Talking HeadsTina WeymouthJerry HarrisonDavid ByrneChris Frantz
Talking HeadsTalking Heads DISCOGRAPHYTALKING HEADS
STOP MAKING SENESE '84
Release Date 1984
Psycho Killer [live]
Swamp
Slippery People
Burning Down the House
Girlfriend Is Better
Once in a Lifetime
What a Day That Was
Life During Wartime
Take Me to the River

 

STOP MAKING SENESE '99
[Special Edition]
Release Date Sep 7, 1999
LabelSire/Warner
Psycho Killer
Heaven
Thank You for Sending Me ...
Found a Job
Slippery People
Burning Down the House
Life During Wartime
Making Flippy Floppy
Swamp
What a Day That Was
This Must Be the Place
Once in a Lifetime
Genius of Love
Girlfriend Is Better
Take Me to the River
Crosseyed and Painless

Album Review
While there's no debating the importance of Jonathan Demme's classic film record of Talking Heads' 1983 tour, the soundtrack released in support of it is a thornier matter. Since its release, purists have found Stop Making Sense slickly mixed and, worse yet, incomprehensive. The nine tracks included jumble and truncate the natural progression of frontman David Byrne's meticulously arranged stage show. Cries for a double-album treatment -- à la 1982's live opus The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads -- were sounded almost immediately; more enterprising fans merely dubbed the VHS release of the film onto cassette tape. So, until a 1999 "special edition" cured the 1984 release's ills, fans had to make do with the Stop Making Sense they were given -- which is, by any account, an exemplary snapshot of a band at the height of its powers. Even with some of his more memorable tics edited out, Byrne is in fine voice here: Never before had he sounded warmer or more approachable, as evidenced by his soaring rendition of "Once in a Lifetime." Though almost half the album focuses on Speaking in Tongues material, the band makes room for one of Byrne's Catherine Wheel tunes (the hard-driving, elliptical "What a Day That Was") as well as up-tempo versions of "Pyscho Killer" and "Take Me to the River." If anything, Stop Making Sense's emphasis on keyboards and rhythm is its greatest asset as well as its biggest failing: Knob-tweakers Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison play up their parts at the expense of the treblier aspects of the performance, and fans would have to wait almost 15 years for reparations. Still, for a generation that may have missed the band's seminal '70s work, Stop Making Sense proves to be an excellent primer.

Review by Michael Hastings allmusic.com

 

Stop Making Sens
Special Edition 1999

Album Review
When the soundtrack for the classic Talking Heads movie Stop Making Sense was originally issued in 1984, it was only nine tracks in length, even though a total of 16 were performed on film.

So when the film was rereleased in theaters and on home video in 1999, a new version of the soundtrack was issued as well, including all 16 songs and sporting an even better remastered sound.

Recorded over three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in December 1983 (during the tour in support of Speaking in Tongues, the usual four-piece lineup was supplemented by Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, percussionist Steve Scales, guitarist Alex Weir, and backup singers Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt.

Songs from all eras of the band are featured. The first four tracks are early selections ("Psycho Killer," "Heaven") performed as bare renditions, plus full-band funky versions of such later hits as "Life During Wartime," "Burning Down the House," "Once in a Lifetime," and "Girlfriend Is Better." Also included are less-known album tracks ("Swamp," "This Must Be the Place," "Crosseyed and Painless"), plus a track from David Byrne's 1981 Catherine Wheel album ("What a Day That Was"), and "Genius of Love" by the Tom Tom Club (a side project of drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth).

One of the greatest live albums ever, the 1999 version of Stop Making Sense captures the Talking Heads at the height of their powers. A quintessential purchase.

Review by Greg Prato allmusic.com


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