6036-2 Talking Heads: 77
Produced by Tony Bongiovi, Lance Quinn & Talking Heads
Released on September 16, 1977
US CHART POSITION #97 . . . UK CHART POSITION #60
Find it at GEMM
6036-2 cover
[high resolution scan]

W illiam Ruhlmann captured this nicely in a review for AMG, and excerpt of which follows: “All pretenses of normality were abandoned... the staggered rhythms and sudden tempo changes, the odd guitar tunings and rhythmic single-note patterns, the non-rhyming, non-linear, non-narrative lyrics full of aphoristic soundbites that came across like odd remarks overheard from a psychiatrist’s couch, and that voice, singing above its normal range, leaping into falsetto and from there into strangled cries like a madman trying desperately to sound normal.” I was aware of this music in 1977, but Elvis Costello and (later) The Clash had the steam to reach my suburbs first, the Heads only landing in my little world with Fear of Music. The whole NYC scene (Television, Patti Smith) took years to filter down to me, so I can’t write a testimony to how Talking Heads: 77 changed my life. In fact, this is the last Heads album I bought, finally capitulating after resisting the purchase for years (I equate order with complacent thinking). Spinning the clock back to 1977, this music would have instantly caught your ear and maybe even blown your mind. David Byrne sounded (and looked) like an accountant after a nervous breakdown, all of his work papers shredded into musical confetti. It would be tempting to see the Heads as the class clowns of the new art rock school if Byrne’s angst weren’t so palpable. It’s a ride unlike any other, where the roads to Candyland and morbid self-obsession cross. Some of the treats are half-baked (“Who Is It?,” “Tentative Decisions”), others surprisingly intricate (“Happy Day”) and a few reveal a real sweet-tooth (“Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town,” “Pulled Up”). The subsequent Eno albums were alien creatures that often buried the band’s helium energy under layers of exotic effects and cross-cultural experiments. If Remain In Light was a mature cabernet, Talking Heads: 77 was a well-shook soda can. The more I listen to this, the more I might be convinced that 77 is indeed one of the most important alternative rock albums from the 70s/80s.

6036-2 back cover 6036-2 booklet inner sleeve
6036-2 back cover 6036-2 booklet inner sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. UH-OH, LOVE COMES TO TOWN    2:48
  2. NEW FEELING    3:09
  3. TENTATIVE DECISIONS    3:04
  4. HAPPY DAY    3:55
  5. WHO IS IT?    1:41
  6. NO COMPASSION    4:47
  7. THE BOOK I READ    4:06
  8. DON'T WORRY ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT    3:00
  9. FIRST WEEK/LAST WEEK... CAREFREE    3:19
  10. PSYCHO KILLER    (David Byrne/Martina Weymouth/Christopher Frantz)    4:19
  11. PULLED UP    4:29

    CD reissue bonus tracks
  12. LOVE-->BUILDING ON FIRE
  13. I WISH YOU WOULDN'T SAY THAT
  14. PSYCHO KILLER (ACOUSTIC)
  15. I FEEL IT IN MY HEART
  16. SUGAR ON MY TONGUE

    Tracks 1-11 written by David Byrne unless noted

CREDITS

DAVID BYRNE -- guitar player and singer, cover
CHRIS FRANTZ -- drummer
JERRY HARRISON -- guitar and keyboard player, 2nd singer
MARTINA WEYMOUTH -- bass player
Ed Stasium -- engineer
Mick Rock -- photography

return to TALKING HEADS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US/CAN September 16, 1977 Sire LP SR 6036 lyric sleeve
UK September 1977 Sire LP 9103 328  
GER 1977 Sire LP/CS K 56 647/456 657  
JPN 1977 Philips LP RJ-7321  
NET 1977 Philips LP 6370 813  
JPN   WEA LP P-6485  
US 1987 Sire CD 6036  
  May 1987 Sire 2CS 23712 repackaged w. MORE SONGS...
GER 1999 WEA CD 27423  
US January 10, 2006 Rhino CDX   digital remaster w. bonus tracks
UK 2006 Rhino CDX/DVD 73297 dig.rem. w. bonus tracks + audio dvd
US April 18, 2009 Rhino LP   180g vinyl

 

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