TALKING HEADS – Talking Heads: 77
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"Talking Heads are the last of CBGB’s original Big Four to record (following Patti Smith, the Ramones and Television), and their debut is an absolute triumph. Dressing like a quartet of Young Republicans, playing courteously toned-down music and singing lyrics lauding civil servants, parents and college, TALKING HEADS ARE not even remotely punks. Rather, they are the great Ivy League hope of pop music. I can’t recall when I last heard such a vital, imaginatively tuneful album.
David Byrne‘s music is refreshing, abundantly varied and fun to listen to. He takes the buoyant, post-Beatles singles format of the Sixties — brisk pacing, great hooks, crisp playing, bright production — and impulsively veers off on unexpected tangents that are challenging without becoming inaccessible.
This is the band that had its early critics talking about minimalism and, like Jonathan Richman, Talking Heads do indeed triumph by the economy of their sound. But where the ingenuous Richman is dangerously precious, there is no nonsense about Talking Heads. Byrne’s spare guitar patterns, Jerry Harrison’s modest keyboard fills, Martina Weymouth’s understated bass and Chris Frantz’ efficiently Spartan drumming convey a taut earnestness that’s bursting with energy...
For me, the direct, crisp, jaunty Talking Heads and the abstracted, unrestrained, fiery Television stand as the Beatles and Rolling Stones of the restless, displaced Seventies. Not only is this a great album, it’s also one of the definitive records of the decade."
- Stephen Demorest, Rolling Stone