Tuesday, October 30, 2007

413. Talking Heads - More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)

Track Listing

1. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
2. With Our Love
3. Good Things
4. Warning Sign
5. Girls Want To Be With The Girls
6. Found A Job
7. Artists Only
8. I'm Not In Love
9. Stay Hungry
10. Take Me To The River
11. Big Country


So, the Talking Heads grew up in a year and replaced Jon Bon Jovi's first cousin as a producer for Brian Eno. This can only make their album exponentially better than 77 right? Well... yes and no. So we don't end on a bum note let's go with the cons first:

More Songs is not as original or inventive as 77, it doesn't sound as fresh because it has their previous album as an antecedent. It is also not so wildly inventive with new types of music that the Heads wanted to just put outside, in the end it is a less immediately exciting album.

On the other hand the Talking Heads are a much tighter band here, the control over their instruments has vastly improved in a year, with particular emphasis for the rhythm section, the bass work is particularly good. The band just sounds overall tighter, more focused and as a result the album sounds more cohesive than their previous effort. This is a double-edged sword, the good and the bad here are intimately related, what makes this album better than 77 is ultimately what makes it worse. The chaotic feeling of discovery is more absent because the band is more focused. The lyrics continue as great as ever and this is a fucking amazing album on all accounts, but it just is, on balance, slightly worse than 77 which was perfect.

Track Highlights

1. Warning Sign
2. Take Me To The River
3. The Good Thing
4. Artists Only

Final Grade



Concerning the album's title:

When we were making this album I remembered this stupid discussion we had about titles for the last album," Tina smirked. "At that time I said, 'What are we gonna call an album that's just about buildings and food?' And Chris said, 'You call it more songs about buildings and food'.

-David Byrne

Ever listened to Warning Sign on WEED?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

For me, this LP begins a run of unqualified brilliance that continues until the 30% great / 70% junk mishmash known as Speaking in Tongues, at which point Talking Heads devolved into The David Byrne Show and it all got very soggy.

BTW that period of unqualified brilliance includes the live set The Name of This Band is Talking Heads, which blows the Stop Making Sense soundtrack right out of the water. Like Little Feat's Waiting for Coulmbus, another archetypal live document of a monster group at its apex, Name of This Band ought to be on this list, but isn't. The presence of a live Thin Lizzy album on the list only rubs salt in the wound.

Anyway, here are some great live TH clips for your consideration for later in the list:

The world moves on a womans hips:

Home of Elvis and the ancient Greeks:

Facts are useless in emergencies:

I'm not a burning building: