Ickmusic Live: Talking Heads 1979

I haven’t spent too much time with the music of Talking Heads in my life, but I’ve always liked what I’ve heard, and I enjoy David Byrne’s stuff too. My favorite tune? Probably “Road to Nowhere”.

Let’s travel back to a nice little show snippet from their peak of creativity: 1979.

I skipped posting the DJ intro. If you feel like you need it, let me know. TH fans, what is the essential TH album?

Talking Heads
Sydney State Theater
Sidney, Australia

The Book I Read
Found a Job
Memories Can’t Wait
Psycho Killer
Take Me To the River


  • Darius

    My vote for best TH album: Remain in Light. However, the album that i think best represents the band is Speaking in Tongues.

  • Moticella

    Stop Making Sense gets my vote – and the film that goes with it is superb.

    Starts the gig with a guitar and tape machine, adding another musician for each song until the stage is full of a band and backing singers etc. And the big suit is excellent!

  • Alex

    Remain In Light is the one I would recommend as essential. However, Fear of Music, Speaking In Tongues, More Songs About Buildings and Food, and ’77 are all incredibly strong records.

    Thanks for making these available–one of the great things about TH is there are a number of live recordings that are highly listenable; The Name of This Band is Talking Heads is one of the great all-time live albums.

  • Ryan

    First off, great stuff here. Can you post the whole show?

    In terms of best album, personal fav is Fear of Music. That’s a tricky question though, as their worst album is still better than anything that is playing on the radio today.

  • Pete

    Thanks for the rec’s guys and gals. I’m starting with Remain in Light. African polyrhythms, Brian Eno-produced, Adrian Belew guitars…. and the kicker – Bernie Worrell’s involvement.

  • HawthorneWingo

    Gotta agree with the assessment of The Name of this Band Is Talking Heads as one of the best live albums evah. As far as the best Heads album, I’d go with Remain in Light — clearly different from anything else when it came out, from a band that was already clearly different from anything else. In terms of favorite songs, mine are “The Big Country” and “Building on Fire.”

  • Zack

    The Talking Heads are in my top 10 of all time. Honestly, they’re one of the few bands who I feel have a pretty solid catalog from start to finish. Certainly, I have favorites (the first two, Remain in Light, Speaking in Tongues) but all of them are great. So great in fact that I had all of them on cd, but didn’t flinch at buying the boxed set of remastered dual discs. They’re one of the best.

  • Claustral

    I was at the 1979 Sydney concert and my lasting memory of it was that support band was better (an Australian/NZ band called Mi-Sex). Which is odd given that the concert in these recordings is first rate. The problem was that TH were deliberately “anti-performance” in this tour. The band barely moved throughout the concert and the lights shifted from one colour to an other with all the haste of Eno’s “Thursday Afternoon”. I clearly remember a cheer from the audience when Tina moved her foot in the third song – which was proof it wasn’t a bass playing robot on stage.
    All this goes to show the importance of visual performance when playing live, since the music heard on its own is terrific.

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