Song of the Day #4,195: ‘Burning Down the House (Live)’ – Talking Heads

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.

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Song of the Day #4,132: ‘Take Me to the River’ – Talking Heads

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.

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Song of the Day #4,096: ‘Stay Up Late’ – Talking Heads

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.

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Song of the Day #3,586: ‘Cities’ – Talking Heads

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.

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Song of the Day #3,327: ‘Don’t Worry About the Government’ – Talking Heads

Hard to believe it’s been 40 years since Talking Heads released its debut album, conveniently titled Talking Heads: 77. Of course, I was five years old in 1977, so it’s not as if I’ve been a fan of the band for that long.

This sound feels unique and new even today, let alone four decades ago. David Byrne and his bandmates were truly trendsetting artists.

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Song of the Day #3,246: ‘Knocks Me Off My Feet’ – Stevie Wonder vs. Talking Heads

I’m curious to see how this vote goes. Stevie Wonder, an unquestioned musical genius and living legend, against Talking Heads, one of alternative music’s most innovative and influential bands.

This isn’t a tough call for me. I appreciate Stevie Wonder’s music more than I like it (don’t tell Michelle Obama!). Talking Heads, on the other hand, works for me on every level.

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Song of the Day #3,173: ‘Houses in Motion’ – Talking Heads

remain_in_lightI’m currently digging into the albums of 1990, and I’m not very impressed with the selection.

Today’s Random iTunes Weekend selection is a reminder that 1980 was a much stronger year. So strong that Talking Heads’ Remain in Light managed only the third slot on my personal list of favorite 1980 albums.

Only Billy Joel’s Glass Houses (#2) and Elvis Costello’s Get Happy! (#1) topped it, and the Billy Joel pick is a sentimental one. Remain in Light probably deserves the second spot.

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