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.
Here’s a real Random Weekend treat: a clip from Jonathan Demme’s 1984 Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense. This movie, and the accompanying soundtrack album, make up one of the greatest live performances ever captured on film or tape.
The creativity and energy of David Byrne and company are at an all-time high in these performances, captured over four nights at the Hollywood Pantages Theater.
This cover of Al Green’s ‘Take Me to the River’ was the top single from Talking Heads’ 1978 sophomore album More Songs About Buildings and Food (I love that title!).
The song hit #26 on the singles chart, making it their third best performer ever, behind ‘Burning Down the House’ and ‘Wild Wild Life.’ The band also released a terrific live version of ‘Take Me to the River’ on their 1984 concert album/movie Stop Making Sense.
Here’s a fun track from Talking Heads 1985 album Little Creatures, the band’s most commercially successful effort. After the exploration of world music on 1980’s Remain in Light and 1983’s Speaking in Tongues, found its influences back in America.
Pop, funk and country sounds dominate a song cycle about relationships and Americana. Songs ‘And She Was,’ ‘The Lady Don’t Mind’ and ‘Road to Nowhere’ found modest success on the charts.
Today’s post sets a record for the longest period of time between songs from the same album. I first posted a track from Talking Heads’ 1979 Fear of Music on July 27, 2008, nearly 10 years ago. It was song number three in my Song of the Day series.
It took me 277 days to revisit Ryan Adams’ Heartbreaker, the album on which Song of the Day #2 appeared. And 365 days between tracks from The Smiths’ Strangeways, Here We Come, home of Song of the Day #1.