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STORYTELLING GIANT

Talking Heads

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Slartibartfast
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Probably one of the main factors that made Talking Heads a commercial success was the videos. Back when eMTyV actually played videos this got them a lot more exposure than they might ordinarily have had. You won't find their most progressive material on this tape. Apparently there was a DVD version with extra tracks but it appears to be out of print but VHS copies are still to be had.

It is a set of ten videos in non-chronological order mixed with video segments of real people telling stories unrelated to the songs but that seem to relate to the songs that they precede or follow for glue. The people were shot in front of green screen so they could put them in front of odd backgrounds. It doesn't say so on the box but most of the stories seem to be of dreams they had.

The music video set spans ten years of the band, so nothing from their first three albums or the final one. If you do consider these in chronological order they started out a little cheesy (Toni Basil of Mickey fame collaborated on the directing and choreography) on the two from Remain In Light, they did get a little more sophisticated with the videos for their next two albums. The most recent two are basically modification of two scenes/songs from the True Stories music video movie thingy. Once In A Lifetime, weird, just weird, same as it ever was. In Wild Wild Life the band plays dress up as various music talent show contestants. Stay Up Late has the band in jump suits messing around acting like babies while hanging from wires. Crosseyed And Painless is devoid of band members doing a sort of ghetto story and dance thing with a couple of black guys and a hot Puerto Rican chick (I hope none of that was offensive, it's just the facts). Burning Down The House is rather hard to explain, the band performing, replaced by a substitute band in the same outfits, images projected on the side of a house including flames, but no houses actually being burnt, whaaa???? And She Was is an animation video where we never get to actually see any of her but her feet and hands. What was she was floating away. This Must Be The Place has members of the expanded band (the one for the Stop Making Sense tour) watching fake home movies before going down in the basement to carry on performing the song. The Lady Don't Mind is a mostly black and white affair with weird washes of colored things. Partly performance video, the best parts are the bits where one of the band is standing still while the other three spin around while standing in place on the floor. Love For Sale is sort of a dissection of TV commercials with scenes from real and fake ones. Road To Nowhere makes a nice wrap up for the set and a bookend to Once In A Lifetime. Life in a nutshell.

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Posted Saturday, June 30, 2012 | Review Permalink

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