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TALKING HEADS

Prog Related • United States


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Talking Heads biography
Formed in 1975 in New York City, USA - Disbanded in 1991

David BYRNE ( guitarist,vocalist), Chris Frantz (drummer) and bassist Tina Weymouth met at the Rhode Island School of Design in the early 70's and from there moved to New York to start making music around 1974. The seminal New York punk club the CBGB from 1975 became their local stamping ground playing alongside The Ramones, Blondie, B-52's to name but a few.Jerry Harrison ( Keyboards) joined the band in 1976. Their first album Talking Heads:77 was released in 1977 signed to the innovative label, Sire records.Totally unique sounding and regarded by most as pop/art rock. In 1978 their sophomore release, More Songs About Buildings & Food was produced in conjunction with Brian ENO and had a slightly harder edge and seriousness to their sound.More experimentation to their sound incorporating a much wider merging of electronic and accoustic instruments. Eno again produced their third album,Fear Of Music which some regard as the first art progressive sounding release, loads of rhythm section, quirky time signatures, the songs I Zimbra and Life During Wartime taking the band in a whole new direction.

The 80's earmarked their most ambitious album to date, Remain In Light, again Brian Eno in attendance as was Adrian Belew and Bernie Worrell. Tina Weymouth's bass became even more prominant with the new percussive sound element to the band. Due to the nature of the sound, their live shows involved more session players, backing vocalists etc. David Byrne always at the fore front being a larger than life figure, whacky stage costumes, reminiscent of a certain Peter Gabriel from the 70's. This album in particular is regarded by highly acclaimed critics to be one of the defining albums of the 20th century and their most progressive.
Their music continued with strong rhythm and frenzied guitars for the follow up release Speaking in Tongues, which garnered more praise from the public but also earmarked a more commercial direction too. This being possibly their most successful record released.Little Creatures their next studio release was in 1985 and again it was a solid album, but indications at this stage hinted that Talking Heads had indeed reached their peak a couple of years earlier. Byrne's eccentricities,Harrison's distracting technical endeavors and production skills elsewhere together with Tina W...
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TALKING HEADS discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TALKING HEADS top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.77 | 116 ratings
Talking Heads: 77
1977
3.83 | 122 ratings
More Songs About Buildings And Food
1978
3.72 | 119 ratings
Fear Of Music
1979
4.18 | 229 ratings
Remain In Light
1980
3.66 | 101 ratings
Speaking In Tongues
1983
3.44 | 74 ratings
Little Creatures
1985
2.74 | 52 ratings
True Stories
1986
2.39 | 56 ratings
Naked
1988
1.97 | 22 ratings
The Heads: No Talking - Just Head
1996

TALKING HEADS Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.96 | 42 ratings
The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads
1982
3.41 | 47 ratings
Stop Making Sense
1984

TALKING HEADS Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.56 | 32 ratings
Stop Making Sense
1984
3.05 | 2 ratings
Storytelling Giant
1988
3.54 | 3 ratings
Chronology
2011

TALKING HEADS Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 14 ratings
Sand In The Vaseline
1992

TALKING HEADS Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

5.00 | 1 ratings
Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town
1977
3.00 | 1 ratings
Love Goes To Building On Fire
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Pulled Up
1977
5.00 | 2 ratings
Psycho Killer
1977
5.00 | 1 ratings
Take Me To The River
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Good Thing
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Zimbra
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Air
1979
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live On Tour
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cities
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Once In A Lifetime
1980
5.00 | 1 ratings
Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Houses In Motion
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
Life During Wartime (Live)
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Take Me To The River (Live)
1982
0.00 | 0 ratings
Swamp
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Slippery People
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
Burning Down The House
1983
4.00 | 1 ratings
Girlfriend Is Better
1984
4.33 | 3 ratings
Road To Nowhere
1985
3.50 | 2 ratings
The Lady Don't Mind
1985
3.00 | 2 ratings
And She Was
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Love For Sale
1986
3.00 | 1 ratings
Wild Wild Life
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Radio Head
1987
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blind
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
(Nothing But) Flowers
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Lifetime Piling Up
1992

TALKING HEADS Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 More Songs About Buildings And Food by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.83 | 122 ratings

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More Songs About Buildings And Food
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars The TALKING HEADS had three years to craft their debut album "Talking Heads 77" since its formation in 1975 but only a year to conjure up a sophomore follow-up for a record company that wanted to cash in on the momentum of the attention getting but no so successful first release. While "Talking Heads 77" had impressed the critics with its bold amalgamation of funky rhythms and pop sensibilities all decorated with art rock angularities and punk infused attitude, the album failed to chart any higher than the #92 slot on the Billboard album charts but nevertheless with tracks like "Psychokiller" which displayed a firm grasp of walking the line between the cleverly infectious and the morbidly morose, the TALKING HEADS proved that they could be trusted to sally forth and gestate an even better batch of tracks for the next act.

