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  1. #1
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    The transcendent Talking Heads

    Heard an old Talking Heads song on WFUV the other night, and couldn't stop thinking about it for days. Really simple, pretty, melodic song, but with a lot going on in it. Didn't even know the title, but figured it was off of something from the Buildings and Food period (my brother had that tape, but I haven't heard it in years). I used to have something close to disdain for the Talking Heads (when I was a kid and too narrowly into classic rock) even though I grew up listening to them (parents had a few TH records--maybe it was rebelliousness that kept me from giving them a chance). But I knew this song wasn't on anything we had or that I currently own. The song sort of started to haunt me, echoing around in me at different times.
    Not knowing the title was a problem, though, since it turns out the song title is only mentioned once in the song ("This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)"). So that put me down in Union Square after midnight last night, trying to figure out which album the song is on. I figured out how to use that scanning thing they have that lets you scan the UPC and listen to all the songs from an album--second guess, based on all the mentions of 'home' in the song, led me to the right song on "Speaking in Tongues".
    I can't stop listening to that album. If you've got it, give it a spin. I guess it was the album that really brought them popularity after "Remain in Light", and it's easy to see why. I guess you could consider the album a refinement of the new wave, gospel/funk influenced rock/pop that was on Remain in Light, but it's just really well done.
    And it only took me 21 years to figure out what a great album it is.
    TH--The best thing ever to come out of RISDI and CBGB's? This album alone is enough to convince me.

    edit: listening now to the INXS CD I got from the bargain bin last night--good illustration of how some music doesn't age so well (obviously was never in the same category). Was made one year earlier than Speaking in Tongues (82 v. 83), but except for the two singles, the INXS CD is basically a reminder of some of the drawbacks to 80's music. Not a terrible album, but I doubt I'll listen to it much.
    Last edited by Dexter Rutecki; 11-14-2004 at 10:25 AM.
    [quote][//quote]

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dexter Rutecki
    edit: listening now to the INXS CD I got from the bargain bin last night--good illustration of how some music doesn't age so well (obviously was never in the same category). Was made one year earlier than Speaking in Tongues (82 v. 83), but except for the two singles, the INXS CD is basically a reminder of some of the drawbacks to 80's music. Not a terrible album, but I doubt I'll listen to it much.
    Is it Shabooh, Shoobah? Yeah, it's amazing the album can be such a letdown since "Don't Change" and "The One Thing" are such strong singles. At the time (1984) I really liked 'The Swing.' Haven't heard it in years, though, so can't tell you if it's aged well. After that INXS started really going downhill, IMO.

  3. #3
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    Yeah, that's the one. Probably the two best INXS songs (nothing else comes to mind, anyway). I think "The Swing" was the other pretty strong song on the album, too, but I've only listened to it once (that was the only other song on the album I'd heard before I bought it--still not the biggest waste of $10 I've ever spent). Went back to that Talking Heads record again that won't let go of me--made me realize the TH are actually a funk band playing with different influences.
    [quote][//quote]

  4. #4
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    I recently bought More Songs about Building and Food (again) after not having listened to it for years. Saw David Byrne at the Vic (Chicago) in 1994.

    Thanks for the tip on other Talking Heads albums, I am going to check out Remain in Light and Speaking in Tongues... I really started listening to them only at Little Creatures, although I do remember the Burning down the house video from MTV.

    I like them a lot.

    "I have adopted this and made it my own, cut out the weakness, reinforce what is strong..."

    "Watch me work..."

  5. #5
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    Rhino recently released The Name of This Band is Talking Heads their 1982 live LP. It had never previously been issued on CD. I think the Rhino version is a double disc, greatly expanded version. From what I've read it's outstanding.

    Dexter: actually The Swing is the INXS album they released after Shabooh Shoobah. Not that it matters since it sounds like your excursion into the INXS back catalog might be finished

  6. #6
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    Talking Heads 77 and More Songs about Buildings and Food sound alike, but both are equally worthy.

    The Rhino release is nice because it has all of the songs, unlike Stop Making Sense, the original concert-release from the early 80s.

    I like the song Heaven from the Rhino CD.
    ¡Órale, vato!

  7. #7
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    I saw the new Rhino release at the store the other night--didn't realize it was new to CD.
    Yes, I am likely done with the INXS kick (get it?), regardless of bargain bin status.
    Searched out a few old reviews of Speaking in Tongues and interviews from around then, pretty interesting stuff. One review was so 'on' it was incredible (the Rolling Stone one, which I'd usually pay little attention to--and probably did at the time) and the other just missed it almost completely (down to what I'd call misreading the lyrics). Funny sort of interview where David Byrne was impressed with digital records (LP's) and the incredible sophistication of 24 track recording! A step up from their old 8 track sessions. Reading some of it made me wonder whether or not the detractors who claim the Heads' good stuff was all just the result of their Brian Eno collaboration have any sort of a case.
    I'll say it again--just a really excellent album. For better or worse, I think it might be safe to consider it the best of their albums. If there are still bands like the Heads coming out of NYC, I wish I knew who they were.
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  8. #8
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    Dex if you havent already, check out Tom Tom Club, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth's project after leaving Talking Heads. Good stuff.

