16 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Part of New York punk's legendary first wave, Talking Heads upended pop music's conventions by twisting its rhythms, scrambling its lyrics, and adding a refreshing dose of weirdness. Their debut, Talking Heads 77, took an avant-garde art sensibility and applied it to bubblegum rock and old-school funk. The results cook with skewed genius. Drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth keep a tight grip on the beat, while Jerry Harrison provides flavorful keyboard filigrees. Singer/guitarist David Byrne is the Head who speaks loudest - his edgy vocal tics, along with his slinky guitar lines, define the band's mystique. This album's highlights include the frisky "Uh Oh, Love Comes to Town," the nervously reassuring "Don't Worry About the Government", and the desperately cheerful "Pulled Up." The most famous track is "Psycho Killer," Byrne's oddly sympathetic portrait of "a real live wire." Smart, danceable and a little demented, 77 is a joyfully jittery experience.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Part of New York punk's legendary first wave, Talking Heads upended pop music's conventions by twisting its rhythms, scrambling its lyrics, and adding a refreshing dose of weirdness. Their debut, Talking Heads 77, took an avant-garde art sensibility and applied it to bubblegum rock and old-school funk. The results cook with skewed genius. Drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth keep a tight grip on the beat, while Jerry Harrison provides flavorful keyboard filigrees. Singer/guitarist David Byrne is the Head who speaks loudest - his edgy vocal tics, along with his slinky guitar lines, define the band's mystique. This album's highlights include the frisky "Uh Oh, Love Comes to Town," the nervously reassuring "Don't Worry About the Government", and the desperately cheerful "Pulled Up." The most famous track is "Psycho Killer," Byrne's oddly sympathetic portrait of "a real live wire." Smart, danceable and a little demented, 77 is a joyfully jittery experience.

TITLE TIME

Ratings and Reviews

4.8 out of 5
64 Ratings

64 Ratings

Vegan With Perfect Taste ,

The Impact Was Incredible

This really was a landmark album in many ways. It's hard to imagine so much of the music
we take for granted today without this one coming first. The lyrical and musical content,
in stark contrast to the band's preppy image, was also pretty amazing, especially in 1977, when musicians either looked like Ted Nugent and Peter Frampton...or Johnny Rotten.

Looking like a college student was the most subversive statement possible. In some ways,
it still is.

Kirby of Portland ,

The Talking Heads' Best Album:

Throughout the Talking Heads' career, they made everything from bubblegum, funky high school rock to avant-garde african congo music. (Sax and Violins). They made singles like Road to Nowhere and Naive Melody. But with all these hits, singles, and music videos, none compare to this album. It sums up their entire career, it starts them on the right foot, and it's the most raw, natural sound. I would suggest buying this album, it is a steal for so many songs.

Mattbluhalofan ,

Talking Heads 77 Album Review 08

1977 brought to the punk/new wave scene what is likely the oddest band to ever be included in it: Talking Heads. The band's quirkiness, goofiness, dorky and nerdy qualities, detached emotion, franticness, minimalism, and bizarre view on the world certainly made them unlike anything else. How many bands are there that write songs about exciting new office buildings, lack of empathy to others due to the stress of being labeled as empathetic, or books they read? Why write about something so simple? At first glance, the topics may seem simple, banal, and childish, but they are often just a metaphor in a much larger scenario or satire being performed. Talking Heads 77 is one of the band's finest and most consistent efforts. The cohesiveness is unbelievable--so much so that it contributes to what is likely the album's only problem; come the end of the album, the songs may be difficult to tell apart from one another. It has been said by a certain reviewer that it's like the album pays a dollar every time it is listened to. That statement is incredibly accurate. Every song is about as listenable as the Heads were capable of, from more pop-oriented numbers like the opening Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town and Who Is It?, to the harder-hitting No Compassion and Psycho Killer, to the energetic and hysterical New Feeling and Pulled Up, to the downright strange and quirky Tentative Decisions and Don't Worry About The Government. Or how about the Latin flavored First Week/Last Week.... Carefree? There isn't a bad track here. Which means 77 is certainly one of the most cohesive and one of the best album the Heads ever released. 5/5, 9/10.

More By Talking Heads

You May Also Like