By chance, none other than former Roxy Music and renowned producer Brian Eno was scouting the Big Apple in the late 70s to help nurture new talent to stardom and came across David Byrne and company. The result of the collaboration was exactly what was needed to direct the TALKING HEADS sound to the next level. Eno had a keen ear for crafting a band's sound into the right arenas that would resonate with the public and is most likely the reason the album caught on and launched the band into a much wider audience. Eno directed bassist Tina Weymouth to beef up her bass chops which gave the album a much funkier edge than the debut. Byrne was also instructed to sharpen his guitar strumming which allowed the punk infused energy to diffuse in ska rhythmic pulses which when accompanied by the off-kilter tempo changes and unorthodox avant-garde tendencies guaranteed an infectious delivery system.

MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDINGS AND FOOD built upon the latent potentials in the caterpillar stages of the TALKING HEADS and propelled them into the world of butterflies. While the debut album cover art was a rather bland blank canvas of red, the band was allowed to strut its Rhode Island School of Design roots and delivery an eye-catching collage of 529 polaroid photos that displayed the four band members with no band name or title. While a purportedly risky move for a newbie band trying to break into the mainstream, Eno's music industry connections and keen eye for the current trends guaranteed that the TALKING HEADS were well-crafted into the next best thing. And so it was. This sophomore album was a major hit and broke the top 30 album charts in both the US and UK. This was partially due to the band's single, a cover of Al Green's "Take Me To The River" also cracking the top 30 singles charts and peaking at #26.

In addition to the better production and mixing, the album also benefits from Brian Eno himself joining in as an extra musicians by adding a wealth of synthesizers, pianos, guitar parts and backing vocals that were absent from the debut. These new attributes aligned with the tighter performances and more fine-tuned compositions guaranteed that MORE SONGS ABOUT BUILDINGS AND FOOD was at an industry standard that set it apart from the more relaxed garage band ethos of the debut. Overall the album is much more energetic with Byrne's vocals taking on a wider range as well as his guitar duties finding him crank out a heavier punk infused delivery of playing. This is also true of Jerry Harrison's keyboard playing and an obvious energetic uptick of Chris Frantz on drums which found more inspiration from world rhythms especially from Africa. Tracks like "Stay Hungry" demonstrate just how much the musicians had evolved since "Talking Heads 77."

With a tighter and heavier rhythmic section, the classic TALKING HEADS sound was complete and the band would record two more albums with Eno which spawned the even more successful and critically acclaimed followup albums "Fear Of Music" and "Remain In Light." While it's almost certain that Eno's intervention is what brought the TALKING HEADS into the limelight with his firm control over the details that created a more disciplined sound, it cannot be denied that Byrne's extraordinary songwriting skills and quirky vocal and guitar deliveries weren't the standouts of this TALKING HEADS experience. Overall, this is a huge step up from the debut however it does lose some of that innocent charm that made "Talking Heads 77" so unique in its own right.

4.5 rounded down

 Talking Heads: 77 by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.77 | 116 ratings

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Talking Heads: 77
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by siLLy puPPy
Collaborator PSIKE, JR/F/Canterbury & Eclectic Teams

4 stars While the new wave music scene is most noted for its wealth of artists that found instant success for the outlandish videos promoted on MTV starting with the Buggles' famous "Video Killed The Radio Star," the scene can rightfully be traced back to the 70s with its origins emerging from the early quirky zolo pop of acts like Sparks as well as the glam rock of David Bowie, Roxy Music and proto-punk acts like the New York Dolls. After the proper fluffing the music world for primetime, the scene really took off in the mid-70s with bands like Blondie, Devo and the Ramones adding elements of punk to art rock and synth-pop and out of all the early pioneers, one of the most celebrated bands to come out of the early new wave world was the New York City based TALKING HEADS.

