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Best Talking Heads album?


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Live albums are always a bit... though, when you want to talk about a best album. It'd be like including the greatest hits.

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Not what David Byrne would say about that album. Stop Making sense is the definitive live album and is also the definitive live concert video.

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Are you claiming that is the defintive live album or the defintive live album by the Talking Heads. If its the latter fair enough but the former would be a bit of a stretch

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Definitive live concert video.

 

Its the whole package from the meticulous build up of imagery with every set shot in Demme's film carefully sketched out before hand and his desire to give the sound production a new edge.

 

You could argue that musically The name of the band is better but that would be like trying to force a rizla paper into my crack hole using tension alone. They are both great.

 

By the way if anyone has a vinyl copy of More song about buildings would be interested.

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The thing about Stop Making Sense is it is a drama as much as live concert.

Demme shot it as he would one of his features, starting slowly and building to a climax in the plot - finishing with a resolutuion.

It's not like a standard live program. If you just look at the direction of cinematography, the cameras move, changing shot constantly, where as if you look at a general live concert production or even a live tv music production the cameras are generally static and the movement is in the changing of cameras and thus angle. Then you have the building of the band, the plot and its' cronological progression of music and characters!

As for which is better Django Reinhardt is correct The Name of the band is a far better account of talking heads live but it also misses out on the whole Speaking in tongues transition of the band. Stop making Sense is a film relying on its' mise-en-scene and plot progression which is lost in the music only release vinyl/cd/tape, if you have seen the film then you can get the album otherwise it is just another live release.

 

As for the original question, the answer could be any of their albums prior to Little creatures which was the beginning of the end for the band, although the often overlooked Naked was a bit of a return to form.

People talk about the effect Brian Eno had on U2 but his work with Talking Heads was what marked his career as a producer and Byrne often referred to him as the 5th band member between More songs... and Remaining in the Light to the chagrin of the other four members.

It's interesting because if you look at the period after Remining in the light when the band all but broke up, all four members produced amazing but completely different solo projects, Byrne with Eno My life in the bush of ghosts, Byrne by himself The soundtrack to the Catherine Wheel and later the tuba solo inspired Songs for the Knee plays, even his vocals/lyrics for Robert Fripps God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners all showed the diversity of Byrne. But it was the work of Weymouth and Fantz with the Tom Tom clubs' first two albums, Tom tom club and Close to the bone that changed the sound of talking heads for their next release Speaking in tongues with the now established sound influenced by Weymouth and Frantz's propensity for hip hop/dance rhythms.

 

Chezgiven, I've got a mint original pressing of More songs... but sorry it stays in the collection next to the artist Robert Rauschenberg created plastic envelope package with clear discs that could spin around for Speaking in tongues and a host of picture discs and limited addition 12' remixes they released.

183313[/snapback]

 

 

I've just spaffed in my own kegs.

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Mr sammymb. Sir. The observation about the tom tom club is so bang on too. Never even thought about that. Frantz and Weymouths sound at that time was better than anything on the club scene in NY and Speaking in Tongues is of course the album that the stop making sense album is based on. It does have to be seen rather than listened to. I shat myself when i got the DVD and put it through my modern system.

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  • 2 years later...
Former Talking Heads frontman David Byrne has revealed he is putting the finishing touches to a new album with Fatboy Slim, aka Norman Cook.

 

The pair have roped in a host of guest stars for the project, Here Lies Love, including Santigold* and Roisin Murphy.

 

The concept album trails the life of Imelda Marcos, the widow of former Philippines dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

 

"We've got three more singers who have still to record on it but we're almost there," Byrne told BBC 6 Music.

 

"There is a different singer on every song - including Sharon Jones [from Amy Winehouse's backing band The Dap Tones], Alice Russell and Tori Amos," he added.

 

"There's a lot of singers, it goes on and on."

 

Byrne is performing at London's Royal Festival Hall over Easter weekend with U2 and Coldplay producer Brian Eno as part of the Ether festival.

 

The pair are set to play tracks from their numerous collaborations - starting with Talking Heads in the 1970s through to their 2008 album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

 

Talking about that album, Byrne said: "Last spring I could see we were going to have enough songs for a record and that it was nearing completion and I really was enjoying singing the songs.

 

"I thought it would be a shame to never ever get to sing it again, so we decided to do these dates."

 

Byrne said he initially only intended to sing tracks from the recent album for the pair of Royal Festival Hall concerts.

But he then had a change of heart.

 

"I thought, 'I don't want to just do a hodge-podge of stuff'," he explained. "Then I realised I could thematically bring some stuff in that the audience would like to hear, using Eno as a connection.

