Friday, May 31, 2013

speaking in tongues

Talking Heads regrouped and loosened up their sound for their biggest chart success with the funky fire of this 
groovy glossolalia. The band had split up after the tour for 'Remain in Light' to pursue solo projects: David Byrne and Brian Eno collaborated on 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts'Chris Franz and Tina Weymouth started the Tom Tom Cluband Jerry Harrison released 'The Red and the Black'.   The group also released a double live album 'The Name of This Band is Talking Heads' during the three year break.  

'Speaking in Tongues' was produced by the band at Blank Tapes in New York, Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas, and Sigma Sound in Philadelphia with David Byrne on vocals, keyboards, guitars, bass, and percussion; Chris Frantz on drums, backing vocals, and synthesizer; Jerry Harrison on keyboards, guitar, and backing vocals; and Tina Weymouth on synthesizer, string bass, backing vocals, and guitar; with Bernie Worrell and Wally Badarou on synthesizer; Alex Weir on guitar; Richard Landry on saxophone; Shankar on violin; Raphael DeJesus, Steve Scales, and David Van Tieghem on percussion; and Nona Hendryx and Dolette McDonald on backing vocals. 

'Speaking in Tongues' went to number twenty-one in the UK, twenty in Austria, fifteen in Australia and the US, fourteen in the Netherlands, twelve in Sweden, eleven in Norway, seven in Canada, and number three in New Zealand.   Robert Rauschenberg won a Grammy for his limited edition album cover.

"Burning Down the House" became the band's biggest hit, going to ninety-four in Australia, nine on the US pop chart, eight in Canada, six on the US mainstream rock tracks chart, five in New Zealand, and number two on the US hot dance club songs chart.  Franz and Weymouth developed the groove after seeing  Parliament-Funkadelic in concert.  Byrne chanted nonsense words over their rhythm track:  "I just write words to fit that phrasing... I'd have loads and loads of phrases collected that I thought thematically had something to do with one another, and I'd pick from those."

Watch out, you might get what you're after
Cool babies, strange but not a stranger 
I'm an ordinary guy 
Burning down the house 
Hold tight, wait 'till the party's over 
Hold tight, we're in for nasty weather 
There has got to be a way 
Burning down the house 
Here's your ticket, pack your bags, 
Time for jumpin' overboard 
Transportation is here 
Close enough but not too far, 
Maybe you know where you are 
Fightin' fire with fire 
All wet, hey you might need a raincoat 
Shakedown, dreams walking in broad daylight 
Three hundred sixty five degrees 
Burning down the house 
It was once upon a place, 
Sometimes I listen to myself 
Gonna come in first place 
People on their way to work said, 
"Baby what did you except?" 
Gonna burst into flame, go ahead 
Burning down the house 
My house is out of the ordinary 
That's right, don't want to hurt nobody 
Some things sure can sweep me off my feet 
Burning down the house 
No visible means of support 
And you have not seen nothin' yet 
Everything's stuck together 
I don't know what you expect 
Staring into the TV set 
Fighting fire with fire 

"Girlfriend Is Better" 

I, who took the money,
Who took the money away? 
And I, it's always showtime 
here at the edge of the stage 
And I, I, I, wake up and wonder 
What was the place, what was the name? 
We wanna wait but here we go again 
I, takes over slowly 
But doesn't last very long 
And I, no need to worry, 
Ev'rything's under control 
O.U.T but no hard feelings 
What do you know? 
Take you away 
We're being taken for a ride again 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
She has the smoke in her eyes 
She's moving up, going right through my heart 
She's gonna give me surprise 
Better than this, know that it's right 
I think you can if you like 
I got a girlfriend with bows in her hair 
And nothing is better than that, is it? 
Down, down in the basement 
We hear the sound of machines 
And I, I'm driving in circles 
Come to my senses sometimes 
Why, why, why, why start it over? 
Nothing was lost, everything's free 
I don't care how impossible it seems 
Somebody calls you but you cannot hear 
Get closer to be far away 
Only one look and that's all that it takes 
Maybe that's all that we need 
All that it takes, all that it takes, 
All that it takes, all it takes 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
She goes wherever she likes 
There she goes 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
Everyone's getting involved 
As we get older and stop making sense 
You won't find her waiting long 
Stop making sense, stop making sense, 
Stop making sense, making sense 
I got a girlfriend that's better than that 
And nothing is better that this, is it?


