25512-1 True Stories
Produced by Talking Heads
Released on September 1986
US CHART POSITION #17 . . . GOLD RECORD (11/18/86) . . . UK CHART POSITION #7
Find it at GEMM
25512-1 cover
[high resolution photo]
 

T ruth be told, this is my least favorite Heads album. The project started as a David Byrne movie, for which he wrote new songs to create a movie/video medium. True Stories the Movie was no worse than Richard O’Brien’s sequel to Rocky Horror, but it wasn’t any better either. In the film, the actors (e.g., John Goodman) sang the songs; here, the Heads appropriate the material for themselves. So from such humble origins comes the Heads’ most perfunctory, passionless record. The nine tracks (ten on CD) were picked over like a dead rabbit on a Death Valley road by radio stations (four singles were found in the remains), and the record handily cracked the Top 20 on both sides of the Atlantic. It is, however, the Heads equivalent of Paul McCartney’s “Mary Had A Little Lamb;” their niche was so strongly established that anything sounding (or looking) like the Heads was hungrily gobbled up. Removed from the hype, the record reveals itself to be a bland followup to Little Creatures. The remaining Heads apparently had nothing to say about the final product, so Byrne goes about getting his ideas down on vinyl with some help from freelance percussionist Paulinho Da Costa. Byrne sings ‘em well enough, but the lyrics are disingenuous to the point of insult: “Wild Wild Life,” “People Like Us” and “Hey Now” might seem sympathetic on the surface, but underneath the rushed paint job is Byrne’s usual disdain for the “common” man. (It’s interesting to note that, in the film, Byrne’s attention to the mediocrity of man bordered on morbid fascination.) The record obviously has some appeal, perhaps to the same part of the brain that went: “The party’s so hot that the house caught fire -- cool!” I’d wager few folks actually understood what “Wild Wild Life,” “Love For Sale” or any of these songs really meant, but such is the “commoditization” of music that an artist’s “brand” supercedes the individual message. There was a time, I recall, when the idea of Talking Heads product would have been unthinkable. Buy this if you want, but know that any number of solo albums from the Heads have more surprises in store.

25512-1 back cover 25512-1 picture sleeve 25512-4 front cover
25512-1 back cover 25512-1 picture sleeve 25512-4 front cover

TRACK LISTING

  1. LOVE FOR SALE    4:30
  2. PUZZLIN' EVIDENCE    5:23
  3. HEY NOW    3:42
  4. PAPA LEGBA    5:54
  5. WILD WILD LIFE    3:39
  6. RADIO HEAD    3:14
  7. DREAM OPERATOR    4:39
  8. PEOPLE LIKE US    4:26
  9. CITY OF DREAMS    5:06
  10. (CD bonus track:) WILD WILD LIFE (E.T. MIX)

    Songs by David Byrne

CREDITS

DAVID BYRNE -- guitar and vocals, stage photo
CHRIS FRANTZ -- drums
JERRY HARRISON -- keyboards, guitar and backing vocals
TINA WEYMOUTH -- bass and backing vocals
The Bert Cross Choir -- choir (2)
Tommy Canfield -- fiddle (8)
Paulinho Da Costa -- percussion
Steve Jordan -- accordion (6)
Tommy Morrell -- pedal steel guitar (8,9)
St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir -- choir (3)
Eric "E.T." Thorngren -- engineer, mixing, overdub engineer
Mick Guzauski -- mixing (5)
Lee Herschberg -- mixing (8)
Paul Christiensen -- engineer (2)
Michael McClain -- engineer
George Hurrell -- band photo
Michael Hodgson with Jefrey Kent Ayeroff -- LP design

return to TALKING HEADS discography

REGION RELEASE DATE LABEL MEDIA ID NUMBER FEATURES
US September 1986 Sire LP/CD/CS 25512 picture sleeve
UK September 1986 EMI LP/CS EU/TCEU-3511  
UK/GER/NET September 1986? EMI CD CDP 746345  
AUS'L/GER 1986? EMI LP EMC 240612 picture sleeve
BRA 1986 EMI LP 064 240612  
CAN 1986 Sire LP/CS 92 55121/4  
NZ 1986 EMI LP EMC3511  
YUG   Jugoton LP LSEMI73177  
JPN   EMI CD TOCP-53129  
UK September 1989 Fame CD CDFA-3231  
UK November 1995 EMI 3CD   repackaged w. STOP MAKING SENSE
+ LITTLE CREATURES

 

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