Stop Making Sense is a live 1984 album by Talking Heads, the soundtrack to the film of the same name. Stop Making Sense spanned three live shows at the Pantages Theater in Los Angeles (Dec 1983).
“Stop Making Sense the album” cannot be separated from “Stop Making Sense the movie”, this is a two for one deal. When I write Stop Making Sense I mean them both. I’ve seen Stop Making Sense 4 times in the cinema and countless times on video/dvd/blu-ray. I have the album on vinyl, cd and digital files. When I hear the music I see the movie in my head.
And it’s a great movie!
The beginning is iconic. David Byrne comes shuffling out on an empty stage, starts a cassette-player with a rhythm track and play along with an acoustic guitar as he sings Psycho Killer.
David Byrne was born May 14, 1952, he is a Scottish-born musician permanently residing in the United States, and was a founding member and principal songwriter of the American New Wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography, opera, and non-fiction. He has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. (wikipedia)
Few bands can boast a performance so image-defining as the one the Talking Heads did in Jonathan Demme’s Stop Making Sense. That film was released in 1984. We will celebrate David Byrne’s birthday with another concert, Live in Rome. This concert film captures the Talking Heads in 1980, a less established band, a band on the rise. David Byrne and the rest of the band express the same kind of strange energy displayed in Stop Making Sense, but here they do it in a more direct and “punkish” way.
Live in Rome 1980:
1. Psycho Killer 2. Stay Hungry 3. Cities 4. I Zimbra 5. Drugs 6. Take Me to the River 7. Crosseyed and Painless 8. Life During Wartime 9. House in Motion 10. Born Under Punches 11.The Great Curve
Live in Rome features the group’s full Afro-Funk lineup. Additionally, guitar virtuous Adrian Belew is on stage and he is fantastic! It’s a great show and we’re hoping for a blu-ray release.
It was an exciting time to be in the band. david, chris, tina, and jerry decided to keep the 10-piece funk machine rolling for a whole world tour including japan and europe. it was a wacky cast of characters to live with and we had loads of fun.
…the timing of our performance was fortuitous; just as the sun was setting. I joined the original four heads to play psycho killer, then the full band was brought onstage. we launched right into the new material. no one in the audience even knew the remain in light record as yet but it didn’t matter. the band was smoking!
But drinking and reefers and all that stuff, most times they just mess up all the feeling you got inside yourself and all the feeling the music’s got inside itself. When a man goes at the music that way, it’s just a sign that there’s a lot inside himself he don’t know how to answer. He’s not knowing which way he needs to go. He’s not going anywhere at all.
~Sidney Bechet (Treat It Gentle: The Autobiography of Sidney Bechet)
Petite Fleur ( the Olympia Concert Paris, December 8, 1954):
A brilliant soprano saxophonist and clarinetist with a wide vibrato that listeners either loved or hated, Bechet’s style did not evolve much through the years but he never lost his enthusiasm or creativity. A master at both individual and collective improvisation within the genre of New Orleans jazz, Bechet was such a dominant player that trumpeters found it very difficult to play with him. Bechet wanted to play lead and it was up to the other horns to stay out of his way.
~Scott Yanow (allmusic.com)
May 14, 1897
New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.
May 14, 1959 (aged 62)
Sidney Bechet (May 14, 1897 – May 14, 1959) was an American jazz saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer.
He was one of the first important soloists in jazz (beating cornetist and trumpeter Louis Armstrong to the recording studio by several months and later playing duets with Armstrong), and was perhaps the first notable jazz saxophonist. Forceful delivery, well-constructed improvisations, and a distinctive, wide vibrato characterized Bechet’s playing.
Bechet’s erratic temperament hampered his career, however, and not until the late 1940s did he earn wide acclaim.
.. by combining the ‘cry’ of the blues players and the finesse of the Creoles into his ‘own way,’ Sidney Bechet created a style which moved the emotions even as it dazzled the mind.
David Byrne (born May 14, 1952) is a musician and artist, best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American new wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. Since then, Byrne has released his own solo recordings and worked with various media including film, photography, opera, and non-fiction. He has received Grammy, Oscar, and Golden Globe awards and been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.