 

"So that opened the way to older stuff and newer stuff and seeing if we could thread the two."

 

David Byrne and Brian Eno will perform at London's Royal Festival Hall on 12-13 April.

 

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/7992657.stm

 

*In February 2009, Santogold changed her stage name to Santigold, as a result of infomercial jeweller Santo Gold threatening legal action.

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He released that B.P.A thing with Norman Cook last year which was great.

 

Went to see 'The music of David Byrne & Brian Eno' at Olympia in Paris a few weeks back and it was stunning. Its not going to sound that convincing coming from me but it was one of the best concerts i've seen. 30 years ahead of their time, not even Vampire Weekend come close to matching the ingenuity, funk and class of Talking Heads. I saw VW at the back end of last year and for me, Talking Heads remain the coolest white boy music that has ever come out of New York.

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He released that B.P.A thing with Norman Cook last year which was great.

 

Went to see 'The music of David Byrne & Brian Eno' at Olympia in Paris a few weeks back and it was stunning. Its not going to sound that convincing coming from me but it was one of the best concerts i've seen. 30 years ahead of their time, not even Vampire Weekend come close to matching the ingenuity, funk and class of Talking Heads. I saw VW at the back end of last year and for me, Talking Heads remain the coolest white boy music that has ever come out of New York.

 

 

Cheers for the heads up Chez. I just ordered two tickets at the Barbican on 3rd August.

 

I somehow missed the Cook link up stuff, will check it out.

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He released that B.P.A thing with Norman Cook last year which was great.

 

Went to see 'The music of David Byrne & Brian Eno' at Olympia in Paris a few weeks back and it was stunning. Its not going to sound that convincing coming from me but it was one of the best concerts i've seen. 30 years ahead of their time, not even Vampire Weekend come close to matching the ingenuity, funk and class of Talking Heads. I saw VW at the back end of last year and for me, Talking Heads remain the coolest white boy music that has ever come out of New York.

 

 

Cheers for the heads up Chez. I just ordered two tickets at the Barbican on 3rd August.

 

I somehow missed the Cook link up stuff, will check it out.

 

Nicely done :D

 

Get there on time as it starts promptly at the advertised time. Our tickets said 8pm and they were playing (no warm up) by 8.15pm. You've got the playlists on his official site, includes Houses in Motion, Crosseyed and Painless, Take Me to the river, Once in a lifetime etc.

 

The choreography is also one of the highlights, if you've seen Stop Making Sense, you might recognise a few themes.

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He released that B.P.A thing with Norman Cook last year which was great.

 

Went to see 'The music of David Byrne & Brian Eno' at Olympia in Paris a few weeks back and it was stunning. Its not going to sound that convincing coming from me but it was one of the best concerts i've seen. 30 years ahead of their time, not even Vampire Weekend come close to matching the ingenuity, funk and class of Talking Heads. I saw VW at the back end of last year and for me, Talking Heads remain the coolest white boy music that has ever come out of New York.

 

 

Cheers for the heads up Chez. I just ordered two tickets at the Barbican on 3rd August.

 

I somehow missed the Cook link up stuff, will check it out.

 

Nicely done :D

 

Get there on time as it starts promptly at the advertised time. Our tickets said 8pm and they were playing (no warm up) by 8.15pm. You've got the playlists on his official site, includes Houses in Motion, Crosseyed and Painless, Take Me to the river, Once in a lifetime etc.

 

The choreography is also one of the highlights, if you've seen Stop Making Sense, you might recognise a few themes.

 

 

Only seen it about a hundred times, never in the cinema though...must resolve that.

 

I saw him in City Hall in 2002, was a great concert. His banter with the audience was hilarious too.

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He released that B.P.A thing with Norman Cook last year which was great.

 

Went to see 'The music of David Byrne & Brian Eno' at Olympia in Paris a few weeks back and it was stunning. Its not going to sound that convincing coming from me but it was one of the best concerts i've seen. 30 years ahead of their time, not even Vampire Weekend come close to matching the ingenuity, funk and class of Talking Heads. I saw VW at the back end of last year and for me, Talking Heads remain the coolest white boy music that has ever come out of New York.

 

 

Cheers for the heads up Chez. I just ordered two tickets at the Barbican on 3rd August.

 

I somehow missed the Cook link up stuff, will check it out.

 

Nicely done :D

 

Get there on time as it starts promptly at the advertised time. Our tickets said 8pm and they were playing (no warm up) by 8.15pm. You've got the playlists on his official site, includes Houses in Motion, Crosseyed and Painless, Take Me to the river, Once in a lifetime etc.

