Hands down my favourite Talking Heads record, this debut might not have Brian Eno’s production (he was installed from More Songs About Buildings And Food onwards), or the chart-storming later singles such as Once In A Lifetime or Road To Nowhere, but it has a certain charm that is impossible not to love.
You know something is immediately different with this record – with this band, in fact – when just a few lines into opening song Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town, they break into a steel drum solo. Steel drums? Hang on, isn’t this a new wave band, a product of New York’s punk movement? To provide some context, their first gig was opening for the Ramones at CBGBs. That bass line in Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town doesn’t suit a post-punk / new wave band either. It’s a little too close to disco.
If nothing else, this band defies convention. More Velvet Underground style art-rock than any of their CBGB peers (except maybe Television), Talking Heads would carve a niche between the underground and the mainstream throughout the 1980s. The direction that the band would take seemed to get more and more serious as the band progressed – perhaps as a product of that self-obsessed, greedy decade that the ‘80s became – however this record is easily their most fun offering.
Hit: Psycho Killer
Hidden Gem: Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town