Thursday, November 03, 2005

The Greatest

I kind of pride myself on not being one of those types (e.g., the Kevin Kline character in The Big Chill) who are my age (45), but are stuck listening to the same music they did when they were 20 (does even mentioning The Big Chill make me one of those types by default? Maybe).

For instance, in just the past couple of months I've managed to find (or be led to), to start listening to, and to start loving: Silversun Pickups, The Coral Sea, Fallout Boy, Rainer Maria, Röyksopp, The Go! Team, Laura Veirs, Death From Above 1979, The Hold Steady & L'Altra -- among many others.

But at the risk of becoming Kline-like, I must report that my fav band of all time remains the same now as when I was 20 -- Talking Heads.

The reason I bring it up is that my dear wifey just presented me with a copy of the recently released Brick, a remastered dual-disc compilation of all 8 of Talking Heads studio albums. A desperately-needed remastering, by the way, as the band's first-generation CD reissues fell prey to the same disease as so many of its new wave bretheren -- the sound sucked!

Most of the production values were lost in the small-sounding early generation CDs, and when you lose production values with this band you lose a lot.

The good news is that Brick sounds great -- as full and rich as it should. As full and rich as the original vinyl, but without the annoying pops & skips of the by-now very well-worn grooves.

The bad news is that I as yet haven't put together a 5.1 surround-sound stereo system for my house, but the need to take full advantage of the DVD sides of each disc will certainly act as a sharp stick aimed at my ribs.

Listening to these discs reminds me of just how ingrained this music is in my skull, while bringing out as-yet unheard nuances in the songs. It reminds me of how wildly inventive this band was -- lyrically, melodically, harmonically, rhythmically, you name it.

Each of their best albums (More Songs About Buildings And Food, Fear Of Music, Remain In Light) is somewhere in my top 5 favorites of all time, and yet they are completely different from one another. More Songs is clear and crisp, edgy and nervous, but utterly danceable. Fear Of Music is claustrophobic and echoey, Remain In Light is densely layered and polyrhythmic.

All were released between October of 1978 and September of 1980. In less than two years, they released three of the best albums ever made, and Kevin Kline or no Kevin Kline, they still sound that way!


Post a Comment

<< Home