Unlike many bands that go through many members that come and go throughout their careers, TALKING HEADS consisted of the exact same lineup beginning with its debut album TALKING HEADS 77 all the way to the band's end in 1991. Immediately recognizable by the jittery and often psychotic lead vocals and guitar playing of frontman David Byrne, the band also consisted of percussionist Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison (guitar, keyboards, backing vocals) and bassist Tina Weymouth. Famous for its quirky mix of punk freneticism, art rock exoticism, funky rhythms, world music ethnic elements all mixed with experimental touches, the TALKING HEADS have gone down in history as one of rock's greatest bands with album's like "Fear Of Music" and "Remain In Light" heralded as classics, however things didn't start out with such a bang regarding the band's debut release simply titled TALKING HEADS 77.

While also restrospectively deemed one of the classic 70s releases, TALKING HEADS 77 was a little too weird for audiences when it was released in September 1977 on the Sire label. While clearly existing in the pop music continuum with instantly catchy and utterly infectious melodies with somewhat traditional song structures, everything else was completely up to chance as to how it played out. Firstly was the unique even goofy vocal style of David Byrne whose head scratching lyrics ran the gamut from cutesy little anthems like "Happy Day" to the more macabre in tracks like the single "Psychokiller," which proved to be a minor hit by barely cracking the charts. With an opening track like "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town," it's easy to dismiss the TALKING HEADS as simply a power pop band without much more to offer but it doesn't take long for the bizarre nature of the band to unleash itself.

"New Feeling" debuts the idiosyncrasies so unique to the TALKING HEADS such as the off-kilter rhythmics, abrupt tempo changes, detached weird lyrics and zolo freneticism that were all dressed up with Byrne's unpredictable falsetto leaps that found company with ska rhythms, funky bass riffs and punk fueled disregard for the status quo. With a touch of Sparks' zolo fueled quirky pop sensibilities and a touch of glam rock charm, the band found the perfect balancing act between the utterly bizarre and the most affectionally familiar. Added to the peculiar sound was the band's straight looked image that portended a group of mental institution escapees that stole the proper clothes to fit into the mainstream public. Peppered with roundabout sarcasm of mainstream society, nobody really knew what to make of the TALKING HEADS. While Devo was all about being weird and demented, the TALKING HEADS cast a mesmerizing spell that made you wonder exactly what they stood for.

TALKING HEADS 77 is a unique album in the band's discography as it is the most authentically pure. Soon after this album's release the band was discovered by Brian Eno who would then collaborate on the next three albums and work in his production magic which gave the album's a much more polished and sophisticated demeanor. While not as gemstone perfect as the following releases, 77 is nevertheless a powerhouse of quirky new wave pop tunes that weasel their way into your ear worm playlist fairly quickly after a couple spins. The tracks differ just enough to keep the album from becoming predictable. Not the band's best but still an excellent slice of late 70s new wave charm.

 Talking Heads: 77 by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.77 | 116 ratings

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Talking Heads: 77
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

4 stars Talking Heads is usually a group that you wouldn't expect to see in Prog Archives, but when it comes down to it, they were an innovative band with shows that had a lot of flair and showmanship that leaned towards the flamboyant hijinx of Queen, David Bowie and Genesis. While it's true that the music took most of it's inspiration from the David Bowie side of things, the Glam Rock attitude has always found it's home in progressive rock anyway. As far as the ingenious side of things, David Byrne, Tina Waymouth, Jerry Harrison and Chris Frantz took a combination of their punk, pop and art rock backgrounds and melded them together perfectly. With this combination, they rose above the punk revolution and the disco fad and helped shape the music of the 80s, at least the new age side of things.

Seeing as they are considered a Prog Related band, they don't have to have their music always dependent on progressive techniques and such. But they do have tie ins to the genre, namely the ingenuity and showmanship as mentioned earlier, but also personnel tie in, like Byrne working with artists like Robert Fripp and exploring African music, but also Adrian Belew who would work with the band later, and also Brian Eno, who would produce and influence their music after their first album. Jerry Harrison also had a penchant for doing upbeat music with an artsy vibe that helped shape the slightly different textures that the band would explore. All you have to do is listen to some of his solo albums like "Casual Gods" to understand how his sound brought that different edge to their upbeat, poppish and sometimes danceable music.

