lunes, 8 de marzo de 2010

You May Ask Yourself?


Let's just say I am a little out of motivation to write elaborate entries on my Acer Aspire One Netbook, plus, I have been on holiday, so although I had pretty much a lot of time in my hands, I rather spend leisuring, really leisuring. So, maybe you might have recognized by the entry title, that I'm about to talk about The Talking Heads. Just as I did with Kraftwerk and Pavement in the past, I ahve now decided on this band which I have rediscovered with my listening of the best albums of all-time project.

It must have been a year or two ago, yes, it was 2008, 'cause I was discussing with a friend about Portishead's hyped third, and he said he didn't like the band ripping-off their name from Radiohead, which I, in my most snobbiest said "Actually, Radiohead took their name from a Talking HEADS song by that name". I won that discussion, since my friend had barely heard about David Byrne from a song which was included on some Windows version. My second memory regarding the heads, was while watching VH1, with another friend, and there came a fragment of the hillarious Once in a Lifetime videoclip, which we couldn't help but making fun of.

Then, through Rateyourmusic, I ended up getting a digital copy of what is consider their opus, Remain in the Light, however at that time I was attacked with a lot of new music, so I kinda skip this one. However, some influence, at least from the weird sound I was able to hear, came into me, when searching at my local CD shop. I always put my mind into spending less than 200 Lempiras on a disc (that's about 10 USD), that means I have to buy some pre-used CDs. Therefore, it is not surprising that bands of popular consumption like Metallica or Iron Maiden, are set to higher prices, although they're under the same conditions as lesser known bands. Among this ones, at least in my country, is Talking Heads. This way I got into buying "More Songs About Buildings and Food" and "Speaking in Tongues" for 120 Lps each. I did listen once or twice to MSABAF, and probably none completely to SIT; it took for this project I mentioned before to open my ears into the genius behind Remain in the Light, which lead me into reading a whole book I found on the library about the band.

After hearing some of their most known tracks, it will not surprise you to know, that this band consists only of ex-art students, some with degrees, others without, however, even though the band never got to be a million selling band, it seem to have been born with as much respect and success as they would ever had. It is unmistakable, their sound was and still is very different to anything out there, plus they were kind of an American response to the Punk & later New Wave that was coming from Britain. One of their first and most known songs, present on their debut Talking Heads '77, tells us about the thoughts of a psychokiller. Of course, I'm talking about a song by the same name:

Talking Heads - Psycho Killer .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine


The band were befriended with their idols, ex-Velvet Undergrounds John Cale and Lou Reed (their guitarrist, Jerry Harrison, came from the short living cult band, The Modern Lovers), however, the "friendship" which would prove more productive was that with ex-Roxy Music, Brian Eno. Interested with the band's sound and overall appearance, Brian went on to produce their following three albums. 1978s More Songs About Buildings and Food is in my opinion a great album, which brought them their first "major" hit, with an Al Green cover of Take me to the River. "I like how he uses baptism and sexual connotations on the same song" said singer David Byrne:

Talking Heads - Take Me to the River .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine


However, Talking Heads grew a reputation of creating, or better said, recreating themselves after every album, therefore 1979s Fear of Music, is supposed to have taken a different direction, this one I haven't personally heard and is on my wishlist, but it is suppose to play with a more African influence, which would be very noticeable on their third and last Eno colaboration, the beforementioned gem, Remain in the Light:

Talking Heads - Born Under Punches .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine


Remain in the Light is just a success in many ways. The band managed to make to really sophisticated music that can actually be danced to, they had to expand their band in order to play this live and it includes more noticeable collaboration by all members, however, this was the source of a major problem, when album prints credited Byrne & Eno as main composers. Byrne was supposed to be influenced by Eno to make this decision, so they decided to separate, however, the only post-Eno release worth mentioning is 1983s Speaking in Tongues, which contains their biggest American hit, Burning Down the House which reached #9 on the US and #8 in Canadian single charts.

Talking Heads - Burning Down The House .mp3
Found at bee mp3 search engine


If you as me enjoy so much this band, which has a lot to offer, you could still look further into this musicians careers, specially on the Weymouth/Frantz side project Tom Tom Club's first eponymous album, and Byrne & Eno's "My Life in the Bush of Ghosts".

Hope you have enjoyed the reading :) Hype Machine, please notice !!

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