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Talking Heads

Talking Heads

Formed in 1975 in New York City, Talking Heads was an American rock band that is comprised of David Byrne on lead vocals and guitar, Jerry Harrison on keyboards and guitar, Chris Frantz on drums, and Tina Weymouth on bass. Talking Heads helped paved the way for new wave music to make it into the mainstream music scene by combining it with punk, art rock, and funk music. Talking Heads was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002 and four of their albums have been included on the Rolling Stones list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Lifetime. They also ranked in the 64th spot on VH1’s list of the 100 Greatest Artist of All Time.


During the course of their career Talking Heads released a total of eight studio albums and these are:

  • Talking Heads: 77 (1977)
  • More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)
  • Fear of Music (1979)
  • Remain in Light (1980)
  • Speaking in Tongues (1983)
  • Little Creatures (1985)
  • True Stories (1986)
  • Naked (1988)

Hit Albums

They also spawned the following singles:

  • Once in a Lifetime
  • Psycho Killer
  • Burning Down the House
  • This Must Be The Place
  • Take Me To The River
  • And She Was
  • Road to Nowhere
  • Wild Wild Life
  • Flowers
  • I Zimbra
  • Girlfriend is Better
  • Crosseyed and Painless
  • Born Under Punches
  • The Great Curve
  • Houses in Motion
  • Love Building On Fire
  • Found a Job
  • The Big Country
  • Stay Up Late
  • The Lady Don’t Mind

History and Career

Art school punks David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, and Christ Frantz met at the Rhode Island School of Design in the 1970s. The trio decided that they should move to New York to focus on making music. And just a year after being a band, they have scored a spot for being the opening act for the band The Ramones at the New York Punk Rick club CBGB. And in 1976,  the band was joined by keyboardist Jerry Harrison who used to play with Jonathan Richman’s band named Modern Lovers. The band signed a record deal with Sire Records in 1977 and released their first album entitled, “Talking Heads: 77”. The album received a considerable amount of fame because of its stripped-down rock and roll sound and David Byrne’s geeky, intellectual lyrics that was matched with uncomfortable and jerky voice.

In 1978, Talking Heads worked with producer Brian Eno for their second studio album “More Songs About Buildings and Food”. They have carefully constructed a recording set to produce artsy pop songs while experimenting with acoustic and electronic instruments. The album featured their cover of Al Green’s song “Take Me To The River” which earned Talking Heads mainstream success and their first Billboard Top 30 hit song.

For their third album, “Fear of Music”, Talking Heads became dependent on their rhythm section that was mixed with darker stylings of post-punk rock with white funkadelia and references to the geopolitical stability of the 1970s.

Talking Heads released their fourth album, “Remain in the Light” in 1980. The album featured several sidemen like a horn section. It left the band to explore more of the afrobeat and West African polyrhythms. Talking Heads toured with their sidemen to perform more of their sons with complex arrangements. The lead single of this album was entitled “Once in a Lifetime” which entered the top 20 in the United Kingdom but failed to chart in the United States during its initial release. But later on, it gained success because of its music video which Time magazine hailed as one of the All-TIME best music videos.

After touring for a long time, Talking Heads focused on their personal careers. And when they released their fifth album “Speaking in Tongues” on 1983, they cut ties with Eno, their long-time producer. The album still sounded more like their previous albums but with a more rigid-pop song structure. Talking Heads embarked on another tour after the release of this album.

Talking Heads released their sixth album entitled “Little Creatures” in 1985. This album was a more straightforward pop album. This was also the time when David Byrne directed his first movie entitled “True Stories”. Two years later, Talking Heads released their album “Naked” which sounded like the old Talking Heads records. After this, the Talking Heads went on hiatus and the members pursued their personal careers. Harrison continued with his production career where he was able to produce successful albums by Live and Crash Test Dummies. In 1996, the band except for David Byrne reunited to make the album “No Talking Just Head” in which David Byrne sued them for using the name Talking Heads so the trio went on to perform by the name The Heads.

In 1999, the band reunited together to promote the 15th anniversary edition of their album “Stop Making Sense” in which they also performed in 2002 on their induction ceremony on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


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