 

The choreography is also one of the highlights, if you've seen Stop Making Sense, you might recognise a few themes.

 

 

Only seen it about a hundred times, never in the cinema though...must resolve that.

 

I saw him in City Hall in 2002, was a great concert. His banter with the audience was hilarious too.

 

Same here :D

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  • 3 months later...

Concert was absolutely brilliant. They did 4 encores ffs! Was being filmed so hopefully I'll get to own a copy of it. Some lovely versions of old songs and the recent stuff was all great too.

 

Burning Down the House deserves special mention. Great.

 

"I hear Simon Cowell is here, making a new show 'The Whole World's got Fucking Talent"

Edited by trophyshy
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the only answer to this thread is

 

REMAIN IN LIGHT

 

and isn't Stop Making Sense a live album? so how does that count?

 

Never saw this.

 

Its Pitchfork's view of their best album aye and it is amazing, without doubt their best studio album.

 

Their live performances of their songs are so much 'bigger' than the studio versions though. When i saw him recently (am going again this weekend), the live performance (down to the percussive interludes) stuck to the Stop Making Sense versions. The choreography was a modern re-interpretation of the original Japanese inspired choreography from the movie.

 

I watch the DVD all the time, its class for when friends are over. The version of 'crosseyed and painless' he does is probably why its one of my favourite songs ever. Well until Friendly Fires ripped it off anyway. Me and my brother stopped my Dad from getting a VHS video as we had recorded the Arena programme on BBC2 on to a Betamax :( He probably should have got one earlier as that was 1985 iirc.

 

My second most listened to of theirs is probably my vinyl version of 'The Name of the band' which is again another live album. Have to say, am frothing at the gash about seeing him again.

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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 weeks later...
Live albums are always a bit... though, when you want to talk about a best album. It'd be like including the greatest hits.

Not what David Byrne would say about that album. Stop Making sense is the definitive live album and is also the definitive live concert video.

Are you claiming that is the defintive live album or the defintive live album by the Talking Heads. If its the latter fair enough but the former would be a bit of a stretch

Definitive live concert video.

 

Its the whole package from the meticulous build up of imagery with every set shot in Demme's film carefully sketched out before hand and his desire to give the sound production a new edge.

 

You could argue that musically The name of the band is better but that would be like trying to force a rizla paper into my crack hole using tension alone. They are both great.

 

By the way if anyone has a vinyl copy of More song about buildings would be interested.

The thing about Stop Making Sense is it is a drama as much as live concert.

Demme shot it as he would one of his features, starting slowly and building to a climax in the plot - finishing with a resolutuion.

It's not like a standard live program. If you just look at the direction of cinematography, the cameras move, changing shot constantly, where as if you look at a general live concert production or even a live tv music production the cameras are generally static and the movement is in the changing of cameras and thus angle. Then you have the building of the band, the plot and its' cronological progression of music and characters!

As for which is better Django Reinhardt is correct The Name of the band is a far better account of talking heads live but it also misses out on the whole Speaking in tongues transition of the band. Stop making Sense is a film relying on its' mise-en-scene and plot progression which is lost in the music only release vinyl/cd/tape, if you have seen the film then you can get the album otherwise it is just another live release.

 

As for the original question, the answer could be any of their albums prior to Little creatures which was the beginning of the end for the band, although the often overlooked Naked was a bit of a return to form.

People talk about the effect Brian Eno had on U2 but his work with Talking Heads was what marked his career as a producer and Byrne often referred to him as the 5th band member between More songs... and Remaining in the Light to the chagrin of the other four members.

It's interesting because if you look at the period after Remining in the light when the band all but broke up, all four members produced amazing but completely different solo projects, Byrne with Eno My life in the bush of ghosts, Byrne by himself The soundtrack to the Catherine Wheel and later the tuba solo inspired Songs for the Knee plays, even his vocals/lyrics for Robert Fripps God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners all showed the diversity of Byrne. But it was the work of Weymouth and Fantz with the Tom Tom clubs' first two albums, Tom tom club and Close to the bone that changed the sound of talking heads for their next release Speaking in tongues with the now established sound influenced by Weymouth and Frantz's propensity for hip hop/dance rhythms.

 

Chezgiven, I've got a mint original pressing of More songs... but sorry it stays in the collection next to the artist Robert Rauschenberg created plastic envelope package with clear discs that could spin around for Speaking in tongues and a host of picture discs and limited addition 12' remixes they released.

 

 

I've just spaffed in my own kegs.

