10 of The Greatest Songs of Talking Heads

Posted in: Musicouching by jharmon on April 26th, 2010 | 2 Comments

Back in the day Talking Heads was an awesome, if often unusual, band. Heavy play on MTV in the early “80s helped this band”s career, and the songs are still interesting to this day.

Once in a Lifetime

A moderate 1981 hit for Talking Heads in the U.S., but a big hit in Europe, “Once in a Lifetime” has always been my favorite of the band’s songs, and my favorite of the band’s videos. The lyrics and video both seem quit surreal at first, but if you pay attention to the lyrics it’s all about rolling through life without questioning anything or without being aware of what’s really important; heady stuff for MTV back in the day.

And She Was

This is an awesome song from Talking Heads, and despite the fact it’s 25 years old, it still keeps showing up in movies like “Bewitched” and “Look Who’s Talking,” and it has been released a playable track on the video game Rock Band. I’m glad this song is still recognized today, because it deserves it. It’s just a fun, little, catchy tune.

Road to Nowhere

“Road to Nowhere” was a moderate hit for Talking Heads, rising up the charts in several countries across the globe, including hitting the radio and MTV in the U.S. The video for this tune is quite interesting, and was nominated for “Best Video of the Year” at the 1986 MTV Video Music Awards.

Burning Down the House

The live video below is of a rare Talking Heads reunion, this one for the band’s 2002 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Apparently there are too many hard feelings between band members for them to get together again, and that’s a shame. This might be my second favorite song by the band, though “Stay Up Late” is close.

Stay Up Late

This is another favorite from Talking Heads, but despite some MTV time, this song and video was never big on the music charts. Which was a shame. It’s one of the band’s funnest songs, about keeping a baby up all night. Came off the “Little Creatures” album of 1985, quite possibly when this band was at the height of its popularity.

Psycho Killer

One of the band’s earliest hits (though not a big one), “Psycho Killer” was released in 1977 on the album “Talking Heads: 77.” This is an intiguing song in that the lyrics appear to be thoughts from the head of a serial killer, or some such. This particular video is of an early live performance on television, and it’s great for showing the energy of this band during its younger days.

Girlfriend is Better

Admittedly, this was never one of my favorite songs from this band, but plenty of others seemed to like it when it came out in 1984 on the “Stop Making Sense” album, and it was a minor hit overseas. The video below is from a live performance in 1984, and it provides a nice vision of Talking Heads when they were near the band’s zenith of popularity.

Thank You for Sending Me an Angel

This is an interesting song by this band because it has some country music elements to it, and that’s generally unusual for David Byrne and the gang (at least in the earlier days of Talking Heads). The song was released on the “More Songs About Buildings and Food” in 1978. Enjoy!

Life During Wartime

This is one of the funkier tunes from Talking Heads, and this video is from a 1983 concert. The original version of this song, released in 1979 on the “Fear of Music” album, didn’t shake up the radio waves any, but a live version in 1983 on the “Stop Making Sense” recording was a moderate hit. If you like lots of New Wave sounds with electronic keyboard and hopping-around dancing, this video and song should be just right for you.

The Lady Don’t Mind

This is one of the band’s slower songs, almost a ballad despite the fact it still has that funky drum beating in the background. “The Lady Don’t Mind” came off the “Little Creatures” album in 1985, and though it was never a hit in the U.S. it did rise up the charts some in other parts of the world.

Other music links

10 Often Overlooked Albums of the 1980s

25 Albums that Helped Define the 80s

10 Great Songs by Counting Crows

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