To be honest, I was rather freaked out the first time I heard Talking Heads. That was in 1980 with Remain in Light, the band’s fourth album, which involved ground-breaking pop-rock experiments with African rhythms. And of course, when I first heard David Byrne’s voice, it took some getting used to as well. But when the follow-up, Speaking in Tongues was released in 1983, I found myself enjoying the catchy songwriting especially “Burning Down the House” and “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)”. Presumably that is why I consider Little Creatures to be my favourite Talking Heads LP as it featured more conventional pop-rock, not to mention the introduction of country-folk into the dynamic.
The album kicked off with the irresistible “And She Was” accompanied by a fabulous music video and it quickly become a hot item on my turntable.
Lyrically, the songs focused quite a bit on the human experience especially for band members’ phase in life. Thus, there were couple of songs about children e.g. “Creatures of Love” and “Stay Up Late”. Diehard fans might have found Talking Heads’ accessibility a little bit jarring but from my perspective, this was a fine balance between the band’s art-rock leanings and pop sensibilities. No surprise then that the album ended up being their best-selling ever – at 2 million copies in the USA. It’s hard to argue with songs of the calibre of “The Lady Don’t Mind”, “Television Man”, “Perfect World” and “Road to Nowhere”.
In fact, I think for me, this represented the apex of Talking Heads’ creative powers as both True Stories and Naked did not quite resonate with me in the same way.
Enjoy the 5.1 downmix that I discovered on Youtube.
Or listen to the album at Spotify.
… still there’s more …