Talking Heads
The Name of This Band is Talking Heads

Reviewed by: Alfred Soto
Reviewed on: 2004-08-27

Posted 08/27/2004 - 03:54:26 AM by ESeguy:
 I'm still a little confused as to how a lot of reviwers are harping on "Stop Making Sense" now. Both live albums are great, but aside from the more parred-down feel of this album, why is "Stop Making Sense" now being spoken of as though it were the lesser of the two? I certainly don't any redundancies, esp. in light of it's a consistently evolving, expertly played set of prime Heads material (So is this one, but really--is it more concise and energizing than the other? Not in my opinion, I guess).
Posted 08/27/2004 - 09:28:41 AM by hutlock:
 I agree -- I don't think this release makes SMS redundant at all, especially in the expanded edition. For example, I think the version of "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)" on Stop Making Sense is probably one of the best things they ever recorded, live or otherwise. I really like the "Crosseyed and Painless" there, and "Life During Wartime" as well. And how can you not love the beatbox version of "Psycho Killer"? Anyway, I too think they're both great albums -- TNOTBITH just means there is more to love.
Posted 08/27/2004 - 09:59:40 AM by Sotoalf:
 I wrote that the SMS soundtrack is redundant; the film is not (it's probably in my top 10 of all time). I don't disagree with you guys - you forgot to mention the staggering version of "Oh What A Day It Was" and "Cities" - but when I want to hear those songs, I play my VHS copy of the movie. I don't reach for the soundtrack.
Posted 08/27/2004 - 10:39:15 AM by hutlock:
 Well, that's more of a preference in format. Personally, I can listen to the soundtrack as well -- the DVD doesn't work so well in my car or Discman, you know? I watch the film fairly often actually, but sometimes it just isn't practical, and I still want to hear the music. So I guess what I'm saying is that by ONLY watching the film, you are shortchanging the music itself. You seem to be saying that without the visuals, the music alone doesn't do it for you, and that's what I think I'm disagreeing with (not to speak for Eric though). You seem to be saying that the visual and the music are inseperable for you - I'm saying we can make that separation. Also, "Cities" isn't on the album, even in the expanded edition. And if possible, you should really upgrade to the DVD -- the commentary track is very entertaining, and the 5.1 sound is amazing.
Posted 08/27/2004 - 01:55:23 PM by Sotoalf:
 "Cities" and a "Big Business/I Zimbra" medley are on the VHS edition, and inexplicably omitted from the DVD (bonus tracks perhaps?). I can't really disagree with you; it's a matter of preference. Moreover, the soundtrack was so fussed over in the studio (post-sync, overdubs, etc) that it's not so much a live album as a re-recording: second takes, if you will. Some of those takes - all those songs you guys cited - surpass the album versions. Anyway, I'll stll value my copy of the SMS soundtrack, but reach for TNOTBISTH when I want to hear a looser, more imperfect band.
Posted 08/27/2004 - 03:19:31 PM by hutlock:
 Both "Cities" and "Big Business/I Zimbra" ARE on the DVD as bonus tracks -- you can access them separately, or if you let the main feature play through the credits, they appear all on their own at the end, along with a VERY amusing "self-interview" that David Byrne did around the original time of release. But neither track has been "remastered," at least visually, so they didn't sequence them in with the movie. I meant in my previous post that they weren't on the expanded soundtrack CD. I was trying to make the point that if you wanted to listen to "Cities" you would HAVE to watch the film because it isn't on the CD is all. But yes, I think we can agree to disagree on this. One interesting note though: in the film, in the middle of the show where the intermission was, Byrne goes to the mic and says, "Does anyone have any questions?" which, if you watch the DVD with the commentary, is TOTALLY not what he really said (they explain it there -- he went back and overdubbed that for the movie later). BUT on the new expanded CD, they restore the audio to be what he really said on stage that night, which was, "We'll be right back" or whatever. So in that little totally insignificant way, the soundtrack CD is actually MORE authentic! : )
Posted 08/27/2004 - 05:39:26 PM by ESeguy:
 "Stop Making Sense" works as good on record as it does on video, in my opinion. One should also note that the Heads' performance was in fact altered with benefit of higher production techniques for both the album and the film. Also, "Slippery People" and "Thank You For Sending Me An Angel," ("Stop Making Sense" versions) are my two favorite Heads' songs ever.
Posted 08/27/2004 - 05:54:55 PM by Sotoalf:
 Hutlock: I'm glad someone else noticed the discrepancy b/w the audio and visual tracks; I first did when I heard "Life During Wartime" on the "Sand in the Vaseline" compilation years ago (he actually says, "We're gonna take a short break, be right back," and they return freshened up and wearing new clothes (and, if the biography is to be believed, with David high as a kite on coke). I saw thte funny self-interview when a frirend lent the DVD to me; he wears a similar mustache in the "Wild Wild Life" segment of the film "True Stories".
Posted 08/27/2004 - 11:39:35 PM by IanMathers:
 Trying to choose between the two is like trying to choose a favorite child. Although if you thought this one was the apex of the band, Alf, why'd you give it an 8? Surely Talking Heads are worth a 9 or 10.
Posted 08/28/2004 - 09:16:01 AM by Sotoalf:
 Ian: In retrospect, I probably should have awarded the album a 9; my historical aversion to live albums probably had something to do with it. Howver, this one is as essential as any of TH's studio albums. Really.