Top 10 songs by Talking Heads

1.) Life During Wartime (From 1979’s Fear of Music)

2.) This Must Be the Place (From 1983’s Speaking in Tongues)

3.) Burning Down The House (From 1983’s Speaking in Tongues)

4.) Psycho Killer (From 1977’s Talking Heads: 77)

5.) Once In A Lifetime (From 1980’s Remain in Light)

6.) Road To Nowhere (From 1985’s Little Creatures)

7.) Found A Job (From 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food)

8.) Making Flippy Floppy (live) (from 1984’s Stop Making Sense)

9.) Girlfriend is Better (From 1983’s Speaking in Tongues)

10.) Born Under Punches (From 1980’s Remain in Light)

Honorable mentions:

And She Was (From 1985’s Little Creatures)

Cities (From 1979’s Fear of Music)

Heaven (From 1979’s Fear of Music)

Take Me To The River (From 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food)

Television Man (From 1985’s Little Creatures)

Nothing But Flowers (From 1988’s Naked)

Pulled Up (From 1977’s Talking Heads: 77)

Papa Legba (From 1986’s True Stories)

Warning Sign (From 1978’s More Songs About Buildings and Food)

Love For Sale (From 1986’s True Stories)

Any thoughts on my list? Agree or disagree? Did I miss anything by Talking Heads you love?

The music of Talking Heads (4 of 4)

Album: True Stories (1986)

Favorite tracks: Love For Sale

Talking Heads’ soundtrack to David Byrne’s oddball directorial debut. Though it generated one of the band’s biggest radio hits (“Wild Wild Life“), both the film and its songs were dismissed as self-consciously quirky retreads of other, better material; and it’s well-known the quartet was beginning to splinter apart around the time of the sessions.

Thoughts: A rock approach, David Byrne’s voice is at times unrecognizable. Wild Wild Life is the hit single-but I find it quite annoying.

Trivia: Radiohead got their name from a song (“Radio Head”) on this album.

Album: Naked (1988)

Favorite tracks: Nothing But Flowers, Sax and Violins

Thoughts: Changing direction, the songs are fast-paced and it sounds like Latin music.

The music of Talking Heads (3 of 4)

Album: Speaking in Tongues (1983)
Favorite tracks: This Must be The Place, Burning Down the House, Making Flippy Floppy, Girlfriend Is Better, Two Note Swivel
Thoughts: Speaking in Tongues is probably the most mainstream release of the band’s career at this point. The strongest part of the album are the first 5 tracks, plus the closer “This Must be The Place”, which is my favorite song by the group. Burning Down the House was recently used to great effect in a scene in Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, when a car is set on fire.

Album: Little Creatures (1985)
Favorite tracks: The Lady Don’t Mind, Television Man, Give Me Back My Name, Road To Nowhere

Thoughts: Has been called Talking Heads’ most immediately accessible album, or Talking Heads light. Not as experimental as their earlier work, but was intended as a pop album. Not bad, just it’s an album I doubt I’ll be listening to a lot in future.

The music of Talking Heads (2 of 4)


Album: Fear of Music (1979)
Thoughts: Life During Wartime is probably my no 2 favorite track by the group(if I did a top 10), a song that has got stuck in my head. The lyrics I prefer on their 1977 and 1978 albums.
Favorite tracks: Life During Wartime, Heaven, Drugs


Album: Remain in Light (1980)
Thoughts: The album has been called inventive and influential, and is strong all the way through. Has a terrific multi-layered soundscape, danceable, and fast-paced, but quite exhausting to listen to in its entirety, even if only 40 minutes long.

Favorite tracks: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Once in a Lifetime, Listening Wind

Favorite lyric:
“Oh, I’m changing my shape,
I feel like an accident”
“Sometimes the world has a load of questions
Seems like the world knows nothing at all
The world is near but it’s out of reach
Some people touch it…but they can’t hold on.”

Any thoughts on the music? Have you listened to the Talking Heads? Or are you new to the band as I am?

The music of Talking Heads (1 of 4)


Album: Talking Heads: 77 (1977)

Thoughts: Psycho Killer is the key track, but there are other good tracks too, which I hadn’t heard before. I have to admit I prefer the inventive sound production and lyrics, more than David Byrne’s vocal.

Favorite tracks: Psycho Killer, Uh-Oh Love Comes to Town, No Compassion, Don’t Worry About the Government

Favorite lyric:
“Here come a riddle, here come a clue,
if you were really smart, you’d know what to do”


Album: More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)

Thoughts: Lots of catchy riffs, but no big hits.

Favorite tracks: Found a Job, Artists Only, Take Me to the River (Al Green cover), The Big Country, Thank You for Sending Me an Angel

Favorite lyrics:
“I look out the window,
(And I) I call that education.
(And I) See all my friends standing out there
(And I) I call that education (sophistication)”

“Add the will to the strength, and it equals conviction”

The band released eight studio albums between 1977-1988. Any thoughts on the music? Have you listened to the Talking Heads? Or are you new to the band as I am?