Hurple Hoopla

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Talking Heads

I've always been a casual fan of the Talking Heads. I owned their hit albums on cassette, and got Sand in the Vaseline, their first anthology release on CD. I remember that the first time I sat down and listened to that, I actually called "Boxset" Johnny* and said, "WOW! This stuff is fantastic!" But, for some reason I never went down the path of wanting to actually own everything they released.

Until now.**

When the Once in a Lifetime box was released, I seriously contemplated buying it. I really did. But, I ended up not purchasing it. Why? The horrible packaging. Bleh! Bleh! Bleh! See, that's what happens when you let artsy-fartsy intellectuals design your packaging instead of someone who cares about the target audience's preferences. Sometimes commercial viability is actually more important than artistic integrity (but not all that often, just when the "artistic integrity" exposes such an obvious disdain for commercial sensibilities.)

And, besides, I knew that the only reason the box was compiled and released was as a teaser for a future full-catalog reissue campaign for the band, like most boxset releases anymore. Finally, after more than a decade of knowing I'd love every note these guys made*, I'd have my chance to make right and actually get it all.**

First came the 1st ever CD release of The Name of This Band is Talking Heads. Wow! As much as I loved Stop Making Sense (the band's other live album) this one is that much better. As good as Talking Heads could be in the studio, it's obvious that the live stage was their optimum venue.

Then came the "BRICK" containing every CD in one, very nice, package. I passed, mainly because of price... $150!*** Yeowch! Well, I did put it on my Christmas wish list, but nobody seems to love me $150 worth of Talking Heads enough. (Full disclosure: that line was just a joke... I got much better than this all around, so no complaints)

I have been buying the individual releases as they trickle out to retail. And I was right, I love every note!** I think Fear of Music is fast becoming my favorite Talking Heads album, with More Songs About Buildings And Food coming in a close second.

If you're looking for music that's intellectually challenging, funny, musically impressive yet still gets funky and rocks... Well, then you'll probably love the Talking Heads, too.**

* - Okay, he doesn't update his blog very often but he's still a great guy.
** - except for the album Naked, which still sucks monkey nuts.
*** - Plus, if I bought the brick, I'd actually own Naked and I'd not wish that fate on my worst enemy.


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