 

Chez, I remembered this thread and figured you might be interested in this:

http://www.discogs.com/sell/item/34397308?ev=bp_titl

 

You'll probably also find a vinyl copy of More Buildings if you're keen.

 

On More Buildings how good is Local Natives version of Warning Signs?

After seeing them live a couple of weeks ago I couldn't get it out of my head. So I had to dig out the TH version on vinyl :icon_lol:

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Here it is. Not much of any value in there. I was a bit of a fanboy in the 80s

 

LP

Talking Heads:77 1977 UK

More Songs About building and food UK 1978

Fear of Music UKLP 1979

Remain in Light UKLP 1980

The name of this Band is Talking Heads - German? 1982

Speaking in Tongues UKLP 1983

Stop Making Sense - UKLP 1984

Little Creatures - UK 1985

True Stories UK 1986

Blind I bought on cassette for some reason.

 

My Life in the Bush Of Ghosts Eno/Byrne UK 1980

The Red and the Black - Jerry Harrison UK 1981

 

12”

Psycho Killer UK 1977

Crosseyed and Painless/The Great Curve German 1980

Making Flippy Floppy/Slippery People Remixes US 1983

Burning Down the House/I get wild (long version)/moon rocks(long version) UK 1983

This Must Be the Place (full length version) UK 1983

Girlfriend is Better (extended)/Once in a Lifetime (extended) UK 1984

Once in a Lifetime Maxi Single German? 1984

And She Was UK 1985

And She Was US Maxi-single 1985

And She was UK Pic Disc 1985

Lady don’t Mind UK 1985

Road to Nowhere UK 1985

Wild Wild Life (extended) UK 1986

Radiohead (extended) UK 1987

Blind UK 1988

Interview Picture Disc (limited)

10” Nothing But Flowers (limited)

 

Regiment/America is Waiting - Byrne/Eno - Holland 1981

Under the Boardwalk - Tom Tom Club - UK 1982

 

I’ve got a few 7” too, but fuck knows where they are. Houses in Motion is one iirc.

 

I have all the remastered CD’s with the 5.1 versions - never heard on a 5.1 system though! Has anyone else?

Edited by trophyshy
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  • 8 months later...

 

 

LOVE GOES TO BUILDINGS ON FIRE

Five Years in New York That Changed Music Forever

 

The first record made by Talking Heads, a single released in February 1977, was called “Love → Building on Fire.” If you knew about Talking Heads then, you might have been the kind of person who thought the formula-like vector tucked into the title was inspired by the deadpan propositions that the conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner was stenciling at that time on the walls of SoHo galleries — which, in turn, might have made you think that the song itself was some sort of self-conscious concept art, sonically and lyrically examining the idea of a soulful pop song even as the insistent beat and David Byrne’s strained shouts and warbles made the song a real one, exuberant, funny in its way, and infectious.

 

I heard it for the first time when I played it on the jukebox that winter at a place called the Lower Manhattan Ocean Club, on Chambers Street in TriBeCa. It was the only way to hear that kind of single then — unless you went to one of a handful of downtown record stores, like Bleecker Bob’s. (The radio was playing a lot of the Eagles’ “Hotel California.”) I was waiting around at the bar for the live music to begin — a band like the Cramps, maybe, or someone who made music but not exactly, like Meredith Monk, or some experimental art-music composer like Arthur Russell (who would go on to do some fascinating things with disco), or one of the loft-jazz players like David Murray. The young women were mostly in Danskins and stovepipe slacks and Capezio jazz shoes, and the guys in secondhand sweaters and worn Levi’s and scuffed, canvas Sperrys like the ones the Ramones wore. Everybody below Houston Street, it seemed, was making some form of art, or trying to, or looking as if he or she did. And when you left the Ocean Club early in the morning, you would look up at block after block of old manufacturing buildings and see here and there a milk carton on a window ledge, because those lofts had no refrigerators (or stoves), but mostly you would notice that so many lights were still on — so many people up working to something untried and provocative.

 

 

Will Hermes doesn’t ever explain why he called his book “Love Goes to Buildings on Fire,” but I think that’s what he had in mind. He was still in high school in Queens when all this new music was getting made downtown and in other undergrounds around the city in the 1970s. But he went on to become a warmly responsive rock critic, writing for Rolling Stone and discussing recordings on NPR, and now he has produced a prodigious work of contemporary music history, unearthing material from a wide array of sources — including clippings from The SoHo Weekly News, where I worked in the ’70s — to tell the story, or better, stories, of what was arguably the most rangy, inventive and influential period of music making in the city’s (and the nation’s) life.