Their debut album "Talking Heads: '77" shows the band without all the bells and whistles of later albums, but also demonstrates how they could make pop music into an art form, make it infectious and give it an attitude that would stick out from the norm. The music is mostly happy, but the lyrics could be satirical and have a bite to them. Byrne's voice has become an 80's staple, but it carries the right attitude and humorously over the top vibe that was perfect for this band. In the meantime, the other musicians were able to create some exciting grooves, and yet kept the sound minimal, yet infectious. Their ability to provide the right flourishes in the right places was uncanny, especially since they were not really accomplished musicians, but they knew when they had the right sound, and that ability would grow the longer they worked together.

Talking Heads '77 has many highlights that become more apparent the more you listen to it. I know that many people have the same problem with the album I had when I first heard it, and that is, the album grows on you over time so that as you become familiar with the songs, they all take on lives of their own. Everyone loves "Psycho Killer" of course, but as shown in the original performance of the single, it didn't catch on right away, but came a favorite over time. That is the case for all of the songs here, they take time to grow on you. My personal highlights for this album are "Uh-Oh Love Comes to Town", "New Feeling", "Happy Day", the multi-themed "No Compassion", "Don't Worry About the Government", and of course "Psycho Killer". That is more than half of the tracks, and the remaining tracks are great also.

The 2005 CD reissue of this album also had 5 more bonus tracks: the single that wasn't on the album "Love = A Building on Fire", "I Wish You Wouldn't Say That", the acoustic version of "Psycho Killer", "I Feel it in My Heart" and "Sugar on My Tongue". All of these tracks make it worthwhile to search out the reissue.

This album is a great album, especially considering the fact that it was their debut album. It isn't perfect, in fact most of their albums aren't perfect when it comes to progressive music, except for the live album "Stop Making Sense". But the music of Talking Heads has always intrigued me and I find that their music always has a way of making me feel good.

 True Stories by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1986
2.74 | 52 ratings

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True Stories
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars Talking Heads 7th studio album "True Stories" was released in 1986 and is a studio album from the band that contains the band doing songs from David Byrne's film, but are not the actual performances from the movie since the songs were done by the actors in the film. There was also an album released later that year under David Byrne's name called "Sounds from True Stories" but that one contained incidental music from the movie and not the songs in the film.

Talking Heads come under the Prog Related category, and that is probably the best placement for them, because, even though their music rises above the standard pop music of the 80s, and they are one of the best bands from that decade, their music very seldom enters the realm of progressive rock. However, I would be doing a disservice to them by not saying that I do love their music, and I am not usually a lover of pop music, especially from the 80s. I do find that I always seem to enjoy their music, even the albums that aren't considered their best. Even this one.

Yes it is true that it is not their best, but it is also one that I don't ignore either. Of course, I love "Love for Sale", "Wild Wild Life" and "City of Dreams", but I also enjoy "Puzzlin' Evidence" and "Hey Now". Even the lesser songs are happy and sunshine-y, like "Radio Head" (yes this is where the band "Radiohead" got their name, though the song sounds nothing like their music) and "Papa Legba". This is so against my nature, and honestly, I can't quite put my finger on why I find their music so great, but I can't help but enjoy their catchy rhythms and tribally inspired rhythms, and even seem to be drawn to Byrne's lyrics. But the music is not progressive on this album. It's just a step above the norm as far as being enjoyable for a guilty pleasure.

I have to make myself only give this 3 stars, but I do it as it pertains to a progressive site. As a guilty pleasure album, I have no problem giving it 4 stars, but, it has no progressive leanings, it's just fun to listen to.

 Remain In Light by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1980
4.18 | 229 ratings

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Remain In Light
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars I had weird expectations before listening to this TH album (a bit the same feeling before reviewing their prior album). My previous listenings (yes, I put this album three times before this review in a few days) dated from the time of purchase (which is date of release).

I remember that I reall didn't like this ''Remain In Light'' when I purchased it.

Actually, some thirty five years later, it doens't seem too bad after all. But, my problems are these (too) funky rhythms. The feeling starts with the opening number ''Born Under Punches'') and its follower '' Crosseyed and Painless''. At least both of them have a joyful chorus and are rather OK. But no more more.

