Talking Heads, Talking Heads :77 (1977)
Whenever some young, momentarily hip band is compared to Talking Heads I feel like it’s actually a little bit unkind to both – usually the idea of a comparison is something mutually flattering. But how could just any band tap in to what the Heads did. And if so many hipsters with guitars as so close to Talking Heads (when actually they are not) it weakens the weight of the stunning work left by David Byrne and crew. My introduction to Talking Heads was their shot at pop-fame, the Burning Down The House and Road To Nowhere singles (and their respective albums) that the hardcore fans will tell you – now – was the band selling out, soft-selling their skills by bending to the blend of MOR. I still like some of that stuff – and I still think the band’s last album (Naked) is severely underrated. But I worked back – thanks to the Stop Making Sense movie (and album) and the first four albums really are remarkable. They haven’t dated, they sound so fresh; so bursting with ideas still. And considering they pumped them out – one a year – it’s amazing that there were real shifts between them, the sound jumping forward with each album, but never was there the feeling that one completely replaced the other, they all still (for me) line up and deserve to be counted. And so it is with this debut; the first long-player from one of pop/punk/new-wave’s most consistent bands. I love the leanness of this album, the angular lines, the yelp, the sardonic lyrics – the seemingly opaqueness. I bought this record recently – from TradeMe – at a fair price. It’s in good condition. And I’ve been listening to it more this year than I ever did when I owned the CD. It’s a great starting point for a band that will be forever relevant to me – a band I feel I’ve followed (been following) my whole life. A band I feel never put a foot wrong. Even their “sell-out” pop-chart fodder steel felt/feels subversive and wholly realised. [Also, in preparing this I found that Talking Heads :77 is exactly the same age as my wife; ha. True. They were released on the same day].
Sample Track: Don’t Worry About The Government
The Vinyl Countdown is a document of every LP I listen to, brand new discoveries and old-old favourites; extremely pre-loved, previously abandoned or with the shrink-wrap having just been removed it’s all here at The Vinyl Countdown