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The Best of Talking Heads (Remastered)

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Editors’ Notes

New York’s Talking Heads were the first of the new wave/punk bands to make geekiness utterly cool. On stage, singer David Byrne looked like a science major who may have ingested an experimental concoction, resulting in body movements not unlike that of an epileptic seizure in progress. Yet somehow, the art-punk, oddball track “Psycho Killer” permeated the American pop psyche in 1977, and led the band on a trajectory that peaked shortly before they went their separate ways in 1991. Over the years, the band moved from a jerky, nervous, punk-inspired sensibility to something smoother, with funkier, global, polyrhythmic beats (Brian Eno’s production early on certainly played a hand), and, finally, to pure pop. While single-disc anthologies are difficult to cull, this collection is a pretty solid stab at choice cuts from each Talking Heads album. Best of all, it starts off with the group’s elusive first single, the brilliant and still amazing “Love -> Building on Fire.”  Early fans may feel the band’s first works are not represented deeply enough (where is “Warning Signs?” “Don’t Worry About the Government?”) but fans of their later work may have the same complaint (“Swamp” and “Stay Up Late” seem conspicuously absent). But, hey, this ain’t no box set.

Customer Reviews

A breath of fresh air in a stagnant decade

Listening to the Talking Heads over twenty years after first hearing them in a corporate record store in Escondido, California, I am struck by the freshness of this music even today. David Byrne, et al broke into the 1970's at a time when music was at an all time low with the height of disco and other sycophantic crap.

Masterpiece

This album is a masterpiece collection of hits known and not so well known. I Bought it the day it came out, if you have only the slightest interest in the Talking Heads this is a good album to start with.

It depends...

If you are just getting in to the Talking Heads, or don't like them a lot, but would like to have one of their cd's, I suggest you definitely buy this album. But, if you are a serious fan of the Talking Heads, and like more songs than just Psycho Killer, Once In A Lifetime, Burning Down the House, etc. you will find that this cd is missing many excellent songs that didn't get any publicity at all. I suggest you then get one or more of their other cds. My favorites are Talking Heads 77, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Speaking In Tounges, and Fear of Music. Also, The Name of This Band Is the Talking Heads is good to have; it's got a lot of great live versions of already excellent songs.

Biography

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...
Full Bio