The history of Talking Heads, a band that went from punks to new wave stars

The group officially existed until 1991, and ten years later entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. How did the story of Talking Heads begin? Let's find out together!

Biography of Talking Heads: the beginning of the journey, music, albums

Talking heads is an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York. "Talking Heads" came out of late 70s punk rock, combining elements of punk with a strong personality and a desire for creativity... Many would call this band art rock, but they also wrote tunes that were catchy enough to hit the charts. Already by the time of the release of his last album in 1988 The Heads were one of the most revered bands in music circles. Talking heads become critically successful, with four of their albums making the list 500 greatest in history by version Rolling Stone! They would eventually go on to create new wave music, with the BBC describing them as pioneering the genre, fusing elements of punk, art rock, funk and world music with an avant-garde flair and an unsettling, clear-cut image... 1991 year, and ten years later entered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Where did the story begin Talking heads? Let's find out together!

How it all began - the formation of "Talking Heads"

Talking heads
Talking heads

At the beginning of his career Talking heads were full of wild energy, detached emotions and restrained minimalism. When they released their latest album, the band recorded everything from art funk to polyrhythmic world explorations to simple melodic guitar pop. Between their first album in 1977 and last in 1988 year Talking heads became one of the most critically acclaimed bands 80s, managing to earn some pop hits and a big name! Although some of their music may seem too experimental, smart and intellectual, Talking heads represent all the good things about art school punks...

History Talking heads began when two art students, David Byrne and Chris Franz, moved in New York in the late 70s years ... With minimal musical ability and no experience in the music business, according to Byrne, they thought they would "try to create a serious rock band." Unable to recruit participants in the city, they asked Franz's girlfriend, a classmate Tina Weymouth (who never played bass) to become their bass player. They would soon play their first gig as Talking Heads at CBGB in 1975, supporting Ramones

Talking Heads
Talking Heads

Already by 1977 the group signed a contract with Sire Records and released her first album "Talking Heads: 77": the record will be widely recognized for its laconic rock and roll, especially for the defiant, overly intellectual lyrics Byrne… From now on, people start talking about Talking Heads! And not just to say: they begin to admire ...

The main stages of creativity

Talking Heads
Talking Heads

Evolution Talking heads from chatty art rockers to self-confident interpreters of funk, disco and polyrhythmic afrobeat in New Wave epics 80s lies in their ability to soak up so many influences outside of a narrow repertoire... She made them one of the best live bands of the decade! Suffice it to say that they were an instant hit, arriving at the “right place at the right time.” After their first concert, they appeared on the cover of The Village Voice, but this was only the beginning of success ... To 1980 During the year the band worked with Brian Eno, who contributed a lot to their songs. Talking heads Realized that pop music was changing and started mixing up the sound.

“The first time I met the Talking Heads, I played them a record by Fel Kuti, the Afro-Nigerian musician who invented the afrobeat. I thought it was the most exciting music at the time…” Eno recalled.

Brian Eno
Brian Eno

It is worth noting that Brian Eno and Talking Heads approached the songwriting in different ways, improvising in the studio and recreating the rhythms of Kuti's music. They recorded their jams, played them back, and then looked for pieces of music that stood out. They used the pieces of music that they liked and repeated them, just like hip-hop producers sample music. As a result, Talking Heads wrote one of their most famous songs. "Once in a Lifetime" for his fourth album Remain in Light.

Byrne and Eno added various rhythmic layers to the famous bass line weymouth, and, as the Guardian describes, Byrne's singing was inspired by "the ranting of American radio evangelists..."

"The Calm Before the Storm"

Talking Heads
Talking Heads

After a long tour, the band focused on solo projects. By the time in 1983 came out Speaking in Tongues, Talking Heads broke off relations with Eno… The result was an album that was still based on rhythmic innovations Remain in Light, except for the more rigid structure of pop songs. After its release, Heads embarked on another extensive tour, which was captured in a concert film by the director. Jonathan Demme "Stop Making Sense".

After release in 1985 the year of the simple pop album Little Creatures Byrne made his first film "True Stories". The next album of the group included songs from this film ... Two years later, in 1988 year, Talking heads released naked, an album that marked a return to their global exploration (though it sometimes suffers from Byrne's lyrical pretensions...)

After its release, Heads went on hiatus. Byrne engaged in some solo projects, as well as Harrisonwhereas Franz and Weymouth continued their side project Tom Tom Club. IN 1991 the band announced they were breaking up.

End of Talking Heads story

Thus, at the beginning 90s group Talking heads officially ceased to exist ... In his interview David Byrne stated:

“We broke up, if you like. Consider it so…”

David Byrne
David Byrne

The rest of the participants felt that Byrne over the years, he became more and more distant from the group, as he was engaged in solo projects. Meanwhile Harrison, Franz and Weymouthwho worked on solo projects remained loyal to the main band they loved... Byrne's breakup announcement heads came as a huge shock to his colleagues, who decided they were just on a break. Franz later says:

“As far as we know, the group never broke up. David just decided to leave…”

Interesting to know…

Talking heads
Talking heads

David Byrne's famous gray suit with broad shoulders has its own history. This costume is one of the main elements of the performance from their concert film "Stop Making Sense", and since then for many years it has been parodied and celebrated in the media. Byrne finally spoke about the inspiration behind the suit and why he chose the design:

“I like symmetry, geometric shapes. I wanted my head to look smaller, and the easiest way to achieve this is to make my body bigger. Because music is very physical, and often the body understands it before the head ... "

David Byrne
David Byrne

As it turned out, the famous gray suit came from... a friendly joke!

"A friend joked while I was trying to figure out what to do on the next tour, what to wear... He said, 'Well, you know what theater is - everything has to be bigger than it really is.' And he didn't mean that the clothes should be bigger, he meant that the gestures should be bigger, the music should be more exaggerated on stage than in real life. But I took it very literally…”

So, Byrne and designer Gale Blacker worked together on an "architectural suit", choosing a gray tone suitable for the lighting of the stage...

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