SRK 6058 More Songs About Buildings And Food
Produced by Brian Eno and Talking Heads
Released on July 1978
US CHART POSITION #29 . . . GOLD RECORD (11/16/83)
. . . UK CHART POSITION #21
Find it at GEMM
SRK 6058 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

M y earlier review noted (mistakenly) that More Songs felt like a bunnyhop compared to the stylistic leaps between later albums. What I should have called it is a “stylistic bunnyhop” from their debut. As a songwriter, Byrne on More Songs is the same man who gave us “Tentative Decisions” and “No Compassion.” But the sonic setting is much different this time. The playful, childlike melodies are hidden, obscured by non-traditional arrangements that feature Eno’s legendary tampering with the sounds that an instrument could (should?) make. His fingerprints are all over the opening “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel,” and from that point on few instruments get past his attentive eye without some alteration. Guitars play in clipped telegraph bursts, keyboards take on a variety of third-world masks, and throughout it all Tina Weymouth’s slinky bass lines play it straight (maybe she didn’t get the note that this was going to be a costume party). While it’s clearly a more adventurous album in a musical sense, More Songs isn’t necessarily a better album than Talking Heads: 77. Byrne’s man-on-the-edge persona overshadows many of the songs, and few are as much fun to sing along with as “Pulled Up” or “Don’t Worry About The Government.” Over the years, tracks like “Warning Sign” and “Found A Job” stay with me, and there’s no resisting the pull of the two closing tracks. Their dry (relative to the rest of this album) reading of “Take Me To The River” ranks right up there with Devo’s take on “Satisfaction” as a compelling page from new wave’s early non-emotional manifesto (Eno is a common link to both). And “The Big Country” is just a great song, arguably the most intimate moment on the record (perhaps because it’s not boobytrapped). Taken together with their next two albums, More Songs marks the sum and substance of the Head’s avant garde phase. Their first album was risky; with Eno, Talking Heads were now in the lion’s mouth. It’s an interesting act (the Heads were never boring), yet More Songs About Buildings And Food contains fewer memorable songs than any of their early albums.

SRK 6058 back cover SRK 6058 lyric sleeve
SRK 6058 back cover SRK 6058 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. THANK YOU FOR SENDING ME AN ANGEL    (David Byrne)    2:11
  2. WITH OUR LOVE    (David Byrne)    3:30
  3. THE GOOD THING    (David Byrne)    3:03
  4. WARNING SIGN    (David Byrne)    3:55
  5. THE GIRLS WANT TO BE WITH THE GIRLS    (David Byrne)    2:37
  6. FOUND A JOB    (David Byrne)    5:00
  7. ARTISTS ONLY    (David Byrne/Wayne Zieve)    3:34
  8. I'M NOT IN LOVE    (David Byrne)    4:33
  9. STAY HUNGRY    (David Byrne/Chris Frantz)    2:39
  10. TAKE ME TO THE RIVER    (Al Green/M. Hodges)    5:00
  11. THE BIG COUNTRY    (David Byrne)    5:30

CREDITS

DAVID BYRNE -- singing, guitars, and synthesized percussion, cover concept
CHRIS FRANTZ -- drums and percussion
JERRY HARRISON -- piano, organs, synthesizer, guitar, and background singing
TINA WEYMOUTH -- bass guitar
Brian Eno -- synthesizers, piano, guitar, percussion, and background singing, mixing
Tina and The Typing Pool -- background singing (3)
Rhett Davies -- engineer
Ed Stasium -- mixing
Jimmy deSana -- photomosaic reproduction

return to TALKING HEADS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US July 1978 Sire LP SRK 6058 lyric sleeve
UK/GER July 1978 Sire LP/CS K 56531  
CAN 1978 Sire LP QSR 6058 lyric sleeve
POR 1978? Sire LP SRK 6058NP  
US Jan/Feb 1987 Sire CD/CS M5-6058 lyric sleeve
  May 1987 Sire 2CS 23712 repackaged w. TALKING HEADS '77

 

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