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The Best of Talking Heads CD

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Audio CD, CD, August 17, 2004
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At the start of their career, Talking Heads were all nervous energy, detached emotion, and subdued minimalism. When they released their last album about 12 years later, the band had recorded everything from art-funk to polyrhythmic worldbeat explorations and simple, melodic guitar pop. Between their first album in 1977 and their last in 1988, Talking Heads became one of the most critically ... Read more in Amazon's Talking Heads Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 17, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0002IQMKM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (149 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #756 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Love ->
2. Building On Fire
3. Psycho Killer
4. Oh, Love Comes To Town
5. Take Me To The River
6. Found A Job
7. Life During Wartime
8. Heaven
9. Memories Can't Wait
10. Once In A Lifetime
11. Houses In Motion
12. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)
13. Girlfriend Is Better
14. Burning Down The House
15. Road To Nowhere
16. And She Was
17. Wild Wild Life
18. Blind
19. (Nothing But) Flowers

Editorial Reviews

Formed in NYC in the mid-'70s by David Byrne, Chris Franz, Tina Weymouth, & ex-Modern Lover Jerry Harrison, the Talking Heads evolved out of their now-legendary humble beginnings at CBGB's to become one of the most adventurous & influential bands ever. Inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, the Heads' visionary, polyrhythmic sound daringly combined funk & punk, African beats, avant-garde minimalism, & pure pop. From their 1977 debut through their Brian Eno-produced classics to their '88 farewell, Naked, they both pushed artistic boundaries & delivered indelible radio hits like "Once In A Lifetime" & "Burning Down The House."

Customer Reviews

3/4s of the tunes are great, the rest are still good.
J. McGeary
What's not to like , the sound is perfect , the music is awesome , great collection , highly recommended.
There are somethings missing, But everything I really love about Talking Heads is Here.
greg jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 98 people found the following review helpful By highway_star on September 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This latest "The Best Of The Talking Heads" is a good collection for the casual fan, but for a better retrospective of the band the two cd collection "Sand In The Vaseline" (also remastered) is a better choice. This single disc collection does lack the hit "I Zimbra" which definately should have been included. The Talking Heads most popular hits (less "I Zimbra") such as "Psycho Killer", "Life During Wartime", "Take Me To The River", "Burning Down The House" and "Once In A Lifetime" are all included as well as "Love Building On Fire", "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town", "Found A Job" plus ten more tracks. The remastering is excellent with increased bass, midrange and extended output. If you enjoy seventies new wave such as Blondie, The Ramones, The Damned to name a few then you'll enjoy this collection.
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99 of 110 people found the following review helpful By Tim Brough TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 23, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Talking Heads interest seems to be rebounding lately, with the four disc box set earlier this year, the long awaited release of the out of print "The Name Of This Band is Talking Heads" live CD, plus plans for reissuing remastered versions of the band's back catalog sometime in 2005. I'm excited about that. After all, the "Talking Heads '77" "Psycho Killer" was one of the first of the NYC/CBGB's gang to chart a single, and "Take Me To The River" snuck into the Top 40, introducing Talking Heads to the "Saturday Night Live" AND "American Bandstand" crowd.

The influence of Talking Heads simply cannot be overstated. These four art school neurotics developed a style that mixed the nervous energy of punk ("Psycho Killer") with bubblegum pop ("Uh Oh, Love Comes to Town") and waspy soul. The ironically titled "Fear Of Music" album saw the creative resources gel for remarkable power ("Life During Wartime"), the soulful enough to get Simply Red to cover it "Heaven", and Eno's arty injections making him a key element in the band's sound ("Memories Can't Wait") and an invisible fifth member. But it was Eno's forceful presence and Byrne's artistic restlessness that, by their still remarkable "Remain In Light," Talking Heads were turning the whole insular art rock world on its ear with polyrythmic productions (both the single and ground breaking video for "Once In A Lifetime") that remains influential even now.

Once they got a big dose of artiness out of the way, Talking Heads released their breeziest album to date, "Speaking In Tongues." It gave the Heads their lone American Top 10 in "Burning Down The House." By then, David Byrne was beginning to overshadow the band (Tom Tom Club side project being the exception) and it was getting obvious that the Heads were becoming volatile.
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By JGM on October 9, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Of course you know all these songs, and of course there are many more great cuts deeper on the original albums, but for a single-disc review of a band with over 10 years' worth of releases, this 18-track set is hard to beat. The group went through several striking stylistic changes over its lifetime, but that variation actually helps this disc hold together as an album as well as a set of songs.

This would make a great introduction for a younger fan of the current crop of danceable art rock bands (Of Montreal, The Killers, Decemberists) or a casual fan looking to supplant an old LP collection.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Good Ol' Sea Dog on October 25, 2010
Format: Audio CD
I bought this CD this summer. I'm not a Talking Heads mega-fan by any means, but this CD transformed me. It became almost an addiction; I kept the CD in my car, and I found myself coming up with excuses to drive around and immerse myself in Talking-Heads-land whenever I felt pangs of Byrne-withdrawl. It was my own personal religious service, basically.
Let's talk about a few of the tracks.

2. Psycho Killer. Why is a song about a psycho killer so much fun? David Byrne has shown us convincing snippets of a killer's inner dialog... why am I not terrified? Why do I enjoy it so much? Why does Byrne seem to channel Kip from Napoleon Dynamite in the line, "Say something once -- why say it again?" So many questions.

3. Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town. So, there are a bajillion songs in the world about the agonizing experience of falling in love. But can the Talking Heads write one that manages to be zany and unique? Um, yes they can. Here's a hint: whenever the Talking Heads mention stockbrokers in their lyrics, the song is gonna be great. David Byrne doesn't have time to explain the banality of life in the professional/business/moneyish world. He just inserts the word "stockbroker" into songs whenever he wants to infuse us, the listeners, with the feeling of "ugh! banality!" -- and then he promptly subverts it -- because, hey, even stockbrokers fall in love. See also: Track 16, Wild Wild Life "Check out Mr. Businessman. . . on his way to the stock exchange..."

5. Found A Job. Many songs on this album are actually intense stories that deserve to be turned into full-length movies or novels. Instead, they are condensed into a few minutes of song. This song is about a couple who, after bickering over what to watch on TV, decide that they should make their own TV shows.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James M. Lehmann on November 25, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Most of the other reviewers have made good points so I'll try to be brief and not repeat. I was always a fair weather Talking Heads fan and finally got fully into them with the live "The Name of This Band..." release. I was overcome and had to go out and get their first four releases. I feel the best wat to explore this band is to start at the beginning and you can slowly trace their progress from an educated pop band all the way into their more produced rhythms and textures. I always remember a review from Rolling Stone about one of their shows at a festival when they suddenly appeared as an eight piece, or so, band. It may not seem like the same band if you just have one disc of the entire career. It seems jolting somewhat all the transitions they have gone through. I would strongly recommend progressing from :77, More Songs..., Fear of Music, Remain in Light, Speaking in Tongues, True Stories, Little Creatures, all the way to Naked. This way it's a natural progression and showcases the pure genius of their evolution. A good live presentation of this is the Jonathan Demme film "Stop Making Sense" which opens with Byrne alone on a baren stage and adds one musician per song up to their full strength. I saw this show three times. Once as part of their tour at the Greek, then as a rehearsal at the Long Beach Arena, and finally for the actual filming at the Pantages. Truly one of the greatest concert films ever and a true showing of their changes over the years.
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