded', in that they used some of the sonic tricks they'd learned from Eno to make a more straight-ahead, hedonist record that also sounds really state-of-the-art.

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Mitch
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They're a band of two halves. Everything up to, and including Stop Making Sense is brilliant. After that, it's all a bit like the Bare Naked Ladies.

One of David Byrne's solo albums is great as well. I can't remember the name, but I think it's his last one. The one when he has a stab at opera, and for a bloke that can't really sing, it sort of works.

Oh, and his blog is an interesting read.

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My name is Mumpo
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i think i'll just paste my reply from the last Talking Heads thread.

quote:
a mate taped me 'Little Creatures' back in 1987. despite the fact that it was at the polar opposite to everything else i liked (i.e. it had no keyboards and lots of singing), i played it constantly and really got to like it. Talking Heads fans ('Heads-heads'?) probably treat it quite coolly as it was their commercial crossover smash hitter, but it's full of memorable songs with some rousing choruses and inventive quirkiness... not sure what to compare it to as i don't really have a suitable point of reference. i do remember thinking at the time it wasn't like Cabaret Voltaire.

just looked at the tracklisting on allmusic.com and i can still sing every song almost all the way through, which says something for its longevity as i haven't listened to it for at least ten years.


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Mat Pereira
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I like '77', 'Fear of Music' and 'Speaking in Tongues' a lot. I haven't actually heard 'Remain in Light' to be honest.

'77' is my favourite. It's very evocative. It sounds like what I expect New York in 1977 to feel like, the kind of twisted, mental terrain you get in some of the edgier Marvel comics of the period, with Byrne like a highly cerebral super-villian.

Or Woody Allen, he's like a more repressed version of Woody Allen.

Mind you, saying that, I haven't actually listened to it in donkey's years.

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Pants
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'Fear of Music' is the one, Tubby. I'd probably put it in my favourite ten albums of all time.
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Mat Pereira
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I don't have 'Fear of Music' on disk actually, so I haven't actually heard it since I sold all my vinyl.

'Air' and 'Life During Wartime' were the tunes I used to play a lot off that.

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Mitch
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I read someone that it's meant to be a concept album in that every song title can be prefixed with "fear of...".

Dunno what "fear of paper" is meant to be like though.

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