Talking Heads were a band popularly known for their music which included a combination of punk, art rock, funk, dance, and world music. They were considered as one of the foundations behind the development of new wave music. The band’s members included David Byrne on vocals and guitar, Chris Frantz on drums, Tine Weymouth on bass, and Jerry Harrison on keyboards and guitar. The Talking Heads were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and made it Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time and VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.
TALKING HEADS’ ORIGINS
David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Tina Weymouth first started out as The Artistics before debuting as the Talking Heads when they opened for the Ramones at CBGB in June 1975.
TALKING HEADS’ CAREER IN MUSIC
The band’s first single was LoveBuilding on Fire which was released in 1976. It was followed by the release of the album Talking Heads: 77 the year after with the inclusion of Jerry Harrison on keyboards. The album received positive reviews as well as the song Psycho Killer.
In 1978, More Songs About Buildings and Food came out. The album displayed the band’s aim in trying out a variety of musical styles, showcasing the transition of their music from post-punk to new wave to psychedelic funk to funk rock. The album included a cover of Al Green’s Take Me to the River which reached the Billboard Top 30 charts.
Fear of Music, which came out in 1979, had darker tones and more punk rock and funkadelia musical styles. The song Life During Wartime popularized the phrase, “This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco.”
The album was followed by the released of Remain in Light, which was greatly influenced by Arabic and African music combined with disco funk and other kinds of sounds. The song Once in a Lifetime would became a part of the UK’s Top 20.
From 1981 to 1991, the band went to hiatus and its members would venture into separate music projects. However, they also went on touring the United States and Europe and released a live album called The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.
Speaking in Tongues which came out in 1983, included Burning Down the House which was the band’s only song to reach the American Top 10. The album was followed by the release of Little Creatures in 1985, True Stories in 1986, and Naked in 1988. Little Creatures and True Stories both had American pop-rock tunes in them while Naked showcased tunes greatly influenced by African music combined with various polyrhythmic styles.
The band announced their split up in 1991 and the members continued on pursuing their side projects and individual music careers.
In 1996, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison got together again and formed The Heads. They released an album entitled No Talking, Just Head. The songs in the album were sung different vocalists which included the likes of Debbie Harry, Johnette Napolitano, Andy Partridge, Shaun Ryder and many others.