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Great Keyboard Albums: Speaking in Tongues


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A few weeks ago our local Virgin Megastore had the Talking Heads' Speaking in Tongues on sale for $9.95. I thought to myself "I need to dig that out, that was a great album", then remembered that I had about worn the vinyl copy out (ask your folks, you damn kids) :mad::D . So I picked it up, and I'm glad I did.

This was the second album the Talking Heads did after they "discovered" African rhythms and incorporated them into their sound (the first being Remain in LIght ) and in my opinion they nailed that musical crossbreed with this record. They had enhanced their lineup with more musicians, including the great Bernie Worrell on keys, and damn this thing sounds nice. The CD I got has also been remixed; some of the tracks are longer, have extra solos and there's lots of little extra parts I'm hearing that I don't think were on the original recording. The drums are recorded absolutely beautifully, and I dearly love albums that have so many parts (two guitar parts, two to six keyboard parts, drums, percussion, etc) that yet still has so much space in the music; I hope to be in a band this tasteful sometime once before I check out.

I'll be the first to admit; David Byrne's voice is definitely an acquired taste, but the playing on this album makes it worth it. Check it out if you don't already have it. :thu:


"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will


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I've always had mixed feelings about Speaking in Tongues. On the positive side I was glad that Talking Heads made it big. My band was quick to add Burning Down the House to our set. That little warbling synth part in Making Flippy Floppy is great, as is the solo. Girlfriend is Better turned out to be one of my favorite Talking Heads songs.


But on the bad side, this release tried to be a bit too commercial. Compared to other Talking Heads releases this was almost a dance album. A disco beat was overshadowing African rhythms in some songs. The band was really struggling by this point as David Byrn was increasing the role of outside musicians at the expense of original group members. This is also the first album that has songs that I prefer to skip. (Moon Rocks? Uggg.)


If a new group had released this album I would have been a bigger fan because I would not have compared the music to earlier releases. As it stands, this is probably number 4 on my list of favorite Talking Heads albums, behind


1. Remain in Light

2. More Songs about Buildings and Food

3. The Name of this Band is The Talking Heads


But like you said, there are some very nice keyboard parts on this CD. And it is MUCH better than the new music included with Vaseline in the Sand.



This post edited for speling.
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Originally posted by Rabid:

Of course you are right Dave, but this was quite a change for the band that came up with "The Overload". :cool:


I'd like to see someone dance to THAT song. :D



Fair enough. Of course, that was all before "just say no", so anything was possible... ;)



Make my funk the P-funk.

I wants to get funked up.


My Funk/Jam originals project: http://www.thefunkery.com/


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