Song of the Day #4,290: ‘This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)’ – Talking Heads

My second favorite album of 1983 is the fifth album by one of my favorite bands, Talking Heads. Speaking in Tongues followed the critically-beloved Remain in Light and became the band’s top-selling album to date.

In opening track ‘Burning Down the House,’ Talking Heads enjoyed the only Top Ten hit of their career, but this nine-track album boasts many more treasures. Writing for Rolling Stone, David Fricke made the spot-on observation that Speaking in Tongues “obliterates the thin line separating arty white pop music and deep black funk.”

These songs are at once deeply weird and thoroughly groovy.

The Speaking in Tongues tour was captured in Jonathan Demme’s classic film Stop Making Sense, which led to one of the great live album releases of all time. That live show brought even more depth and nuance to these songs, but listen to the original album and you realize the greatness was baked in.

Perhaps the finest moment on Speaking in Tongues is album closer ‘This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody).’ It’s one of the few outright love songs the band ever recorded, different stylistically than the rest of the album, and a truly sublime work of art.

[Verse 1]
Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me ’round
I feel numb, born with a weak heart
I guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it, the better
We’ll make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground, head in the sky
It’s okay, I know nothing’s wrong, nothing

[Chorus 1]
Hi-yeah, I got plenty of time
Hi-yeah, you got light in your eyes
And you’re standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money, always for love
Cover up and say goodnight, say goodnight

[Verse 2]
Home is where I want to be
But I guess I’m already there
I come home, she lifted up her wings
I guess that this must be the place
I can’t tell one from the other
Did I find you or you find me?
There was a time before we were born
If someone asks, this is where I’ll be, where I’ll be

[Chorus 2]
Hi-yeah, we drift in and out
Hi-yeah, sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I’m just an animal looking for a home and
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me ’til my heart stops
Love me ’til I’m dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots, hit me on the head, ah-ooh

One thought on “Song of the Day #4,290: ‘This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)’ – Talking Heads

  1. Dana Gallup says:

    My entry point to The Talking Heads’ albums was Stop Making Sense, and so I’ve always been more partial to those live performances over the earlier studio versions. When I did go back and listen to the studio albums like Speaking in Tongues, I found the production quality a bit lacking. The songs seemed too restrained and lacked the vibrancy and energy of the live versions.

    Talking Heads later released Little Creatures, where I felt the band was able to capture more of the live energy in the studio. That album remains my favorite of their studio albums and I’m actually surprised it did not outsell Speaking in Tongues as “Stay Up Late” and “She Was” we’re both minor hits.

    So for me, Speaking in Tongues would not rank higher than some of the other 1983 releases you have featured such as An Innocent Man, Trouble in Paradise, or Punch the Clock.

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