The first track I really liked (and still do) is the following ''The Great Curve''. Although rather funky, it features a splendid and hypnotic beat. The longest track of this offering is also one of the best of it. Still, my preffered song is the catchy and melodic ''Once in a Lifetime''. Sounds have been taking out of their best record as far as I am concerned 'More Songs''. The highlight as far as I am concerned.

As Hughes as accordingly said in his good review (as always), the A-side of this vinyl album was usually the only one that was listened to. The flip side being rather hermetic to the early days fans (of which I fully belong).

It was really painful for me to listen to it in a row? In these ancient times as well as today.

Only one bearable song (''Houses In Motion''), a good one ''Listening Wind'' and two ''press next'' type of tunes. Especially the closing and dark '' The Overload''. Gosh!

In all, I was rather surprised with this listening soooooooo many years after my purchase. I would have easily rate this work with one star if I wouldn't have listened to it nowadays.

After doing this excerise, I will upgrade it from 2,5 to 3 stars. But the worse it about to come, unfortunately.

 Fear Of Music by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.72 | 119 ratings

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Fear Of Music
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In these late seventies, I was quiete into what was called the ''New Wave'' with several bands I have already lentioned in my earlier reviews. ''Talking Heads'' was one of them.

Since I really was charmed by their previous effort, there was no question about buying this one. Just until I heard ''I Zimbra''. The type of song I can't stand. Funky as crazy, absolutely no melody and every Fripp can't make it better. Another of this type will be featured later on this work (''Animals''). The lyrics though are rather disrespective about the animals in general. I don't aprreciate this.

Some excerpts : '' They say they don't need money, They're lvinign on nuts and berries, They say animals don't worry, You know animals are hairy? What the hell does this last sentence mean ? And this one '' They're never there when you need them, They never come when you call them''. So untrue.

Fortunately, my ''TH'' comes back with the next two tracks ''Mind'' and ''Papers'' which could have sit on their previous release (but not as highlights). Still, ''Papers'' is one of my fave here. The beat and the song construction is typical and it is a good feeling to listen to such pleasant track.

Hopefully, ''Cities'' is of the same vein. Actually, I was a bit worried when starting my review. My souvenir of this work was not excellent (to say the least). And since it must be some 35 years that I didn't listen to it, my memory didn't serve me well. Of course, there won't be many great songs featured here, unlike on their great ''More Songs''; but if you except the opener, so far this album is enjoyable.

''Life During Wartime'' is a little harder than usual (maybe the theme?). There's a blink to the famous CBGB where they played as early as 75. The lyrics though are rather incoherent and jumps cahotically from one subject to another.

My fave by far here is when I fully embrace the band again with the very catchy ''Air''. Same ingredients as before (rhtym, melody). A classic should I say.

I guess that the band wanted to make another ''Big Country'' while they play ''Heaven''. Even if it is not of the caliber of this great predecessor, I have to admit that it is quite a fine melodic song (but Byrne is of course a good songwriter).

The end of this album is less catchy and interesting to my ears. The closing ''Drug'' is rather dark (but with such a theme?).

This album holds of course no prog related music. According to my standards, I catalogued ''Talking Heads'' in 1977 as a New Wave band. And there is no reason to change this.

Three stars.

 More Songs About Buildings And Food by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.83 | 122 ratings

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More Songs About Buildings And Food
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

5 stars BUILDINGS ON FIRE !

This is by far my fave from the band.

Unlike many reviewers, I discovered them at the time of release and also witnessed a concert of them in Brussels in 1978. So, my feelings might differ of some other reviews?.

Actually my feeling about this great album hasn't change througout the years (some 40). From the opening track up to the closing number it is just a passionate succession of gorgeous songs.

I can't really make a difference between the first great songs of this album. The beat is consisting, melodies are top notch and lyrics (lots of them !) are rather interesting. Seven ofn these great ones are on par.

I have been listening to this great album countless times when I discovered it. And at this time of my review, Ihave to admit that the same feeling apply. Nessdeess to say that some tracks (two) which were never my cup of tea remain so ('' Found a Job'' and '' Take Me to the River''). They are ones of the longest ones of this offering and I never liked them.

While the closing starts though, I am just voiceless. This has always been my faveTH tracks. Such a beautiful melody, such a good rhythm , such a pleasant environment.

