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Talking Heads

Talking Heads: 77 [Vinyl LP]

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The debut album from New York-based Talking Heads is a slice of brilliant schizophrenic pop. David Byrne (guitar and vocals), Tina Weymouth (bass), Chris Frantz (drums), and Jerry Harrision (keyboards and guitar) create their own unique sound on classic TH tracks like "Psycho Killer" and "Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town." The urgency of the music heralds in the beginnings of the new wave era. Talking Heads: 77 shows a band at the forefront of a movement, unwilling to conform while making a statement with their sound.When they burst out of the New York underground/CBGB's movement, the Heads stood apart from the pack because not only were they unlike anything that gone before, they were even anomalous to their contemporaries. A million miles from the detached irony of Blondie or the willful primitivism of the Ramones, the Talking Heads virtually invented geek-rock, setting the stage for everyone from the Violent Femmes to They Might Be Giants. Lyrically, David Byrne came off as the guy who thought too much about everything. Fortunately, he also happened to be a unique visionary, whose quirky, hyper-cerebral modernism echoed the work of poet John Ashbery and "serious" composer Robert Ashley. All this high-mindedness doesn't detract from the infectious rock & roll appeal of the tunes on the band's debut album, though. Their twitchy, preppies-on-amphetamines rhythms and semi-neurotic gestalt fueled tunes like twisted anthem "Psycho Killer" and the jubilant "Pulled Up." Byrne's high, yelping tenor was the perfect complement to the band's tightly-wound but kinetic rhythms, and 77 is an auspicious debut.