T is for Talking Heads

The album Speaking in Tongues had come out only a couple months before the SPAC concert, featuring their only American Top 10 hit, Burning Down the House.

Frantz, Weymouth, Harrison, Byrne
Frantz, Weymouth, Harrison, Byrne

One of the two greatest concerts I ever saw was the August 1983 performance of Talking Heads at the Saratoga Performance Arts Center, which someone put online; actually, here’s another recording. It starts with David Byrne by himself on guitar and percussion. He’s joined by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, who were married in 1977, on drums and bass, respectively, for a song or two, before Jerry Harrison joins on guitar. That was the core band, but then the additional players are added in; the process was so organic.

This is the same tour from which the classic Jonathan Demme film Stop Making Sense was taken, but this is the complete concert, not just a truncated show.

The album Speaking in Tongues had come out only a couple of months earlier, featuring their only American Top 10 hit, Burning Down the House. LISTEN to the whole album. I always associated that album, along with a few others of that period, as forerunners of the compact disc, for the versions of several songs on the CD, which I got a number of years later, were longer than the versions on the LP, which I had purchased soon after it came out.

The new wave band Tom Tom Club was founded in 1981 by Frantz and Weymouth as a side project. Their big hit Genius of Love [LISTEN], which is in the Talking Heads concert, has been sampled by several artists , including Mariah Carey on her hit single Fantasy.

LISTEN to Psycho Killer from Talking Heads ’77, and the parody Psycho Chicken by The Fools.


ABC Wednesday – Round 14

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

20 thoughts on “T is for Talking Heads”

  1. They have a very distinctive style, don’t they? I kinda like ’em….

    abcw team

  2. Well, I have to say I enjoyed the video, although I didn’t expect to when it first started!!!! Thank you for expanding my musical experience each and every week, Roger.

  3. Thanks for giving me a new…to me….group to listen to.
    As I have said many times before, I guess I have been living under a rock.

  4. I agree with Leslie, they certainly do have a distinctive style. Burning Down the House is about the only song of theirs I ever really liked.

  5. Great Tom Tom Club video, see it was done by Morton and Jankel creators of the wonderful Max Headroom, nice 80s vibe going on here this week.

  6. Hi Roger, thanks for your visit to my blog. Again I’m amazed at your knowledge of all these music groups!

  7. Not my cup of TEA I’m afraid Roger, I do remember Burning down the house.
    I am amazed at your vast knowledge of music THOUGH!
    THANKYOU for sharing it,
    Best wishes Di..xx

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