Entertainment Music Time to revisit Talking Heads before the songs become more true

Time to revisit Talking Heads before the songs become more true

Talking Heads performing in 1983. Photo: Getty
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Talking Heads’ strangely prescient paranoia rings ever truer in the age of social distancing.

It could be time to revisit some of Talking Heads’ before the songs become too close to reality.

“…The Best Live Show of All Time” —NME is an ep included on the deluxe edition of American Utopia.

It’s all too cerebral until you listen to it and then it’s too percussive.

Utopia, written with Brian Eno, is as unremarkable as Byrne’s other solo LPs but this stage show incorporates some of Talking Heads’ classics and you’re reminded that this group which Byrne disbanded I991 has written the soundtrack of 2020.

Burning Down the House from American Utopia

Talking Heads ’77 lead off with the autobiographical rant of well, a psychopathic murderer and Byrne introduced the idea that he was so different from us all.

At the time NYC was under the spell of Son of Sam and Talking Heads looked just like clean cut college kids.

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Then, Fear of Music the third album, features “Life During Wartime” sung from the point of view of kids on the run from a nameless threat and they have enough peanut butter to last a couple of days. Clearly not stockpilers.

“This ain’t no disco, this ain’t no party, this ain’t no foolin’ around” sings Byrne anticipating lockdown the 2020 some forty years ago.

Talking Heads – Life During Wartime

Remain in Light and Speaking In Tongues take David Byrne’s dystopian paranoia to Africa for almost voodoo rituals.

These are songs about being overtaken by materialism, about deep spiritual rivers running through sterile suburbia.

The blowhard characters Byrne inhabits are not far from President Trump.

Essentially, Byrne imagines what happens when the West has so subsumed in its own growth that everything collapses on itself; fire, flood and … pestilence.

And you may say to yourself, My God what have I done?

Talking Heads – Once In A Lifetime

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