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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost A Complete Collection Of Hits!
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...
Published on September 5, 2004 by highway_star

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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Agood intro, better to have them all!
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...
Published on November 25, 2008 by James M. Lehmann


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86 of 91 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost A Complete Collection Of Hits!, September 5, 2004
By 
highway_star (Hallandale, Florida United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (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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96 of 106 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One song short of perfect, August 23, 2004
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (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. Still, there was one more great album in the loose and poppy "Little Creatures," then the odd film, "True Stories," before the burn really hit.

Byrne was looking at the band as creative sidemen by now (this was when TIME magazine had given him a cover story as a "Rock and Roll Renaissance Man"). The next album, "Naked," was as far from the band's New York roots as the South American music Byrne was then exploring could get. Even long term fans began to wonder what was going on, and the singles from "Naked" pretty much failed to connect. Rather quietly, the band went on hiatus. But in retrospect, "Naked's" initial offering "Nothing But Flowers" is a wickedly funny song that laments losing the war with progress to cornfields that "used to be a 7/11."

You'll find plenty to like about this single disc set, even if you're only marginally aware of the Talking Heads' impact. Their video output from "Remain In Light" on was as cutting edge as the genre went at the time. Which leads me to quibble number one: the terrific and funny vid for "True Stories'" "Love For Sale," which found the band being turned into candy bars and other consumer durables, made that song into a near hit. It's omission levels my rating by a star, as it could've easily replaced "Blind." (While I am sure there will plenty that complain about no tracks from "Stop Making Sense," I'm OK with that.)

And that leads me to quibble number two: Where's the DVD? "Storytelling Giant" deserves better than to be imprisoned in the pricey box set. With the ambitious reissue program in the works, it just begs for a stand alone position on the shelves. But as a single disc CD, this Talking Heads retrospective is pretty close to perfect.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional best-of set, October 9, 2006
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The convergent boundary of "kooky" and "profound", October 25, 2010
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (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. Doing so saves their marriage. A lesson about creativity. There are not a ton of songs in the world that fall into the bickering-couple-makes-homemade-TV-shows genre.

6. Life During Wartime. Definitely one of those "should be a full-length movie" songs. Apart from the obviously catchy chorus, what I love most about this song are the lines at the end: "Don't get exhausted. I'll do some driving. You ought to get you some sleep." When you place them within the song's bizarre dystopian setting, they have to be some of the tenderest, kindest words ever sung.

9. Once In A Lifetime. Remember when I said that David Byrne doesn't have time to reflect on a life of banality? Just kidding! I actually don't know how to explain my love for this song. If I go ahead and say that I view it as a monumental achievement of humankind -- one that tens of thousands of years of human evolution have been leading up to, so that David Byrne might, miraculously, be born and raised and taught English, so that he might one day form the question, in an exasperatedly baffled voice, "Well, how did I get here?" -- if I say all that, you'd think I was going a little over the top. But this song is just... too... great. Also, you should watch the music video on youtube as often as possible.

11. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody). For me, this song is less about the lyrics and more about the, well, melody, which leaves me feeling both eerie and contented. It's one of my favorites. It doesn't quite stand out among the giants of the CD like Life During Wartime or Once In A Lifetime, but it is nevertheless an integral part of the CD's tapestry.

14. Road To Nowhere. See, here's the thing. The Talking Heads are SO zany, SO kooky, and SO much fun, that they can manage to be intensely profound at the same time. And it's cool. It's not whiny or depressing. They pull it off. In this song especially, David Byrne holds our hand and walks us right to the cliff's edge of complete and utter nihilism... but it's ok, it's fun! And he lets out these raspy little whoops at the end of the song -- tiny, terrorized screams of alarm, addressed to LIFE ITSELF. But it's all in fun!

15. And She Was. I had heard this on the radio a billion times, of course, but when I listened to it on this CD, I finally LISTENED to it. And let me just have a moment of feminism, here. When was the last time you heard a song about a woman, sung by a man, and it WASN'T romantic/sexual? (OK, maybe Elton John's "Candle In The Wind," but that's all I can come up with.) David Byrne is not in love here. He's not particularly attracted to the subject of the song. He's singing about a person, who happens to be a woman, and he's putting himself in her head for a moment. Yes, "she's taking off her dress" -- but she's doing it for herself. I think it's about a woman tripping or something. But it passes my own personal song-version of the Bechdel Movie Test, and that's pretty cool.

