Talking Heads “Stop Making Sense” Rhino-Warner Records

September 2023 | MUSIC, 23/09

The band met at design school in the ’70s, and are credited with opening the doors to world music by mixing white music with African rhythms. Whatever the case, they produced a handful of essential albums, and their sound had a considerable influence on the New York scene, right up to the likes of Franz Ferdinand and Fool’s God. In 1983, film director Jonathan Demme attended one of the shows following the release of the Speaking In Tongues album; blown away by what he saw, he convinced the band to film the last concerts of the tour. The result is simply cult, and even today it’s considered one of the best filmed concerts of all time. The set design, the visual surprises, the band’s energy, the director’s bias towards what happens on stage, all combine to make this an exceptional piece of work. Of course, the music on this disc is the central pivot. As with many concerts, here we find a succession of the band’s best tracks, with that extra soul and cohesion that live recordings bring, the songs are transcended. Listening to these 18 tracks, it’s easy to see the difference between a good album and an unmissable classic.