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Talking Heads

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Talking Heads Stop Making Sense album cover
3.57 | 64 ratings | 3 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Live, released in 1984

Songs / Tracks Listing

A1 Psycho Killer 4:20
A2 Swamp 3:50
A3 Slippery People 3:35
A4 Burning Down the House 4:10
A5 Girlfriend Is Better 3:32
B1 Once in a Lifetime 4:34
B2 What a Day That Was 5:08
B3 Life During Wartime 4:52
B4 Take Me to the River 5:36

Line-up / Musicians

Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff Writer, Liner Notes, Design, Package Design
Hugh Brown Photography
David Byrne Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Liner Notes, Design, Package Design, Concept, Lighting Design, Re-Recording Supervisor
Alan Chinowsky Engineer
Allen Chinowsky Engineer
Lisa Day Editing
Nick Delre Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
Jonathan Demme Director, Re-Recording Supervisor
Pablo Ferro Title
Chris Frantz Drums, Vocals, Mixing
Dave Friedman Photography
Gary Goetzman Producer, Re-Recording Supervisor
Jerry Harrison Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixing, Re-Recording Supervisor
Michael Hodgson Liner Notes, Design, Package Design
Ednah Holt Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)
Edna Holt Vocals (bckgr)
Ted Jensen Mastering, Original Mastering
Gary Kurfirst Executive Producer
Robin Laine Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
Brian K. Lee Mastering
Bob Ludwig Mastering
Adelle Lutz Photography, Cover Photo
Lynn Mabry Vocals, Vocals (bckgr)
Sandy McLeod Visual Consultant
Joel Moss Engineer
Linda Randazzo Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
Glenn Rosenstein Assistant Engineer, Mixing Assistant
Steve Scales Percussion
Jack Skinner Mastering, Original Mastering
Talking Heads Producer
Robert Thomas, Jr. Camera Operator
Eric "ET" Thorngren Engineer, Mixing
Alex Weir Guitar, Vocals
Tina Weymouth Bass, Vocals
Mark Wolfson Engineer
Bernie Worrell Keyboards, Vocals

Releases information

CD Sire 1984 # 21586

Buy TALKING HEADS Stop Making Sense Music

TALKING HEADS Stop Making Sense ratings distribution

(64 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (3%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

TALKING HEADS Stop Making Sense reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Rune2000
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars After the first shaky studio album from the band, Talking Heads didn't waste any time and decided to document their excellent live show for everyone to enjoy. The final result definitely speaks for itself and there is no denying that the band performed, what I consider to be, one of my top ten live video recorded stage shows that only surpass by classics like King Crimson's deja VROOM and Director's Cut version of Pink Floyd's Live In Pompeii, among others.

Even though I completely adore this stage performance, the soundtrack to this release is a different story all together. Unlike the DVD, this 75 minute release becomes weary towards the middle of the show, right around Swamp, and never recovers after that. The main problem is that the songs that are featured on the set-list aren't strong enough to make this an excellent live album with big concert favorites that have already been done on The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads sounding tired and uninspired without the visuals to back them up. I'm mainly talking about songs like the Found A Job, Once In A Lifetime and especially the full choir version of Take Me To The River. While songs like I Zimbra, Cities and Born Under Punches have now been substituted by the new material from Speaking In Tongues, which I suppose means the Talking Heads were proud of their new studio release. Too bad, I can't appreciate their passion for that album since those songs lack both the songwriting hooks and the passion of everything that came before it.

I also never cared much for the Tom Tom Club and the performance of Genius Of Love really makes no sense on the live album, unless you watch the video and see that the song is actually performed in order to let David Byrne have a quick costume change. What I'm basically trying to say is that the well choreographed visuals of the performance don't transfer that well onto the live album and you're probably going to sit and visualize the different scenes from the show while listening to it anyway!