 

Music geeks will find plenty of this familiar, and being music geeks, will fake knowing what they don’t about how, say, in the early ’70s, Latin dance music was being hotly reimagined by Willie Colón and others, or how Nicky Siano, at his ­proto-rave disco, the Gallery, was mastering, as Hermes writes, “the art of dropping out certain frequencies in a cut (usually the bass) at dramatic moments, then crashing them back in on the beat, à la dub reggae, detonating dance-floor pleasure bombs.” Hermes’s is a popular history, but if the success of Patti Smith’s autobiographical “Just Kids” is any indication, the music life of ’70s New York is saying something to a lot of people who weren’t around or listening back then.

 

The book has a montage-style structure underlying its basic year-by-year chronology, and as it cuts from one musician to some other band to still another composer or dance-party D.J., certain themes begin to emerge. It’s interesting, in the wake of a ’60s counterculture that embraced (or claimed to) the notion of “authenticity,” how many of those making something new musically a decade later were also making themselves up — taking on names, getting their look down, buying instruments they didn’t know how to play. Tom Miller, a 19-year-old boarding-school bad boy, arrives downtown from Delaware, reads and writes poetry, starts calling himself Tom Verlaine, buys a Fender Jazzmaster and forms the band Television. A teen­ager from the Bronx quits the Black Spades gang, travels to the Ivory Coast and Nigeria, returns, and establishes a party-promoting community organization called the Universal Zulu Nation, with himself as the self-appointed “master of records” — Afrika Bambaataa, he starts calling himself, and begins mixing some of the earliest grooves of hip-hop. And then there were the unrelated kids from Forest Hills who all took on the surname Ramone.

 

Those working in the city’s musical laboratories also tended to be extremely conscious of the history of the genres they were working in. You’d expect that from composers like Steve Reich or jazzmen like Sam Rivers (who ran a loft club downtown, Studio Rivbea, and lived there, too), but it was also true of the new rock musicians: that’s what growing up in the first era of widely available and affordable recordings will do. Like Godard and Truffaut, who wrote for the French film journal Cahiers du Cinéma in the ’50s, championed American B movies and then went on to make New Wave cinema influenced by them, Lenny Kaye embraced the recordings of American regional garage bands of the mid-’60s, whose music was dismissed by FM-radio album-rock types as amateurish knockoffs; then helped curate a compilation of these songs, released in 1972, called “Nuggets”; then became Patti Smith’s collaborator.

 

 

Perhaps the most striking thing about those years was just how much live music there was, and in so many different kinds of places. Steve Reich played his works in progress at an art gallery, Philip Glass at his sculptor friend Donald Judd’s loft. There were punk and downtown art bands nearly every night at CBGB and Max’s Kansas City and uncategorizable music at art spaces like the Kitchen and Franklin Furnace. Of course, this had as much to do with the availability of cheap real estate as anything else. Hilly Kristal had acquired the Bowery bar that became CBGB for about $20,000. The rent on the second-floor loft where Nicky Siano opened his disco was $460 a month.

 

What made so much space available, and so cheap, was the dire state of the city, about which Hermes has a lot to say — too much, actually. His isn’t a story like Jonathan Mahler’s “Ladies and Gentlemen, the Bronx Is Burning,” in which the fate of the Yankees mattered to the broader city, as a sign of rebirth. No one living outside a few neighborhoods in New York — or similar neighborhoods in London and a few other cosmopolitan cities — knew about, never mind cared about, most of the music being made there in the mid-’70s. And most of those making the music didn’t care about Mayor Abe Beame’s woes or the robbing of Village food joints that Hermes documents. They embraced the urban blight aesthetically and liked that they could live and rehearse in lofts so inexpensive they could quit their day jobs.

 

That — all of it — is long, long gone. TriBeCa is one of the city’s wealthiest neighborhoods, and experimentation downtown has for the past 20 years been about creating exotic financial instruments. If you are now making and playing the kind of music that is expanding the range of the possible in ways that might one day be consequential, you are probably in Bushwick. And you are probably embroidering on an idea or an approach developed to the west, across the East River, 35 years ago.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/11/books/review/love-goes-to-buildings-on-fire-five-years-in-new-york-that-changed-music-forever-by-will-hermes-book-review.html

 

There's a new DVD out called chronology with all their live performances apparently, while looking for a review I found the above book review which might interest some Heads heads on here.

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Amazon France didn't have it in stock until last week, now it's too late for it to arrive before I leave for holiday (the DVD).

 

When DB sent the email out about it a month or so ago I was interested to note his comments on Talking Heads being a live band, not a studio band. For me, that's why Stop Making Sense is their best album/artistic output, despite what Pitchfork tells you.

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