Each time that I listen to this great song, I just fall in love?.

GREAT ? Yes ! Superb ? Yes ! Five stars ? Yes !

 Talking Heads: 77 by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.77 | 116 ratings

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Talking Heads: 77
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by ZowieZiggy
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Since I posted my last reviews quite a long time ago, I was really urprised that a band like ''Talking Head'' was featured here...

When I discovered them in 1977, with this album, they were one of the leader of the US new wave. I saw them live in the Brussels unviersity in early 78 and it was quite a great concert. So, now, let's review their first release ! A great mix of funk, new wave beats and inspired voclas will generate some great music (at least during several albums).

Almost he whole of this work is catchy (even for me who is not really into funk rhythms). But who can resits to a song like ''Uh-Oh'' or ''New Feeling'' ? Even ''tentative Decisions'' is catchy but I can understand that most of the popular reviewers on this site (n'est-ce pas Hughes) are not really enthusiastic about ''Talikng Heads''. But I am. Nothing to to with a pop group IMHHO.

There are of course some transparent songs featured on their first release like ''Happy Day''. But there won't be so many to find in here. The short ''Who Is It'' introduces their second and wonderfull work (''More Songs? ''). Upbeat funky mood and disjointed vocals. A trademark actually.

A track like ''No Compassion'' is definetely paving the way for future great work. The whole of a TH son gis featured here. Vocals, bass, drumming : such a built is truely genuine. One of the many highlights. My preferred song from this album is the great ''The Book I Read''.

So catchy, great beat (don't forget this was a new wave band). On top of this, their leader David Byrne was a great song writer who knew what a great melody was. He wrote so many catchy songs throughout the years? This one being maybe one of his first and one of his best?The highlight for me (but there some others here).

Another great song featured here is '' Don't Worry About the Government''. Sounds as an easy listening song but lyrics are rather harsh. It reminds in some way of the great ''Get'em Out by Friday'' by whom you should know). But to a lesser extent.

Most of this album is just a very good experience. Actually it is one of their best and almost each piece is very pleasant (although nothing to do to prog, even related). Such is a song like ''First Week, Last Week'' for instance. Completely in line with their overall production.

Another great number is the closing one which is full of freshness, upbeat, frenzy. But this all about Talking Heads in the early days. Which are my favorite days actually. Four stars for this debut. Better things to come very soon !

 Speaking In Tongues by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1983
3.66 | 101 ratings

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Speaking In Tongues
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by Chicapah
Prog Reviewer

3 stars After putting out four full-length LPs in as many years the popular Talking Heads enterprise took three years off to recharge their flagging, tour-jaded batteries. While some fans were worried such a long hiatus might spell the end of the group, "Speaking in Tongues" quickly put such fears to rest. Electronic synth pop music was all the rage in 1983 but this brave outfit took it to another dimension due to their unabated pioneering spirit that kept them out on the cutting edge rather than becoming lost as an indefinable part of the mob. It was ensembles like Talking Heads that were just progressive enough to keep our beloved genre from disappearing beneath the tide of MTV- infected wannabes that flooded the music scene in the early 80s. All proggers owe them at least a modicum of gratitude for staying weird.

The record opens with the inimitable "Burning Down the House." It's an iconic tune that was able to successfully incorporate the more admirable aspects of the New Wave phenomenon without succumbing to its banality. Chris Frantz's roiling drum track and percussive synth injections give it an irresistible drive that's offset by ghostly incidental wafts of sounds and David Byrne's exaggerated vocals. The fact that it rose to #9 on the singles charts did wonders for the album's visibility and it still holds up today as a stunning piece of music. "Making Flippy Floppy" follows, a busy funk presentation augmented by a salvo of adventurous synth experimentations and unusual percussion instruments and/or effects. Another highlight of the album is "Girlfriend is Better." I so admire their dedication to establishing a strong foundational groove first, something extremely important too many of their peers were prone to overlook. This number has one that's a mile deep. David's highly individual vocal style adds to the track's undeniable mystique. "Slippery People" is next. While other New Wave acts were striving with all their might to be viewed as cute oddballs this band was happy to be wandering off on their own uncommercial tangent. Here they bring in an R&B spirit to flow atop a bubbly soundtrack, creating a decent meld of unexpected influences.

