Friday, January 8, 2010

Top 5 Talking Heads Songs by haiku

THE FUTURIST! loves inviting others to provide lists to his blog. People love lists. They are always compiling things they like or need to buy or desired goals in some kind of order. At this past year's end everyone was making lists of things they loved for the year or the decade. Very often people will list things they even hated. Everyone has a list of some kind ... grocery shoppers, people doing household chores, corporate types listing those to be fired and so forth. THE FUTURIST! even made a list of his favorite films of the decade in an earlier post.

Today THE FUTURIST! asked haiku to compile a list of his favorite Talking Heads musical achievements. haiku loves the Talking Heads and he loves lists. Perfect. Let's go:

(in descending order)

5. "I Feel It In My Heart" bonus track off the remastered Talking Heads: 77
I believe this is a B-side to an early single off their first album, not sure. I can understand why it wouldn't make the cut on the album, but I've grown so attached to this song after discovering it on the remastered release that it's become one of my favorites. I feel like it encapsulates the innocence of early Talking Heads, as pure a Talking Heads song as you can get.

4. "Crosseyed and Painless" off Remain In Light
Sweaty, nervous white funk. There is so much going on in this song that it becomes overwhelming at times. The rhythm goes straight to your hips, which can be an embarrassing thing in public (especially if you don't have any).

3. "Pulled Up" off Talking Heads: 77
Simply a great, great pop song. The contrast between the cymbal-crashing and the groovy, noodly breaks is really effective, as is Byrne's nonsense barking.

2. "Once In a Lifetime" off Remain In Light
This song plays out in great mind images like a one act play with a black backdrop. It's like Beckett set to funky bass and watery synths. "Lights go up. Enter man on stage wearing gray flannel suit and black frame glasses. He hits himself on the head repeatedly, knocking it back every time. He dances awkwardly and elatedly. Lights dim. Curtains fall."

1. "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" off Stop Making Sense
The Stop Making Sense live version specifically. Maybe my favorite song of all time. The lyrics are unabashedly sentimental, but not overly so. The repetitive, subdued funkiness of the bass/synth line, the colorful lead guitar flourishes, and that wonderful vocal melody and delivery. I mean, it's the most beautiful thing Talking Heads put out in a large body of work that is characteristically intellectual, funky, and unsentimental -- and you can still dance to it.


Dara said...

Good choice, haiku! That's also my number one Talking Heads song.


It is a good song. Especially its presentation in STOP MAKING SENSE directed by the great Jonathan Demme.

kazu said...

haiku's tastes are impeccable!