Talking Heads - The Best of Talking Heads

Throughout the late 70s and most of the 80s, Talking Heads were responsible for a number of classic, quirky pop songs. The band won commercial success as well as critical acclaim, but the main impression while listening to this compilation is that they stuck to their guns, as if the mainstream had to find them rather than the other way round.

Lest we forget, it was a song on True Stories that gave Radiohead their name. The lyrics of Once in a Lifetime would even seem to foreshadow Thom Yorke's musings on the monotony of a 9-5, suburban existence. In addition, band members Chriz Frantz and Tina Weymouth have produced the likes of Happy Mondays and Gorillaz, making it hard not to see Talking Heads as influential, especially in a willingness to explore various genres.

The sound here moves from jittery, stripped rock 'n' roll (Psycho Killer) to James Brown-style funk (Blind) and "world music" ((Nothing But) Flowers). However, it's Road to Nowhere, thanks in part to the military drumming, that is perhaps their most memorable track.

Putting any moral objections to 'best of' compilations aside, this looks to be one of the better collections in the Christmas cash-in release schedule, providing a good introduction to a band still relevant today.


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