  9. #9
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    I only know the one big single (you know the one: "There's no beginning and there is no end..." beep, be dee be deep). Always thought about getting something by them, but just didn't think it would be too good. I'll check 'em out.
    [quote][//quote]

  10. #10
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    Still need some Tom Tom Club, but today I finally gave in and bought "The Name of this Band Is Talking Heads", the old double LP of live stuff. Only listened to disc 1 so far (they doubled the material for the CD), but it's damn good so far, and I think the best stuff is on disc 2.
    The Heads just kick much ass, end of story. Get yourself some Heads if you don't have any, and give 'em another listen if it's been awhile. You'll be glad you did.
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  11. #11
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    If anyone's interested, check out The Arcade Fire, a new band that follows closely in the TH's footsteps, but with a twist. I've heard a couple of AF's songs on the radio and I likey.
    ¡Órale, vato!

  12. #12
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    I highly recommend the movie "Stop Making Sense", imo the best concert movie ever, directed by Jonathan Demme, it was reissued on DVD a couple of years back. Tak about transcendant.

  13. #13
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    Yeah, I think my whole family saw that back when I was a kid and it had first come out...actually, we had it on that old laser disc format, too. I liked it, but like I said I somehow avoided taking the Heads too seriously just because it was 'my parents'' music, or something. I dunno, just never gave them the listen they deserved.
    The band is so good, and the musicians (beyond the four Heads) they played with are great and perfectly chosen (complementary). Brian Eno had a lot to do with it, as did Parliament's Peter Worrel(sp?).
    The Name of this Band Is Talking Heads is a really, really good album--so glad they doubled the material from the original release. I believe the second CD (both are live) follows the set list from their 1981 or 82 tour.
    I still think everyone who's at all inclined should give those older Heads albums another listen.
    [quote][//quote]

  14. #14
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    It's Bernie Worrel. And get off your ass and go buy that flick, it rocks.

  15. #15
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    Talking heads '77 is one of my all time favorite albums but pretty much all TH is good. Dex is correct about the ass kicking.

    The Arcade Fire? I'll have to check 'em out.
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  16. #16
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    If you like the Talking Heads you should check out their last album "Naked" The biggest hit off that album would be "Nothing But Flowers", but I think all of the songs are pretty good.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by iceman
    I highly recommend the movie "Stop Making Sense", imo the best concert movie ever, directed by Jonathan Demme, it was reissued on DVD a couple of years back. Tak about transcendant.
    I gotta buy it. My buddy Joe made me watch that movie at least 10 times my freshman year (smoking was usually involved) and it held up on each viewing. I own most of the TH albums and the first Tom Tom Club album (which is actually very good and funny).

    It's amazing how some of the real minimalist groups from that era still sound great today. I've been listening to Television a bit lately and they still sound different (better) than 99% of the crap that gets released by the major labels...

  18. #18
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    I don’t know what David Byrne was on. Or should have been on. Super intense dude.

    Cool video of the history of the band.
    I wasn’t in nyc cbgb at the time. But must have been fun times.

    But many of you probably remember the mtv era. Videos more than music.
    But talking heads had both


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  19. #19
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    I have seen TH a couple of times (CBGB and Max's KC) and David Byrne with Brian Eno in PC. To me, it doesn't get much better.
    Another band that reminds me of Talking Heads is Public Image Ltd.

    Stop Making Sense was a very good progressive and bizarre movie. Loved it
    Last edited by schindlerpiste; 05-11-2020 at 05:39 PM.
    “A society that puts equality before freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality will get a high degree of both.”
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  20. #20
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    Unfortunately, it appears to have been removed from Youtube, but there is a classic rendition of Howie Mandel singing Psycho Killer to the microphone hanging above a dead body in the autopsy room in an old episode of the medical TV show St. Elsewhere. Another example of how they don't make'm like they used to.
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  21. #21
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    I always liked Remain in Light. First collaboration with Brian Eno. Biggest "hit' from that album was Once in a Lifetime, but still enjoy this thing. Funky.


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  22. #22
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    Stop Making Sense currently streaming for free on Prime.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by RootSkier View Post
    Stop Making Sense currently streaming for free on Prime.
    Saw a show on that tour, also coincided with my first LSD experience.

    What a rippah!

  24. #24
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    Sand in the Vaseline, the 2 disc compilation is a easy starting point for those who didn't grow up with the Talking Heads.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    I always liked Remain in Light. First collaboration with Brian Eno. Biggest "hit' from that album was Once in a Lifetime, but still enjoy this thing. Funky.
    Yes, great album. Remain in Light and Fear of Music are my two favorite Talking Heads albums. I have both on vinyl and still listen to them now and again.


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