Saturday, November 14, 2009

Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues

Talking Heads – Speaking in Tongues
Sire, 1983
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2007
Price: $6

Ok, I lied when I said “Once in a Lifetime” was the most famous Talking Heads song. There is no doubt that it is actually “Burning Down the House.” Though that song isn't as out there or as overwhelmingly good as “Once in a Lifetime,” it succeeds as being an ultra-fun pop song. The whole first side of this record is incredible. Though not as adventurous as their previous outings, the songs tend to be poppier which really appeals to me. I will take pop over experimentation any day, and if you can give me both at the same time I'll love you forever. This is also the record that has “This Must Be the Place (naïve Melody),” which struck me early on in college and led to my getting into Talking Heads. I think it was the Arcade Fire who covered it and made me aware of the song's existence. Fuck, this record just makes me want to watch Stop Making Sense. Apparently the film was made while the band was touring in support of this record, and um, yeah, goddamnit I forgot how good all these songs are. Literally, the whole A-side is the jam despite my usual loathing for soulful back-up singers in 80s music. Despite initially thinking that the chanty aye-aye-aye chorus of “Swamp” sounded Nazi-esque...well, it still sounds Nazi-esque, but I like that song more now. The second side isn't as much of a jam as the first, but this record is pretty goddamned listenable. Though not nearly as dense as Remain in Light, as a pop record this is above and beyond most of the dreck that was inhabiting radios in the early to mid 80s. And it's groovy as hell!That, and nothing can really beat “This Must Be the Place,” one of the ultimate mixtape staples. “Love me til my heart stops/ Love me til I'm dead.” Doesn't get more romantic than that.

The Big Suit Interview ("The better the singer's voice, the harder it is to believe what they're saying," truer words have never been spoken):

And here's Arcade Fire's (The Name of the Band is Arcade Fire. Funny story, in music critic class Kevin Whitehead made a big deal about the band's name being TALKING HEADS not THE TALKING HEADS, because they released a record called The Name of the Band is Talking Heads yet for some reason people still add the THE and that pissed him off) version of "This Must Be The Place." It's really suited for their style, excellent cover choice! Love those kettle drums!

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