Talking Heads were coming to the end of their Imperial Phase. But hats off to them it was an imperial phase that lasted for over four albums and five years. Talking Heads '77, Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear Of Music and Remain in Light. One of the truly great runs. During that time they'd developed from a scratchy, minimal barely competent trio into a funky, ecstatic multicultural band of the Family Stone stripe, bestriding large arenas across the planet, making a fantastic, almost unprecedented musical row and coining considerable dollar.
Speaking in Tongues was not quite the groundbreaking record musically that the previous four had been. But it was still pretty bloody great. Few bands could live with them at this point. I could easily have chosen Burning Down The House for this countdown. Terrific album and concert opener and single. But I had to plump for this instead. It's one of those songs that demands to be heard and heard again. One of the band's absolute peaks and they had so many.
As for me and Talking Heads. I was into them at the time. It was one of the few things musically that me and my friends agreed on. My particular Talking Heads friends were Philip and Robert who both lived in Kew, round the corner from one another. We all loved Talking Heads. How could you not. Robert was not much of a friend really, or even a very nice guy, but he had a car, and that was important at that point of life. He drove us one night in his mini, at breakneck speed into Central London, to see an all night feature at the legendary Scala cinema where Stop Making Sense was on the bill. Robert slept through most of the film, woke up, and it had 'stopped making sense' according to him. This became something of a catchphrase between me and Philip. Golden memories of youth.
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