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Talking Heads - Sand In The Vaseline CD (album) cover

SAND IN THE VASELINE

Talking Heads

 

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3.57 | 11 ratings

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Rune2000
Special Collaborator
Prog Metal Team
4 stars This compilation album is a good example of why I usually don't buy these kinds of records. Sand In The Vaseline: Popular Favorites has taken some of the better tracks off each Talking Heads album in hope of satisfying all types of fans and giving us a "fair" representation of the bands discography. Personally I find that it fails at both of these objectives since I never enjoyed some of the later albums and see therefore no point of taking an even amount of tracks from those releases, considering that they weren't as successful as say Remain In Light.

After this initial downplaying of the compilation, let's get to the good stuff, after all, why would I otherwise have purchased this release? This album has one treat that most other compilations don't possess, I'm talking of the previously-unreleased songs and b-sides. In fact, Sand In The Vaseline: Popular Favorites boldly starts with four rarely heard early songs! This is truly a treat for me since I happen to adore Talking Heads' early years and songs like Sugar On My Tongue and I Want To Live really make me wonder why this material didn't make it to the band's debut release! Love --> Building On Fire is the only one of these songs that I've previously heard on the live album The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads and it's studio counterpart is just not as wild, still both that song and I Wish You Wouldn't Say That give even more depth to the already well-familiar material off Talking Heads 77'. Of course it didn't take long for some of these rare song to resurface on the re-released version of the debut album and even a separate iTunes-only compilation titled Bonus Rarities And Outtakes.

As for the rest of this album, I find many of the best-of picks from the first three albums to be questionable, but I doubt that I could do a better job, since you just can't take that material out of context. The only exceptions are hits like Psycho Killer, The Big Country, Take Me To The River, I Zimbra and Life During Wartime. All of these songs are featured here and I like the nice touch of substituting the latter song with a live version from Stop Making Sense.

Sand In The Vaseline: Popular Favorites might not be as enjoyable for me as any of the band's first four studio albums but it's hard to question the material that has been picked for this compilation. It surely has all of the basic requirements to serve as a legitimate compilation and should therefore satisfy anyone seeking the biggest hits. A casual listener won't be disappointed and the experienced fan won't question the picks since the material is just that good!

***** star songs: Sugar On My Tongue (2:36) I Want To Live (3:23) Psycho Killer (4:20) Don't Worry About The Government (3:00) Warning Sign (3:54) Crosseyed And Painless (4:45) Life During Wartime (Live) (5:04) And She Was (3:39) Road To Nowhere (4:20)

**** star songs: Love --> Building On Fire (2:57) I Wish You Wouldn't Say That (2:36) No Compassion (4:50) The Big Country (5:30) Take Me To The River (5:02) Heaven (4:02) Memories Can't Wait (3:31) I Zimbra (3:07) Once In A Lifetime (4:19) Burning Down The House (4:01) This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) (4:56) Stay Up Late (3:53) Wild Wild Life (3:40) Love For Sale (4:32) City Of Dreams (5:08) (Nothing But) Flowers (5:34) Lifetime Piling Up (3:53)

*** star songs: Swamp (5:13) Girlfriend Is Better (Live) (3:36) Mr. Jones (4:20) Blind (5:00) Sax And Violins (5:18) Gangster Of Love (4:29) Popsicle (5:19)

Rune2000 | 4/5 |

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