Some bands, of which I am a "fan" rather than a listener (you know what I mean) are really hard to profile
here, because I have SO MUCH material...I've NEVER done a Roxy music post/series, despite they being my favorite band of all, because I just don't know how to approach it.....well, I've been thinking Talking Heads for a while now, and the recent Byrne/Eno submissions and the like provide an excellent warm up for what I'm going to do here.
OK, guitarist/vocalist David Byrne, bassist Tina Weymouth, drummer Chris Frantz and (later) keyboardist Jerry Harrison created some of the smartest, most intellectually challenging rock music every, forevever expanding their horizons and limits....they got their start in the 70's in the New York CBGB scene, but, like Television, NOT because they were especially (or even barely) "punk" in their approach, actually, they just happened to be in the neighborhood.
The first was "Talking Heads '77" (year of release should be apparent!)....it was LITERALLY like nothing ever heard before......1977 was a great year for music and I don't recall what the "top" album of the year was, but this had to be close. Besides containing the brilliant "Psycho Killer" ("I hate people when they're not polite!").....Byrne BECOMES the character, it's chilling.......but also "Pulled Up" (brilliant single), the stunning "Don't Worry About the Governement" and my lesser-known fave, "Uh-Oh Love Comes To Town" (sample lyric: "I'm a Know It All, I'm the smartest man around")....simply, there had never been anything like it. And THIS was just the beginning!......
The next issue was even better, as impossible as that may seem. "More Songs About Buildings And Food" is nearly flawless (as was "'77")....."Thank You For Sending Me an Angel", "The Girls Want to Be With the Girls", "Found a Job" (especially), and "Artists Only" may not be as well remembered today....trust me they SHOULD BE. This would be a five star disc WITHOUT the sort of hit single, a brilliant cover of Al Greens "Take Me To the River", but it IS here, and this is a must have, must hear epic.....no excuses!
"Fear of Music" is a much more mature, complex effort, and the beginning of the band's infatuation with
African rhythms, also other experimental tactics......still, a lot of their greatest stuff is here...."Cities", "Air", "Drugs" (amazing), "I Zimbra", and the amazing "Life During Wartime" which has really transcended the band itself with it's brilliant lyrics ('this ain't no disco!")........another 5 star classic, how could they POSSIBLY top this one?
Well, easilly..."Remain In Light" is one of my favorite albums ever. The usage of many guest musicians and vocalists fleshes out the sound incredibly, the opener "Born Under Punches" is amazing, simply indescribeable, "The Great Curve" equally amazing, introduces psychedelic guitar to the mix, "Once in a Lifetime" may be thier very best effort (listen closely to Harrison's amazing keyboard work), and "Houses In Motion" and "Seen and Unseen" (which is so deep I once wrote a paper surrounding it and incorporating it when I was in college) are also classics....should you be one of those odd types who wants only ONE album (really, impossible with Talking Heads), this one is the best.
The next logical move for the band was to release a live album, in an attempt to recapture the band's ferocious live performances. That album is "The Name of This band Is Talking Heads".......an extended band breathes new air into already classic songs, and they do perform a favorite non-LP track of mine, "Love Goes to a Building On Fire"......another must have.
By the way, if you have continued to read up to this point, these are not the CD versions of these albums...these are delicious vinyl rips, to be heard the way they were meant to be heard......sorry about the loss of the bonus tracks, BUT they will turn up later in a different context.
1983's "Speaking In Tongues" is almost a letdown, being only a 4.5 star effort......"Burning Down the House" was their only hit single (it's great, like everything else they did), other great tunes include "Girlfriend Is Better" and "Moon Rocks", however this is the first of their discs I would NOT refer to as ABSOLUTLEY essential.
"Stop Making Sense" was a live album/soundtrack for a film by the same title....a really good one as well, killer versions of "psycho Killer", "Burning Down the House", "Once In a Lifetime"......essential.
"Little Creatures was thier weakest studio effort to date, although I feel strange saying that about an album
that contains "And She Was", and "Stay Up Late".......I guess I'd give it three stars, but I personally wouldn't wish to be without it.
"True Stories" is another film score, although these are studio efforts.......it's not REALLY that great, but does include the "Wild Wild Life" (one of their best)......this one I'd call a "fan effort".
"Naked" was their final studio release, and their least ambitious.....it's the one talking heads album that I am not really crazy about.....just not that great in my estimation, but it IS here for you, should you desire it.
OK, we got THAT outta the way, now we get to the FUN STUFF, boots, demos, rarities, and etc......but everything HERE you may want as well, so here is is for you!\
TALKING HEADS 77-01 Uh-Oh Love Comes To Town/02 New Feeling/03 Tentative Decision/04 happy Day/05 Who Is It?/06 No Compassion/07 The Book I Read/08 Don't Worry About the Government/09 First Week/last Week.....Carefree/10 Psycho Killer/11 Pulled Up
FEAR OF MUSIC-01 I Zimbra/02 Mind/03 Paper/04 Cities/05 Life During Wartime/06 Memories Can't Wait/07 Air/08 Heaven/09 Animals/10 Electric Guitar/11 Drugs
REMAIN IN LIGHT-01 Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)/02 Crosseyed and Painless/03 The Great Curve/04 Once In a Lifetime/05 Houses In Motion/06 Seen and Not Seen/07 Listening Wind/08 The Overload
THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS TALKING HEADS-01 New Feeling/02 Don't Worry About the Government/03 Pulled Up/04 psycho Killer/05 Artists Only/06 Stay Hungry/07 Air/08 Love Goes to a Building On Fire/09 Memories Can't Wait/10 I Zimbra/11 Drugs/12 Houses In Motion/13 Life During Wartime/14 The Great Curve/15 Crosseyed and painless/16 take Me To the River
SPEAKING IN TONGUES-01 Burning Down the House/02 Making Flippy Floppy/03 Girlfriend is Better/04 Slippery People/05 I Get Wild/Wild Gravity/06 Swamp/07 Moon Rocks/08 Pull Up the Roots/09 This Must be the Place (Niave Melody)
LITTLE CREATURES-01 And She Was/02 Give Me Back My Name/03 Creatures of Love/04 The lady
Don't Mind/05 Perfect World/06 Stay Up Late/07 Walk It Down/08 Television Man/09 Road to Nowhere
TRUE STORIES-01 Wild Wild Life/02 Radio Head/03 Dream Operator/04 People Like Us/05 City of Dreams/06 Love For Sale/07 Puzzlin' Evidence/08 Hey Now/09 papa Legba
STOP MAKING SENSE-01 Psycho Killer/02 Swamp/03 Slippery People/04 Burning Down the House/05 Girlfriend is Better/06 Once In a Lifetime/07 What a Day That Was/08 Life During Wartime/09 Take Me To the River
NAKED- 01 Blind/02 Mr Jonesa/03 Totally nude/04 Ruby Dear/05 (Nothing But) Flowers/06 The
Democratic Circus/07 Mommy Daddy You And I/08 Big Daddy/12 Bill/13 Cool Water
FYI "Naked is a CASSETTE RIP, which may not have the greatest sound quality ever, but the rest f these (most of em at least) are FAB vinyl rips you will LUUUUUUUV
Trust me, TONS more to come.......