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More Songs About Buildings and Food (Deluxe Version)

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iTunes Review

This is the album on which the Talking Heads came into their own. Sure, 77 was charming, in its faux-naïve, art-school way, but More Songs finds the band pushing their eccentricities to new, harder-edged heights, the signature cat-scratch guitars scuffling around crisp, martial beats. Brian Eno’s production punches up the drums and bass for a weird fusion of funk, punk, and New Wave herky-jerk that almost 30 years later still sounds fresh and new. As repetitive and rhythmically complex as dance grooves, the music is twitchy and buoyant, the lyrics weirdly abstract, like corporate reports written by a non-native speaker: “A straight line exists between me and the good things. I have found the line and its direction is known to me,” Byrne sings on “The Good Thing,” talking about math, or God, or who knows? “Found a Job” layers cynicism and sincerity in a song about a couple who finds marital bliss through TV, while the band’s curiously stiff-legged take on Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” nonetheless builds up a genuine head of gospel steam. Weirdest of all, David Byrne actually sings on “The Big Country,” a pastoral vision of America as seen from the window of a plane, the satirically twangy guitar broken by Byrne’s nasty rebuke: “I wouldn’t live there if you paid me. I couldn’t live like that, no sirree!”

Customer Reviews

Punk, Funk, Brian Eno and Quirkiness

I saw the band in 1978, shortly after the release of this album, at the Cleveland Agora (a large bar). It ranks as one of the best concerts I've ever seen. Tina Weymouth, who is about as tall as her bass guitar, thumped out the opening chords to Psycho killer and I was enthralled, slightly spooked, and somewhat aroused. David Byrne and the rest of the band were still in their rock-minimalist presentation phase, so the bandmembers didn't speak at all between numbers. At the end, David Byrne stepped up to the microphone and said "are there any questions?" This album, produced by Brian Eno, contains songs that will echo in my mind forever---Take Me to the River, The Big Country, Stay Hungry, Artists Only. Everytime I fly and look out the window, the words and music of The Big Country come into my mind, having lived rural and now urban. "I wouldn't live there if you paid me."

Buildings and Food, Indeed

Yet another Talking Heads rerelease, this one being their second album. Every song's great, but a few lose the punch of the album along the way. The bonuses are great - you can see what Brian Eno brought to the band by checking out the two versions of Stay Hungry. Oh, right. This album has Take Me To the River. Guess you have to buy it now.

Thank You For Sending Me an Angel, indeed!

I will forever be grateful to the DJ who decided to play parts of this album on an Iowa radio station in 1978. I was 16 and a junior in high school and it made me realize there was an escape hatch. My life was never the same after that, and to this day TH is still my favorite band. Amazingly, their early stuff just never gets old.

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 seem too...
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