Talking Heads - Fear Of Music

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Rhino
Catalog Number: 76451
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 fourth 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?

This is one of the Talking Heads' darker and stranger albums. That being the case, it did not deter me from listening and enjoying it even though it's one of my least favorite albums in their catalog; there are some real gems. Yes, they were different, quirky, and weird, so much so that you just had to hear it all.

"Drugs" and "Electric Guitar" are very odd and the repetitive lyrics put you one edge, which is the whole idea, one can imagine. "Life During Wartime" is one of their greatest songs, its right up there with "Burning Down The House" and "Psycho Killer," they just do not get much better than that. "Cities" is cool number as well, it has a temperament, and atmosphere built to last, and it still holds true today. The alternate versions of "Life During Wartime," "Cities," and "Mind" are a real trip, definitely worth several listens and some introspection on how complex and conscious this band was of its audience and what goes on inside their minds.

The Talking Heads could be intense, funny, witty and light ? on Fear Of Music they chilled you to the bone with the harsh realities of life backed by some of the coolest and most original music anyone was producing at the time, even if it was a bit weird and different; they made a statement in many ways.

[Previous: More Songs About Buildings And Food -- Next: True Stories]

CD Side I Zimbra / Mind / Paper / Cities / Life During Wartime / Memories Can't Wait / Air / Heaven / Animals / Electric Guitar / Drugs / Dancing For Money (outtake)* / Life During Wartime* / Cities* / Mind*

DVD Side same as above without bonus tracks; plus, 2 Rockpop (Ger. TV show) perf. of Cities and I Zimbra

David Byrne - background vocals
Brian Eno - vocals, background vocals, treatments
Chris Frantz - percussion, drums
Jerry Harrison - guitar
Tina Weymouth - bass


Robert Fripp - guitar
Julie Last - background vocals

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: 970
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]