Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Talking Heads - The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads (1982)


2004 Re-release by Rhino.

An epic landmark release (2 discs, 33 tracks, 141 minutes of music) from one the best bands to come out of NYC in the late '70s. The first CD features the original quartet in recordings from 1977 through 1979, and the second CD the expanded ten-piece Talking Heads that toured in 1980 and 1981. The ten-piece group features the addition of such musicians as guitarist Andrian Belew (whose playing belies his age) and Parliament/Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell. Overall, I prefer the second disc to the first. Contained on this set are live versions of songs that appear on the band's first four albums: Talking Heads: 77, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light. The group's early work is generally better than their later work, but their other live album, 1984's Stop Making Sense, ranks right up there with this, IMHO.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #31
Peak on Cash Box album chart: #53

Tracks: This disc is rated 93 out of 100 on the always wonderful metacritic.com, one of the highest ratings in that website's history. Since it's so good, I'll just try to pick a few favorites from each disc.

Disc 1 (1977-1979): Psycho Killer, Who Is It?, The Girls Want To Be With The Girls, Found A Job, and Love → Building on Fire.

Disc 2 (1980-1981): Warning Sign, Drugs (Electricity), Once In A Lifetime, Crosseyed And Painless, Life During Wartime, and Take Me To The River (one of the greatest covers of all time).

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: I remember being introduced to this recording when I was 16 by my friend Jim. I was too young to appreciate and understand this group at the time for another 3 or 4 years, so I didn't give it the chance it deserved. When I bought these CDs around 2005, they kept me company on many of my trips between Bay City and the University of Houston campus.

When I visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland in October 2007, one of my favorite exhibits was the Polaroid mosaic of the cover of the band's 1978 album More Songs About Buildings And Food. After seeing it for years as a 12" square, it was a pleasant surprise to see it as about a 6 foot square where I could get close and see each individual Polaroid. According to the exhibit, the mosiac sat above David Byrne's couch then the Polaroids were put in a shoe box for about 20 years before they made their way to Cleveland where the mosaic was reconstructed.

1 comment:

  1. I am bummed because I seriously do not remember seeing the polaroids when we were there! How did I miss that??!!

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