Now lemme tell you a story
The devil he has a plan 
A bag o' bones in his pocket 
Got anything you want 
No dust no rocks 
The whole thing is over 
All these beauties in solid motion 
All those beauties, they're gonna swallow you up 
Lets go 
Hi hi hi hi hi, 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
One time too many 
Too far to go 
Hi... we're gonna take you home 
And when they split those atoms 
It's hotter than the sun 
Burnin' a special substance 
They gonna pray for that man 
So wake up young lovers 
The whole thing is over 
Watch out touch monkeys 
All that blood, they gonna swallow you whole 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
So soft, hard feelings 
No tricks, Lets go 
Hi - We come to take you home 
How many people do you think I am 
Pretending I'm somebody else 
You can pretend I'm and old millionaire 
A millionaire washing his hands 
Rattle of bones, dreams that stick out 
A medical chart on the wall 
Soft violins and hands touch your throat 
Ev'ryone wants to explode 
And when your hands get dirty 
Nobody knows you at all 
Don't have a window to slip out of 
Lights on, nobody home 
Click click- see ya later 
Beta beta- no time to rest 
Peeka peeka- risky business 
All that blood, they were covered in mess. 
Hi hi hi hi hi 
Hi hi hi hi hi

"This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" went to sixty-two on the US pop chart, fifty-one in the UK, and number two on the US hot dance club songs chart. For the recording everyone but Franz switched their usual instruments.  The Naive Melody results from the guitar and bass playing the same thing throughout the song.  Byrne says:   "That's a love song made up almost completely of non sequiturs, phrases that may have a strong emotional resonance but don't have any narrative qualities. It's a real honest kind of love song. I don't think I've ever done a real love song before. Mine always had a sort of reservation, or a twist. I tried to write one that wasn't corny, that didn't sound stupid or lame the way many do. I think I succeeded; I was pretty happy with that."

Home is where I want to be
Pick me up and turn me round
I feel numb - born with a weak heart
(So I) guess I must be having fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Feet on the ground
Head in the sky
It's ok I know nothing's wrong . . nothing
Hi yo I got plenty of time
Hi yo you got light in your eyes
And you're standing here beside me
I love the passing of time
Never for money
Always for love
Cover up say goodnight . . . say goodnight
Home - is where I want to be
But I guess I'm already there
I come home she lifted up her wings
Guess that this must be the place
I can't tell one from the other
Did I find you, or you find me?
There was a time Before we were born
If someone asks, this where I'll be . . . where I'll be
Hi yo We drift in and out
Hi yo sing into my mouth
Out of all those kinds of people
You got a face with a view
I'm just an animal looking for a home
Share the same space for a minute or two
And you love me till my heart stops
Love me till I'm dead
Eyes that light up, eyes look through you
Cover up the blank spots
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh

"Slippery People" 

'Speaking in Tongues'
full album:

All lyrics written by David Byrne, all music composed by Byrne, Chris Frantz, Jerry Harrison and Tina Weymouth.

Side one
"Burning Down the House" – 4:01
"Making Flippy Floppy" – 4:34
"Girlfriend Is Better" – 4:22
"Slippery People" – 3:31
"I Get Wild/Wild Gravity" – 4:07
Side two
"Swamp" – 5:12
"Moon Rocks" – 5:03
"Pull Up the Roots" – 5:08
"This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" – 4:53

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