The Top 10 Key Moments In Heads History:
1. Formed in 1974 with Byrne, Weymouth and boyfriend Frantz, the name Talking Heads came from an old TV Guide - it was a tag for TV news reporters.
2. February, 1977 - Jerry Harrison joined.
3. The Talking Heads opened for the Ramones at CBGBs in '75. They later toured Europe with the band, again as an opening act.
4. First charting single - "Psycho Killer." Brilliant song. Great first impression. Got all the way to #92 on the U.S. charts.
5. Best cover of an R&B classic - Al Green's "Take Me To The River." From the opening cymbal splash to the hypnotic angular rhythm, it's clear the Talking Heads are taking the song in a different direction. Byrne's near-manic vocals drive home the doomed obsession - and you can dance to it.
6. "Stop Making Sense;" Title of their concert film. One of the best, if not the best. Shot at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
7. Tom-Tom Club: A spin off group with Weymouth and Frantz.
8. "Once In A Lifetime" was the best video/song combination. (OK, that was subjective.) Maybe it was "Burning Down The House." What do you think?
9. In the '90s, Byrne sued his band mates for working under the name The Heads. After a lot a legal hassles it was determined all four members jointly own the name Talking Heads.
10. Having a politician play one of your hits at campaign stops or in commercials may be great exposure but there are all sorts of implications that can result. So it's best to nip it in the bud. That's what Byrne did in '10. The Talking Heads frontman sued Florida governor and independent candidate for senator Charlie Crist for using the Talking Heads '85 hit "Road To Nowhere" in a campaign ad slamming his then-Republican primary opponent Marco Rubio. Byrne claimed Crist didn't ask for or receive permission from either Byrne or Talking Heads' label Warner Bros. to use the song; Byrne also asserted that such use wrongfully insinuated his endorsement of Crist's candidacy. "I was pretty upset by that," Byrne told Billboard. He sued for $1 million because it was the amount he was typically offered for use of his songs in commercials.
What made the Talking Heads important was the combination of intelligent lyrics (or at least interesting), varied musical influences seamlessly integrated and striking visuals. The band was an early MTV mainstay and helped propel that network to mass popularity.
1977 Talking Heads: 77
1978 More Songs About Buildings And Food
1979 Fear Of Music
1980 Remain In Light
1983 Speaking In Tongues
1985 Little Creatures
1986 True Stories
1982 The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads
1984 Stop Making Sense
The documentary and soundtrack "Stop Making Sense" shows the Talking Heads, and especially singer David Byrne, in complete command. It's great theatre and inspired music. The Talking Heads' legacy. But from their debut album "Songs About Buildings and Food" to "Naked," a decade later, the Talking Heads established themselves as one of the most creative and innovative groups utilizing world music influences. They started with Brian Eno producing. Of those early albums, the debut is the best. It includes a simmering, New Wave cover of Al Green's soul classic "Take Me To The River." "Remain In The Light" from the mid-80s shows the group at its most accessible and, by no coincidence, most popular. "Burning Down The House" was one of those songs that owned a regular slot on MTV.
"Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand In The Vaseline" is an excellent overview of the Talking Heads' impressive career.