Saturday, April 4, 2015

Qu'est-ce que c'est fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far (Talking Heads) #396 - 397

Talking Heads Take Me To The River (edit)/ Thank You For Sending me An Angel (version(Sire, SRE 1013, 1978)
Talking Heads Psycho Killer/ Psycho Killer (accoustic version sic(Sire, SRE 1013, 1979 sic)

A few weird things going on here - Psycho Killer appeared on the album 77, which was released in 1977, so why it took NZ two years to release it, I don't know; the B side can't spell acoustic; and Take Me To The River chops a minute and a half off the album version...why?? 

Bizarre. An apt word for this smarty pants brigade. Smarty pants in a good way though!

But I'm getting ahead of myself here, Talking Heads were the band du jour for all us white middle class hipsters attending our first year at Auckland University in 1977. I am normally suspicious of the hip new thing so it actually took a weekend live in course on American poetry run by my friend Roger Horrocks to win me over. Someone brought the record along and it was played during that weekend. Sorted.

77 is full of spiky tension, jerky rhythm and nervousness (David Byrne's voice is utterly distinctive). Psycho Killer is all of that and more. Don't touch me, I'm a real live wire!

Take Me To The River is the opposite of all that - it's all about the groove (Al Green - the song's co-creator, is the master of groove). Needless to say it was a big hit in NZ in 1978. Clearly the band wanted to send a signal! Say one thing once - why say it again?

Hidden gems: The acoustic version of Psycho Killer (NOT to be confused with the Stop Making Sense version below) is okay but it escapes me why they put this on the B side - there must be a reason...Thank You etc is not that exciting and the reason I never actually bought the difficult second album (More Songs About Buildings And Food) in the first place.

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