Talking Heads History

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The Talking Heads in Toronto, 1978

The Talking Heads history is the story of a memorable band of the 70s and 80s, featuring an impressive body of work.

Band Members

  • David Byrne - guitar and lead vocals
  • Chris Frantz - drums
  • Tina Weymouth - bass and backing vocals
  • Jerry Harrison - guitar, keyboard, and vocals

A Brief Talking Heads History

The Talking Heads began with just three members in 1974: Byrne, Frantz, and Weymouth. As recent art school graduates, they brought this sensibility to their music. Although they were part of the 1970s New York punk scene, playing with the Ramones and appearing at the iconic CBGB, their music was more experimental than that of their peers. After adding Harrison to the group, they released their first album in 1977. Producer Brian Eno was an early influence on their sound, helping the band continue to experiment on subsequent releases. They also incorporated African rhythms to add unique beats to their music.

During the 80s, the band was generally classified as New Wave, a sound that drew on punk sensibilities, but had more elements of pop music. In 1983, the band saw its first mainstream hit, "Burning Down the House." The Talking Heads were a prolific band in their prime, releasing eight albums in a little over a decade. After creating their final album in 1988, the band members drifted apart and began working on solo projects. The Talking Heads officially disbanded in 1991. One post-Talking Heads project of interest was the Heads, made up of all of the original members except for Byrne. They released one album in 1996 called No Talking Just Head. In 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Talking Heads Discography

Talking Heads: 77 - 1977

  • "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town"
  • "New Feeling"
  • "Tentative Decisions"
  • "Happy Day"
  • "Who Is It?"
  • "No Compassion"
  • "The Book I Read"
  • "Don't Worry About the Government"
  • "First Week/Last Week ... Carefree"
  • "Psycho Killer"
  • "Pulled Up"

More Songs About Buildings and Food - 1978

  • "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel"
  • "With Our Love"
  • "The Good Thing"
  • "Warning Sign"
  • "The Girls Want to Be With the Girls"
  • "Found a Job"
  • "Artists Only"
  • "I'm Not in Love"
  • "Stay Hungry"
  • "Take Me to the River"
  • "The Big Country"

Fear of Music - 1979

  • "I Zimbra"
  • "Mind"
  • "Paper"
  • "Cities"
  • "Life During Wartime"
  • "Memories Can't Wait"
  • "Air"
  • "Heaven"
  • "Animals"
  • "Electric Guitar"
  • "Drugs"

Remain in Light - 1980

  • "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)"
  • "Crosseyed and Painless"
  • "The Great Curve"
  • "Once in a Lifetime"
  • "Houses in Motion"
  • "Seen and Not Seen"
  • "Listening Wind"
  • "The Overload"

Additional tracks from 2006 re-release (unfinished outtakes)

  • "Fela's Riff"
  • "Unison"
  • "Double Groove"
  • "Right Start"

Speaking in Tongues - 1983

  • "Burning Down the House"
  • "Making Flippy Floppy"
  • "Girlfriend Is Better"
  • "Slippery People"
  • "I Get Wild/Wild Gravity"
  • "Swamp"
  • "Moon Rocks"
  • "Pull Up the Roots"
  • "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)"

Additional tracks from 2006 re-release

  • "Two Note Swivel" (unfinished outtake)
  • "Burning Down the House" (alternate version)

Little Creatures - 1985

  • "And She Was"
  • "Give Me Back My Name"
  • "Creatures of Love"
  • "The Lady Don't Mind"
  • "Perfect World"
  • "Stay Up Late"
  • "Walk It Down"
  • "Television Man"
  • "Road to Nowhere"

True Stories - 1986

  • "Love for Sale"
  • "Puzzlin' Evidence"
  • "Hey Now"
  • "Papa Legba"
  • "Wild Wild Life"
  • "Radio Head"
  • "Dream Operator"
  • "People Like Us"
  • "City of Dreams"

Naked - 1988

  • "Blind"
  • "Mr. Jones"
  • "Totally Nude"
  • "Ruby Dear"
  • "(Nothing But) Flowers"
  • "The Democratic Circus"
  • "The Facts of Life"
  • "Mommy Daddy You and I"
  • "Big Daddy"
  • "Bill"
  • "Cool Water"

Compilations, Live Albums and Boxed Sets

  • The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads (1982)
  • Stop Making Sense (1984)
  • Sand in the Vaseline: Popular Favorites (1992)
  • Once in a Lifetime - The Best of Talking Heads (1992)
  • Once in a Lifetime (2003)
  • The Best of Talking Heads (2004)
  • Brick (2005)
  • Bonus Rarities and Outtakes (2006)
  • Talking Heads: The Collection (2007)
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Talking Heads History