Talking Heads - Speaking In Tongues

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Rhino
Catalog Number: 76453
Format: DVDA
Total Time: 00:00:00

Keith reviewed 8 releases in an omnibus edition - e.g., one long, but segmented, review; I have chosen to break this into separate segments, including the opening paragraph for each. This is the first in the series -ed.

The Talking Heads were an original band; to say they were unique is putting it mildly. They did not sound like anyone else nor did anyone sound like them. It's hard to figure out who they were influenced by while listening to more of their advanced recordings. From the third release forward, they changed the landscape of music forever.

Visually they were quite normal with the exception of the awkward and geeky looking lead singer David Bryne. If he put on a suit coat and tie, he could pass for a college professor or an executive on Wall Street. Overall, the Talking Heads were not your typical rock band.

Now with advent of DVD-A, we can listen to their entire studio recordings including videos from the archives and alternate and unfinished takes of tracks you never heard before. The CD sides are excellent as well. Rhino is one of the best at repackaging catalogs but this time I was a little annoyed with the sequencing of tracks. It is nice to have a choice, DVD-A on one side and CD on the other, however putting the bonus tracks only on the CD sides is very annoying. Why would I listen to CD audio when I can have surround sound? There are mixed opinions on the effectiveness of Dual Discs but my experiences have always been positive, with the exception of having to flip it over to hear all the bonus tracks. That is a minor factor when you look at the big picture and how much enjoyment is available like never before. The Talking Heads phenomenal output gets a just recourse with these reissues. Sit back and reminisce then listen to one of the most influential and important bands of our time like you never heard them before. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Talking Heads?

Where were you in 1983? Some of you reading this probably were not even born yet. I was winding down my tour with the Navy in Guam. I remember going to parties carrying my tape player and one of the cassette tapes I always had with me was the Talking Heads' Speaking In Tongues. This was by far my favorite album by this band. "Burning Down The House" was the coolest song, it was so different than anything I had ever heard before. It came as no surprise when I got all eight discs in that I cracked open this one first. I could not wait to hear this is in 5.1 Surround Sound. It was everything I thought it would be and more.

It is amazing how much you miss when you hear music when it is not in surround sound or remastered in DVD-A format. It has you wondering what was so wonderful about listening to this in the first place. Well when you have absolutely nothing else to compare it to you enjoy what you have-even it was a cassette you were wearing out.

This was a groundbreaking album for the Talking Heads and then bands like the Tom Tom Club, which?Chris Frantz (drums) and Tina Weymouth (bass)?brought to the mainstream, were born because of albums like this, and many other similar bands would follow their lead. This was in essence the opening of the door to world music sounds for rock and pop music fans and it expanded their listening scope by leaps and bounds, whether they realized it or not. I think it is important to realize how important the contribution of Chris Frantz's percussion was on this recording, it was everything, and more evident now that it ever was.

The "Burning Down The House" alternate mix is ultra cool, people that enjoy electronica mixes will be nuts about this version. The original video of?"Burning Down The House," back when MTV was a baby, which I remember (who can forget David Bryne's face moving along the asphalt?), and the "This Must Be The Place (Na?ve Melody)" video is included as well.

The Talking Heads would never be any better than this, it was an apex in their long and fruitful career, and it stands today as a true classic that had no barriers musically.

[Next: Remain In Light]

CD Side: 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) / Two Note Swivel* / Burning Down The House (Alternate Version)*

DVD Side: (same as above except bonus tracks) plus videos for Burning Down The House and This Must Be The Place

David Byrne - bass, guitar, percussion, keyboards, vocals
Chris Frantz - synthesizer, drums, background vocals
Jerry Harrison - guitar, keyboards, background vocals
Tina Weymouth - guitar, synth guitar, background vocals, string bass


Wally Badarou - synth
Raphael DeJesus - percussion
Nona Hendryx - background vocals
Richard Landry - saxophone
Steve Scales - percussion
Shankar - violin
David Van Tieghem - percussion
Alex weir - guitar
Bernie Worrell - synthesizer

Talking Heads: 77 (1977/2006*)
More Songs About Buildings And Food (1978/2006*)
Fear Of Music (1979/2006*)
Remain In Light (1980/2006*)
The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads (1982)
Speaking In Tongues (1983/2006*)
Stop Making Sense (1984/2006*)
Little Creatures (1985/2006*)
Sounds From True Stories (1986)
True Stories (1986/2006*)
Naked (1988/2006*)
Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand In The Vaseline (1992)
The Best Of Talking Heads: Once In A Lifetime (1992)
Stop Making Sense (Special Edition) (1999)
12 X 12 Original Mixes (1999)
The Best Of Talking Heads (2004)
Talking Heads Brick (2005) (DualDisc Box Set)

*reissued in DualDisc format (CD/DVD)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: April 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1674
Language: english


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