INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS & RELATED ARTICLES
Circus JULY 31, 1982 - by John Swenson
THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS TALKING HEADS
In 1977 Talking Heads spearheaded the U.S. new music scene that rose from the remains of glitter rock and fusion. Talking Heads: 77 was a landmark album characterised by stark, mutant R&B rhythms and leader David Byrne's psychotic lyrics and vocals.
As the band developed, Talking Heads came more and more under the influence of producer Brian Eno's electronic music concepts, until by the time of 1980's Remain In Light their character had changed almost entirely.
This two-record live set presents the band in a before-and-after context. Record One consists of performances of early material recorded in 1977 and 1979; the second disc presents the new sound in concert with a group augmented by a number of session musicians.
The '77 tracks are the most interesting in that they are even cruder and more fractured than the album versions. Fans of Byrne favorites like New Feeling, Pulled Up and Psycho Killer will undoubtedly find his nervous-breakdown vocals fascinating here.
The '79 material - Artists Only, Stay Hungry, Air, Love→Building On Fire and Memories (Can't Wait) shows the band becoming a slicker and more assured live outfit. When Talking Heads added virtuoso players like Adrian Belew, Bernie Worrell and Busta Jones to the old lineup, they had the makings of a great funk band.
The slick, undulating Houses In Motion allows Talking Heads to take on Parliament/Funkadelic as kings of funk rock, which may not be what their long-time fans are looking for but is certainly worth hearing.