Talking Heads, Naked (1988)
People forget about this album – or try to forget about this album. I can’t go calling it the best Talking Heads album. But I don’t agree with the idea that only the first four albums were worth it. I like all of the band’s material – as I outlined here – but (also) I really like Naked. Great album. Full of clever pop songs and dark, weird ideas. I guess it’s the writing-on-the-wall album and it’s the far more the David Byrne solo album than any of the other band records could ever be confused for. But none of that matters. Also – maybe – I should declare that I heard this album very early on. I bought it when it was released. I was a fan of the band but this was the first album I heard all the way through. That stuff stays with you – it’s why I can still hear this album now (often). It’s why I hunted this out – found the LP (worth it for that cover image anyway, right?). But what a great album. I maintain that. All the good stuff on side one. But side two gets quite twisted. And I like that a lot. I bought this on tape. In Hastings. With a music-voucher. I think it musta been my 11th birthday or something. I also bought Def Leppard’s Hysteria the same day. I liked that more at the time. But that could be because it came with a free badge. So, apparently, Neil Finn was trying to sound like Talking Heads when he created Crowded House. Got that wrong didn’t he. He’s closer, arguably, with Pajama Club. But he’ll never write something as devastatingly brilliant as Cool Water.
Sample Track: The Democratic Circus
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