23883-1 Speaking In Tongues
Produced by Talking Heads
Released on June 1983
US CHART POSITION #15 . . . UK CHART POSITION #21
Find it at GEMM
23883-1 cover  

S peaking In Tongues trampolines from the turntable. Talking Heads returned from their “vacation” recharged and ready to conquer the airwaves, smoothing over the rough edges cultivated under Eno’s tutelage with a heavy dose of funK. Not that the Heads had radically altered their original sound; the fractured vocals and funky rhythms remain from the original vision, but the final product strikes a balance between the strange and the sexy. All of a sudden, people who wouldn’t be caught dead listening to Remain In Light were dancing to “Burning Down The House” and developing a taste for it. You can’t fault them for dancing to this music -- its pull to the dancefloor is nearly irresistible -- but to possessive music fans on the fringe the act might have seemed sacrilege. Getting beyond the band’s newfound appeal, the songs themselves are actually faceless, funky confections that suggest what Tom Tom Club would sound like if they were stuck in a traffic jam: groovy on the outside but agitated underneath. The exceptions are the two singles: “Burning Down The House” (simply too hot to contain) and the loopy, sentimental “This Must Be The Place (Naďve Melody).” Jim and Dara played this at their wedding when they were introduced for the first time, although I think they chose the Sarah Maclachlan version. Either way, it’s a sweet song, and easily atones for what would otherwise be a pretty mediocre side of music. For all intents and purposes, Speaking In Tongues marks the beginning of Talking Heads Part Two. Savagery was replaced with smarminess, ground breaking with hip shaking, madness with mildness, and so on. The band remains far too talented to make a bad album, yet by the same token talented enough to make a better one.

23883-1 back cover 23883-1 lyric sleeve
23883-1 back cover 23883-1 lyric sleeve

TRACK LISTING

  1. BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE    4:00
  2. MAKING FLIPPY FLOPPY    4:36
  3. GIRLFRIEND IS BETTER    4:25
  4. SLIPPERY PEOPLE    3:30
  5. I GET WILD/WILD GRAVITY    4:06
  6. SWAMP    5:09
  7. MOON ROCKS    5:04
  8. PULL UP THE ROOTS    5:08
  9. THIS MUST BE THE PLACE (NAIVE MELODY)    4:56

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

CREDITS

DAVID BYRNE -- vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, percussion, cover
CHRIS FRANTZ -- drums, backing vocals, synthesizer
JERRY HARRISON -- keyboards, guitar, backing vocals
TINA WEYMOUTH -- synthesizer and string bass, backing vocals, guitar
Wally Badarou -- synthesizer
Rapahel Dejesus -- percussion
Nona Hendryx -- backing vocals (4)
Richard Landry -- saxophone (4)
Dolette MacDonald -- backing vocals (4)
Steve Scales -- percussion
Shankar -- violin (2)
David Van Tieghem -- percussion
Alex Weir -- guitar
Bernie Worrell -- synthesizer (3)
Alex Sadkin -- mixing, oervdub engineer
Butch Jones -- engineer

return to TALKING HEADS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US June 1983 Sire LP/CD/CS 23883 lyric sleeve, cassette incl. 6 extra mixes?
UK June 1983 Sire LP/LPCLR/CD/CS 92 3771 avail. in clear vinyl,
cassette incl. 6 extra mixes?
CAN/GER June 1983 Sire LP 923883  

 

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