33 Songs, 2 Hours 36 Minutes

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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
94 Ratings
94 Ratings
Bennett H.

OH YES

Quite possibly one of the best albums ever. Like the iTunes review said, i didnt know about it until after i had Stop Making Sense, but now that i have it, i can't stop listening to it. From the first songs with the original members to the rest with the new members, its all nonstop musical genius. If you own any Talking Heads album, make it this one!

Jumpin_J

Classic. Now if you could only get the booklet.

I have been writing to Warner Brothers for years wondering why TNOTBITH had not been releaed with the rest of the catalog. Turns out my patience was greatly rewarded. Not just has this been remastered, but it's loaded with bonus and previously unreleased tracks.

And you may ask yourself, why another live album? Unlike many live albums which capture a single night or tour, this album actually features the evolution of a band. Disc 1 captures the band from 1977-79 where they are essentially the four man band. The music is fairly stripped down and comparable to the songs they recorded on the first three albums (TH 77, More Songs About Buildings & Food, & Fear Of Music). You hear them in small clubs and gradually larger audiences. Then of disc 2, they tackle the material of Remain In Light with more complex African rhythms and funk beats. Here, the band is forced to double its size with the amazing Steve Scales on percussion and Adrian Belew adding fantastic guitar solos. Some may wonder why some songs are repeated on the album. The early version called Electricity which is more rock later becomes Drugs, the ambient version featured more like on Fear Of Music. There are other repeats here, Psycho Killer and Stay Hungry. Again we see how the songs evolve over time and the difference with a small and big band. All featuring great sound and remastering.

I penalize the album one star for one major problem which is the fault of iTunes. You can't publish the booklet that comes with the CD (yay old technology!). It's stuffed with photos, liner notes, and several reviews of the various shows. This recording is as much an autobiography of a band on the rise as an essential live album. It's a great bookend to Stop Making Sense. The download is great, but the actual CD package is a must have. Pick this up!

Vein Glorious

Most of a Classic Live Album

They all are right. In fact, not only is this the Heads best live album, it may well be the Heads best album. I mean, Remain in Light, its only compitition isn't as funky and (maybe) just a little more arty than the versions here. (Plus, this album doesn't include "The Overload"...) Problem: they omitted the "pleasent" intro to "Crosseyed and Painless" that was on the LP version--and made the whole song! Thus, I dock it a notch cos the LP version's better...

About Talking Heads

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 self-consciously experimental, clever, and intellectual for its own good, at their best Talking Heads represent everything good about art-school punks.

And they were literally art-school punks. Guitarist/vocalist David Byrne, drummer Chris Frantz, and bassist Tina Weymouth met at the Rhode Island School of Design in the early '70s; they decided to move to New York in 1974 to concentrate on making music. The next year, the band won a spot opening for the Ramones at the seminal New York punk club CBGB. In 1976, keyboardist Jerry Harrison, a former member of Jonathan Richman's Modern Lovers, was added to the lineup. By 1977, the band had signed to Sire Records and released its first album, Talking Heads: 77. It received a considerable amount of acclaim for its stripped-down rock & roll, particularly Byrne's geeky, overly intellectual lyrics and uncomfortable, jerky vocals.

For their next album, 1978's More Songs About Buildings and Food, the band worked with producer Brian Eno, recording a set of carefully constructed, arty pop songs, distinguished by extensive experimenting with combined acoustic and electronic instruments, as well as touches of surprisingly credible funk. On their next album, the Eno-produced Fear of Music, Talking Heads began to rely heavily on their rhythm section, adding flourishes of African-styled polyrhythms. This approach came to a full fruition with 1980's Remain in Light, which was again produced by Eno. Talking Heads added several sidemen, including a horn section, leaving them free to explore their dense amalgam of African percussion, funk bass and keyboards, pop songs, and electronics.

After a long tour, the band concentrated on solo projects for a couple of years. By the time of 1983's Speaking in Tongues, the band had severed its ties with Eno; the result was an album that still relied on the rhythmic innovations of Remain in Light, except within a more rigid pop-song structure. After its release, Talking Heads embarked on another extensive tour, which was captured on the Jonathan Demme-directed concert film Stop Making Sense. After releasing the straightforward pop album Little Creatures in 1985, Byrne directed his first movie, True Stories, the following year; the band's next album featured songs from the film. Two years later, Talking Heads released Naked, which marked a return to their worldbeat explorations, although it sometimes suffered from Byrne's lyrical pretensions.

After its release, Talking Heads were put on "hiatus"; Byrne pursued some solo projects, as did Harrison, and Frantz and Weymouth continued with their side project, Tom Tom Club. In 1991, the band issued an announcement that they had broken up. Shortly thereafter, Harrison's production took off with successful albums by Live and Crash Test Dummies. In 1996, the original lineup minus Byrne reunited for the album No Talking Just Head; Byrne sued Frantz, Weymouth, and Harrison for attempting to record and perform as Talking Heads, so the trio went by the Heads. In 1999, all four worked together to promote a 15th-anniversary edition of Stop Making Sense, and they also performed at the 2002 induction ceremony for their entrance into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Through the 2010s, Byrne released a number of solo and collaborative projects. Tom Tom Club continued to tour, while Harrison produced albums for the likes of No Doubt, the Von Bondies, and Hockey. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

ORIGIN
New York, NY
GENRE
Rock
FORMED
1974

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