Jonathan Demme is a masterful music director and he demonstrated it only recently with the 2006 release of Neil Young: Heart of Gold. Still, its his work with Talking Heads that probably marks one of the most well recognized video recordings that have ever been done. So my question is why would you want to substitute it by limiting yourself by the audio only version of this masterpiece? If you really want to hear a great live album by Talking Heads then you can listen to the superior performances on The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads and only pick up this album once you've got tired of the 160 minutes worth of material that is offered there!

***** star songs: Psycho Killer (4:25) Heaven (3:41) Life During Wartime (5:51)

**** star songs: Thank You For Sending Me An Angel (2:10) Found A Job (3:15) Slippery People (4:01) Burning Down The House (4:06) Making Flippy Floppy (4:40) What A Day That Was (6:01) This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) (4:57) Once In A Lifetime (5:26) Take Me To The River (5:33) Crosseyed And Painless (6:11)

*** star songs: Swamp (4:50) Genius Of Love (4:31) Girlfriend Is Better (5:06)

Review by Easy Money
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars I saw the Talking Heads live in about 1978 when they were one of the most interesting and refreshingly new bands to come along in quite a while. Neither hippies nor punks, the Heads presented an almost machine like minimalist groove that reduced the individual band members into one selfless unit that was very disciplined and tightly focused, the exact opposite of excessive 70s rock dinosaurs as well as melodramatic punk rock drama queens. The entire late 70s concert I witnessed was hypnotic and urgent, totally spell- binding and futuristic in its denial of the usual rock-n-roll Dionysian ascetic. Flash forward to 2004 and the Heads are big rock stars now and their music is really huge sounding in that 70s classic rock sort of way and despite their critical success it seems the Talking Heads have lost track of everything that used to make them so unique. Not only have the Heads unconsciously succumbed to the predictable numbing excesses of rock, but this downhill slide has been grossly magnified by the fact that David Byrne has decided he is a great rock personality and singer when in fact he is not. When the T Heads first started out, Byrne's vocals were shy and nervously offered as part of the band's overall mix, but now David steps to the front as an unlikely rock-n-roll hero; an uncomfortable mix of Iggy Pop, Johnathan Richman, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan and Pee Wee Herman, an over the top vocalist who is embarrassing in his indulgent excesses. This album is aptly called Stop Making Sense because it made no sense for the Talking Heads to trade in their unique disciplined nerd funk-rock for the same old sloppy hippie excess that they used to be the opposite of.

There are some good points, Burning Down the House sounds like a cross between two classic Hot Chocolate singles (Everyone's a Winner and I Believe in Miracles) and is the best little funky dance number the Heads ever created/borrowed. Countryish groove rocker, What a Day That Was, isn't too bad and the music fits Byrne's vocal delivery better than the funky numbers. Also, guest keyboardist Bernie Worrell is the genius he always is. Although Worrell never received the accolades that fellow 70s multi-keyboardists like Keith Emerson and Rick Wakeman received, he is capable of anything they can do and then some. After his work with the complex art funk of Parliament, playing with the T Heads was probably a sleep walk, but he ties the band together with tight rhythms and adds his trademark creative synthesizer colors as well.

Album closer, Al Green's Take Me to the River, epitomizes what is wrong here. The original studio cover of this song by the Heads was a great quirky modernistic take on Green's soul classic. Quite wisely, the Heads at that time avoided any attempt to approximate Green or his unmistakable southern soul roots. On this new live version it sounds like the Heads are already on the Las Vegas revival circuit scene with big back-up vocals and a huge rave-up performance that is mostly a tacky disservice to Al Green's smooth and subtle original.

Latest members reviews

5 stars "Psycho Killer, Fa fa fa fa fa...." Maybe my favorite Taking Heads album. This is a fantastic live album and spawned an also fantastic video performance. From the wonderful opener- "Psycho Killer" featuring David Byrne with drum machine and acoustic guitar, through the killer wild sound of "Sl ... (read more)

Report this review (#298035) | Posted by mohaveman | Wednesday, September 8, 2010 | Review Permanlink

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