25654-2 Naked
Produced by Steve Lillywhite and Talking Heads
Released on March 1988
Find it at GEMM
25654-2 cover  

L ord knows that my patriotic moments are few and far between, but riding the roads of Ireland listening to Naked, I felt red, white & blue all over. That the Heads were playing the expatriates, recording the album in Paris, didn’t matter. The agitation, funky undercurrents, open criticism and colonial appropriation of world music are quintessentially American. In some ways a test run for David Byrne’s solo career (Rei Momo, Uh-Oh), Naked sounded different than any Heads album before it. Some critics were underwhelmed, suggesting that the band had little to say this time. I guess I must have missed the message coded in songs like “Burning Down The House,” “And She Was” or “Stay Up Late.” To my ears, Naked has plenty on its mind. “Blind” and “The Democratic Circus” are scathing, “Mr. Jones” and “The Facts of Life” only slightly less so. Of course it was the cuddly “(Nothing But) Flowers” that caught American ears, and it’s a great song. But the spiky horn charts on “Mr. Jones” and “Blind” caught my attention, the African pop guitars spread throughout caught my heart. As liberating as many of the arrangements are (even when the message is heavy with chains), some of the tracks suggest the filler from earlier Heads albums: “Bill” (featured only on the CD) and “Ruby Dear” for example. The rest of the band gets byrned in the mix sometimes, sharing space with a host of supporting musicians that implies the band was going out with a bang (Johnny Marr, Manolo Badrena, Kirsty MacColl, coproducer Steve Lillywhite). Cost clearly wasn’t an issue, quality was. Keeping track of all the bits of sweetness that slip from the speakers is initially overwhelming (think Oingo Boingo), but ultimately stimulating. In my opinion, this is the Heads most meticulous, ambitious album since Remain In Light. Vive les Etats-Unis, vive le France, vive les Tetes!

25654-2 inner sleeve 25654-2 back sleeve TC-EMD 1005 cover
25654-2 inner sleeve 25654-2 back sleeve TC-EMD 1005 cover


  1. BLIND    4:58
  2. MR. JONES    4:18
  3. TOTALLY NUDE    4:10
  4. RUBY DEAR    3:48
  5. (NOTHING BUT) FLOWERS    5:31
  7. THE FACTS OF LIFE    6:25
  8. MOMMY DADDY YOU AND I    3:58
  9. BIG DADDY    5:37
  10. (*CD bonus track:) BILL    3:21
  11. COOL WATER    5:10

    Lyrics by David Byrne, Music by David Byrne/Chris Frantz/Jerry Harrison/Tina Weymouth.


DAVID BYRNE -- guitar, lead vocals, background vocals, keyboards, toy piano, slide guitar, cover concept
CHRIS FRANTZ --drums, keyboard, snare
JERRY HARRISON -- keyboards, French piano, guitar, background vocals, tambourine, Hammond organ, shaker, horn arrangement, slide guitar
TINA WEYMOUTH -- bass guitar, keyboards, background vocals, electric organ, electric piano
Al Acosta -- tenor saxophone
Wally Badarou -- keyboards, chief inspector
Manolo Badrena -- percussion, shaker, cowbell, woodblocks, congas
Phil Bodner -- cor anglais
Don Brooks -- harmonica
Moussa Cissokao -- percussion
Steve Elfon -- baritone saxophone, soprano saxophone
Robyn Eubanks -- trombone
James Fearnley -- accordion
Angel Fernandez -- trumpet, horn arrangements
Laurie Frink -- trumpet
Mitch Forhman -- alto saxophone
Earl Gardner -- trumpet, flugelhorn
Nino Gioia -- percussion
Steve Gluzband -- trumpet
Alex Haas -- whistling
Stan Harrison -- alto saxophone
Jose "Ite" Jerez -- trumpet
Mory Kante -- kora
Kirsty MacColl -- background vocals
Johnny Marr -- guitar, 12-string guitar, twang bar guitar
Abdou M'Boup -- percussion, talking drum, congas, cowbells
Yves N'Djock -- guitar
Lenny Pickett -- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, horn arrangements
Bobby Porcelli -- alto saxophone
Arthur Russell -- cello
Steve Sachs -- baritone saxophone
Philippe Servain -- accordion
Sidney Thiam -- congas, percussion
Dale Turk -- bass trombone
Brice Wassy -- maracas, leg seed pods, shaker, spoons, bells, tambourine, ashtray
Eric Weisberg -- pedal steel guitar, dobro
Richard Mainwaring -- recording engineer
Fernando Kral -- overdubbing engineer, mixing engineer
Mark Wallis -- mixing engineer
James Farber -- mixing engineer
Nick Delre -- mixing engineer
M&Co. -- design
Paul Wright -- monkey portraits
Art Resource -- ceiling photo
Frederic Lewis -- jungle photo
Chris Callis -- band photo

return to TALKING HEADS discography

US March 1988 Fly/Sire LP/CD/CS 25654 gatefold cover, lyric sleeve
UK March 1988 EMI LP/CD/CS TC-EMD 1005 lyric sleeve
AUS'L 1988 EMI LP EMC 790156 lyric sleeve
BRA 1988 EMI LP 066 790156 lyric sleeve
FRA/GER/NET 1988 EMI LP/CD CDP 790156-1/2 lyric sleeve
JPN 1988 EMI LP RP28-5603 lyric sleeve
YUG   Jugoton LP LSEMI 11173  


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