For all their brilliance, Talking Heads only once cracked the top ten singles charts in the US and the UK. The former, in 1983 with Burning Down the House, the latter in 1985 with Road to Nowhere. Take Me to the River was their second top 100 US hit, a follow-up to 1977’s Psycho Killer.
talking heads fax
- Formed in New York in 1977, Talking Heads were pioneers of the New Wave music scene.
The band was made up of Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar), and, of course, the amazing David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar).
- The band produced eight studio albums, two live albums, nine compilation albums, one remix album, one video album, thirty-one singles and fifteen music videos.
- Four of the band’s albums appeared on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and three of their songs (“Psycho Killer”, “Life During Wartime”, and “Once in a Lifetime”) were included among The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll – that’s pretty good going!
- Talking Heads officially disbanded in 1991, before Tina, Chris, and Jerry reunited in 1996 for a one-off album called No Talking, Just Head under the name The Heads in 1996. Without David as vocalist, the band commandeered the vocal talents of a number of artists including, Debbie Harry, Gordon Gano (Violent Femmes), Michael Hutchence, and Maria McKee.
- These days, David continues his solo career, Jerry is a record producer with work by bands such as the Violent Femmes’, the Fine Young Cannibals, General Public, Crash Test Dummies, and No Doubt to his credit. Chris and Tina married in 1977 and have been recording as Tom Tom Club since 1981.
- In 2002, Talking Heads was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. At the ceremony they played, Life During Wartime, Psycho Killer and Burning Down the House.
take me to the river fax
- For all the great songs written by Talking Heads, Take Me to the River is not one of them. Take Me to the River was written in 1974 by Al Green and his guitarist Mabon Hodges.
- At least three well-known versions exist; Al Green, Syl Johnson and Talking Heads all had hits with the song. Al Green’s version was, in 2004, ranked #117 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
- Talking Heads’ version peaked at #28 on the US charts.
- In 2000, the tune was used in the popular animatronic singing toy Big Mouth Billy Bass. According to Mabon Hodges, he made more money in royalties from that toy than from any previous versions.
- Take Me to the River lyrics.
take me to the river – talking heads – 1974 – video
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