16. Wild Wild Life. My theme song (or what I like to hope my theme song is). I get the feeling that the Talking Heads approach every song from a place of being ABSOLUTELY STARTLED TO BE ALIVE. In some cases, this leads to semi-depressing conclusions. At other times, like in this song, we get to celebrate life! Yeah!! There can hardly be a more celebratory song than this. Also, it's another music video worth youtubing if you get the chance.

18. (Nothing But) Flowers. Yes, this is later Heads, and it does feel different. But once again, they've condensed a complex sci-fi scenario that should be a full-length movie into a tiny song. I guess you can call it a high-concept song. The civilized world as we know it has ended, and all the hallmarks of modern suburbia (Dairy Queens, Pizza Huts, etc.) have become overgrown with wildlife. And the narrator MISSES the old ways, even though there are flowers everywhere. My favorite lines come when he's reminiscing about the old ways, and he says, "Years ago, I was an angry young man/ And I'd pretend that I was a billboard/ Standing tall by the side of the road/ I fell in love with the beautiful highway." Um, awesome. You get to question what beauty is, where it comes from, what is actually preventing us from experiencing beauty, etc., etc. You get the idea. All in all, a good way to round up the CD.

Basically, every song is a complete wonder-scape of imagination and fun... but also, more depth than my brain knows how to handle. Maybe it's not for everyone, but I know it most definitely IS for me. If I were a panda, this CD would be bamboo: I am biologically designed to voraciously consume it. So... yeah. 5 stars.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Agood intro, better to have them all!, November 25, 2008
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great record, but few songs missing, March 23, 2006
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (Audio CD)
This is a good collection for the casual fan, but Sand in the Vasoline is the better "Best of" collection. Don't get me wrong, there is a collection of great songs here, but it doesn't have some songs. "City of Dreams" is a great song and sadly isn't included on this record. Between the two, I'd say "Sand" is better
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars More than Once in a Lifetime, December 28, 2005
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (Audio CD)
"Once In A Lifetime" for me was the song and music video that got me to look away and find that there was and is other music out there besides movie score and soundtracks. "Once In A Lifetime" got me right into the 80s new wave or whatever you want to call it (there was really quite a lot of different "rock" "pop" and all the rest coming out of that decade). Talking Heads are endearing to me and I love this album. I don't have to listen to all these "best of the 80s" compilations but instead I can just listen to Talking Heads and get much better feeling for that unique sound that just gets a grip on you. I like this album. I can't say anything bad about it.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Talking Heads for the casual listener, June 16, 2009
By 
Craig A. "Craig" (Mount Laurel, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (Audio CD)
I never collected Talking Heads CDs (or LP's as we used to call them back in the day). But I do LOVE their most famous hits! If that's all you are looking for then this is the CD to get.
I feel like I'm back in the post-punk/new-wave era when I hear these songs again! Amen to the 80's!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars very good collection, December 26, 2007
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (Audio CD)
This is an excellent collection. It's missing 'I, Zimbra', 'The Big Country' and although it wasn't released as a single, I wish it had 'Drugs' on it, but it has all the other hits. This is a great collection for most Talking Heads fans.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Articulate Collection, August 16, 2006
This review is from: The Best of Talking Heads (Audio CD)
Oddly, a compilation by Talking Heads should come out uneven and disjointed, but this collection is marvelously done. The songs meld well together and provide a sampler that wouldn't prevent anyone from buying their excellent original albums. ('Talking Heads '77,' 'Remain in Light,' and 'Speaking in Tongues' are their crowning achievements artistically, but 'Fear of Music,' 'More Songs About Buildings and Food,' and 'True Stories' demonstrate that they had a great repertoire. (Unlike, 'Sand in the Vaseline,' which is also excellent, but perhaps takes too many gems and doesn't align them as well.)

For the uninitiated, Talking Heads is one of the freshest and engaging progressive bands from the seventies and eighties. "Psycho Killer," "Once in a Lifetime," "Burning Down the House," and "Wild, Wild Life" all capture the inspired lunacy that dares to match the insanity of ordinary life. All of their albums are well represented. "Life During Wartime" represents them at their progressive best, but "And She Was" showcases their ethereal best.

In sum, 'Best of Talking Heads' provides a great mix and a thoughtful sampler without spoiling all of the fun.
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The Best of Talking Heads
The Best of Talking Heads by Talking Heads (Audio CD - 2004)
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