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Talking Heads 77 (Deluxe Version)

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iTunes Review

Part of New York punk's legendary first wave, Talking Heads upended pop music's conventions by twisting its rhythms, scrambling its lyrics, and adding a refreshing dose of weirdness. Their debut, Talking Heads 77, took an avant-garde art sensibility and applied it to bubblegum rock and old-school funk. The results cook with skewed genius. Drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth keep a tight grip on the beat, while Jerry Harrison provides flavorful keyboard filigrees. Singer/guitarist David Byrne is the Head who speaks loudest - his edgy vocal tics, along with his slinky guitar lines, define the band's mystique. This album's highlights include the frisky "Uh Oh, Love Comes to Town," the nervously reassuring "Don't Worry About the Government", and the desperately cheerful "Pulled Up." The most famous track is "Psycho Killer," Byrne's oddly sympathetic portrait of "a real live wire." Smart, danceable and a little demented, 77 is a joyfully jittery experience.

Customer Reviews

The Impact Was Incredible

This really was a landmark album in many ways. It's hard to imagine so much of the music we take for granted today without this one coming first. The lyrical and musical content, in stark contrast to the band's preppy image, was also pretty amazing, especially in 1977, when musicians either looked like Ted Nugent and Peter Frampton...or Johnny Rotten. Looking like a college student was the most subversive statement possible. In some ways, it still is.

Some Great Stuff

The Talking Head's early stuff is their best stuff. Everyone should listen to it. The album's great.

Talking Heads 77 Album Review 08

1977 brought to the punk/new wave scene what is likely the oddest band to ever be included in it: Talking Heads. The band's quirkiness, goofiness, dorky and nerdy qualities, detached emotion, franticness, minimalism, and bizarre view on the world certainly made them unlike anything else. How many bands are there that write songs about exciting new office buildings, lack of empathy to others due to the stress of being labeled as empathetic, or books they read? Why write about something so simple? At first glance, the topics may seem simple, banal, and childish, but they are often just a metaphor in a much larger scenario or satire being performed. Talking Heads 77 is one of the band's finest and most consistent efforts. The cohesiveness is unbelievable--so much so that it contributes to what is likely the album's only problem; come the end of the album, the songs may be difficult to tell apart from one another. It has been said by a certain reviewer that it's like the album pays a dollar every time it is listened to. That statement is incredibly accurate. Every song is about as listenable as the Heads were capable of, from more pop-oriented numbers like the opening Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town and Who Is It?, to the harder-hitting No Compassion and Psycho Killer, to the energetic and hysterical New Feeling and Pulled Up, to the downright strange and quirky Tentative Decisions and Don't Worry About The Government. Or how about the Latin flavored First Week/Last Week.... Carefree? There isn't a bad track here. Which means 77 is certainly one of the most cohesive and one of the best album the Heads ever released. 5/5, 9/10.


Formed: 1974 in New York, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s

At the start of their career, Talking Heads were all nervous energy, detached emotion, and subdued minimalism. When they released their last album about 12 years later, the band had recorded everything from art-funk to polyrhythmic worldbeat explorations and simple, melodic guitar pop. Between their first album in 1977 and their last in 1988, Talking Heads became one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the '80s, while managing to earn several pop hits. While some of their music can seem too...
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