"I Get Wild - Wild Gravity" has a bit of a casual Ska feel to it that runs through the tune from beginning to end. There's a clean, minimalist mindset at work here I find intriguing, especially considering the stilted era it came out in. "Swamp" is one of the better cuts. It owns a loping shuffle that keeps things from becoming overly predictable and Byrne's half-spoken delivery creates a semi-bluesy atmosphere. Not run-of-the-mill fare by any means and I love the delicate bizarreness of it all. "Moon Rocks" marks the low point of the proceedings due to its ordinariness. It sounds as if they came up with a basic repeating pattern one night and then starting adding things along the way. It's not a deal-killer by any means but I can't find much to brag about it. They close with "Pull Up the Roots." It sports kind of a Prince-styled pop-ish rhythm that has the potential to become boring in a hurry but David's intertwining vocal lines on the chorus are inventive and they grant the song a certain distinction. Still, it falls a tad short of being remarkable.

"Speaking in Tongues" was released on May 31, 1983 and peaked at number 15. Not too shabby a showing after the quartet had been somewhat invisible for three years. It was also done without the production genius of Brian Eno (who had moved on to help mold U2 into an industry juggernaut). Standing on its own it's not going to blow any proggers away but when analyzed in the context of what was going on in music in 1983 it deserves to be afforded a certain amount of respect for its character alone. 3.2 stars.

 Fear Of Music by TALKING HEADS album cover Studio Album, 1979
3.72 | 119 ratings

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Fear Of Music
Talking Heads Prog Related

Review by TCat
Special Collaborator Eclectic / Prog Metal / Heavy Prog Team

3 stars To me, Talking Heads have always been a band that is fascinating. I have always found their music to be groundbreaking in a sense that they were taking the so called "new wave" music to a higher level. Unfortunately, a lot of bands at that time could not follow in their footsteps. They were stretching the boundaries of the music that would become popular in the 80s, and they took a lot of their inspiration seemingly from Bowie and Ferry. With the help of Brian Eno, they elevated their sound above and beyond the cookie cutter sound that the bands of that era were trying to make, usually only ending up with one song that would become a hit and then falling into obscurity.

There is a lot of people that would argue about their inclusion on the Archives. But those that say TH (and many others) don't belong here are not really understanding what the sub genre is that they are put under which is Prog Related. That term means that they are not prog, but they have some relationship to progressive music because of certain band members or because of the influence they had on progressive bands (and there is a long list of other reasons if you read the definition...click on the link in the PA header labeled in yellow "Prog Related" and you'll better understand why they and many other bands are included on PA).

So most of us know how TH is related to prog, but for those that don't just know that Adrian Belew played with TH for a while. He played for Frank Zappa for a short time (during the "Shiek Yerbouti" years) and with King Crimson for many years. Speaking of King Crimson, Robert Fripp (KCs creator and amazing guitarist) plays on this album, namely on "I Zimbra" which is the opener. This is a spirited opener with the rhythms based on a tribal rhythm which David Byrne would go on to explore more later. To me, the best TH songs are the ones with the straightforward "disco-like" beat. Now, I hate disco, I just want to make that clear. But it is those songs that I like best from TH. This particular album is built upon disco influenced rhythms and cinematic themescapes. But TH has been considered by many to be the anti-disco band, so go figure. I think the attractive thing to me is like I said previously, that they built upon the sounds that were prevalent at the time.

This particular album is pretty good, but has very little progressive music in it, so don't expect that. But you will hear some original sounds and timbres and explorations. This is what makes the band fascinating to me. They took quite a risk with messing around with the popular sound of their day, but it worked for them. They are one of the few really respected "new wave" movement bands that are around and currently still respected. When I find a band that beats the odds like this, I am interested in what made them that way. This shows a lot more in this album as TH searches and in this album, finds their sound. The originality and the way the pushed the barriers of the 80s new wave movement gives me respect for them. I don't consider them one of my favorites, but I do respect them and enjoy their upbeat music (especially the live album "Stop Making Sense") when I am in that kind of mood. Overall, I can't really seem to give this album more the 3 stars even though there are a few excellent songs here, I tend to lose interest in the album before it reaches the last 3 or 4 songs. It always starts strong for me, but weakens through the last half of the album.

Thanks to chris s for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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