Thursday, June 24, 2010

Talking Heads - Once In A Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads


A particular joy, for me, of this project has been to discover where Mine and YourZ (truly) share lineal points in our musical past.  One such point is our common love of Talking Heads.

Mine mentions this below but I bet I haven't told her I also had the cassette and video for Stop Making Sense at one point.  I don't know what happened to the video but I had the cassette until it broke and I had to, reluctanly, give it a decent burial.  Why I never replaced it is beyond me.  I guess this is another one we're gonna have to add to our ever-growing list, honeybuns. (Mine says: We're gonna need a bigger boat)

Once In A Lifetime traverses the entire back catalogue of Talking Heads, to bring such classics as Burning Down The House, Slippery People, Life During Wartime and Road To Nowhere together.  Given these are taken from a career spanning 15 years, it's surprising how good the tracks sound compiled together.  But then, this is almost certainly due to their distinctive sound, led as it is by the unrelentingly idiosyncratic vocal style of David Byrne.  Coupled as it was with the brave musical experimentations of Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison and Chris Franz, it's no wonder this band continues to influence new generations of musicians.



This CD has to move down to the kitchen ASAP.  This is definitely an album I could sing and dance to while baking, chopping or stirring.  I know just about all the words, even the surreal ones.  (I mean, "If this is paradise/ I wish I had a lawnmower" still makes me wonder what drugs they were taking)

Those intelligent lyrics, thiose hard hitting beats, the toe-tapping tunes - there's a whole bunch of them on here and if you don't love David Byrne's idiosyncratic delivery I think there's something wrong with you.  I guess the Heads have penetrated my psyche deeply... permutations of the lines "Is this my beautiful house/ Is this my beautiful wife" spring to my lips quite often in common conversation (especially with my beautiful husband).  (YourZ sez: back at you, babe)

At one time I owned the cassette(!) and video for Stop Making Sense but I have no idea what happened to them.

VERDICT: TURN IT UP same as it ever was...


  1. Ahh Talking Heads! I have most of their albums on vinyl - they were one of those bands that I'd buy each release the day they came out (those were the days). For me 'More Songs about Buildings and Food' is a constant companion and Tina Weymouth could well be my all-time fav bass player - what invention and such a cutie too! Saw them a couple of times early in their career when they came to the UK. Bliss.

  2. Well, as both of us had the Stop Making Sense video I feel I can answer... we have much envy! I know I would have loved to see them live, and was very annoyed when I heard friends of mine had not only seen David Byrne live, for free, but met him backstage (some sort of backing-muso connection). However, they did report he was "strange". Who woulda thought it?