23916-1 Close To The Bone
Produced by Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth & Steven Stanley
Released on August 1983
Find it at GEMM
23916-1 cover
[high resolution scan]

W hen Talking Heads issued their first album of new music in nearly three years, Speaking In Tongues, people stopped talking about the solo projects. Tom Tom Club’s second album, released shortly after Tongues, understandably answered a question (Whatever happened to...) that fewer folks were asking themselves. It also lacked a standout single like “Genius of Love” and, much as the album’s “Pleasure of Love” was a sleepy rewrite of that song, Close To The Bone was seen as motsolo (more of the same only less so) compared to their debut. However, listeners who enjoyed the dance sensibilities and headphone-friendly mix of the first record will find Close To The Bone close to the original. Highlights include “The Man With The 4-Way Hips” and “Measure Up,” the latter one of the few tracks to treat male contraception in a clever way (The Clash’s “Lovers Rock” is another). The core of the club remains the husband-and-wife team of Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, supported by sisters Lani and Laura, a few extra heads (Wally Badarou, Steve Scales, Alex Weir), Raymond Jones and Steven Stanley. Gone is Adrian Belew, whose extraordinary guitar isn’t replaced in the mix. Instead, the production features mostly synthesizers, percussion and bass, which gives Close To The Bone a dreamy dub reggae vibe (perhaps the result of spending too much time in the Bahamas). On headphones, you get an appreciation for all the little sounds that Steven Stanley has slipped into the mix, but out of stereo speakers the music gets mushed together. It is interesting to note that as club mixes were becoming more popular Tom Tom Club came pre-mixed. That didn’t stop them from tinkering with tracks like “Pleasure of Love” and “The Man With The 4-Way Hips” on various 12-inch releases, but there’s nothing on Close To The Bone that isn’t already consumable for the club floor. Unfortunately, with no CD release to date, history seems content to leave this music on the club floor, which is a doggone shame.

23916-1 back cover
23916-1 back cover


  1. PLEASURE OF LOVE    6:33
  2. ON THE LINE AGAIN    4:56
  3. THIS IS A FOXY WORLD    3:39
  4. BAMBOO TOWN    3:56
  5. THE MAN WITH THE 4-WAY HIPS    5:48
  6. MEASURE UP    5:05
  7. NEVER TOOK A PENNY    3:33
  8. ATSABABY! (LIFE IS GREAT)    4:02

    All songs written by Tom Tom Club


WALLY BADAROU -- keyboards
TYRONE DOWNIE -- keyboards
CHRIS FRANTZ -- drums, vocals
RUPERT HINE -- keyboards
RAYMOND JONES -- keyboards
STEVE SCALES -- percussion
STEVEN STANLEY -- engineer, mixing
ALEX WEIR -- guitar
TINA WEYMOUTH -- bass, vocals
Joe Arlotta -- editing engineering
Benjamin Armbrister -- assistant engineer
Frank Hanna -- assistant engineer
Kendall Stubbs -- assistant engineer
James Rizzi -- cover art

return to TOM TOM CLUB discography

US August 1983 Sire LP/CS 23916  
UK/ITA August 1983 Island LP/LRGRE/CS ILPS 9738 avail. in green vinyl
CAN August 1983 Island LP 92 39161  
GER 1983 Island LP 205 630-320  


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