Stop Making Sense

Stop Making Sense ★★★★★

Still one of the greatest things I’ve laid my eyes on. From minute one, this thing has you hooked in a way nothing else can. Just watching David Byrne dance across the stage for an hour and 28 minutes, sweat dripping from his person as he sings the hits of Talking Heads that we all love. The rush of joy it fills me with as each new song starts, as each member joins the stage with those songs start, oh, it’s such a delight. The way it’s shot is perfectly, you never miss a beat of the action. It keeps you in time and just snaps along so quickly. But also the selection of songs. You can’t lose with a Talking Heads song, but the picks here are so good. And the placement as well, it keeps you entertained and has such a variety. You can start singing along in no time. I dance along with David Byrne very spastic dance moves now as I watch this. 

But now I thought I’d do a ranking of the songs performed in this. This is not a ranking of my favorite Talking Heads songs and it’s also not a ranking of the original songs (because that’d be different), just a ranking of the live versions, which are all amazing. So let’s get going!

1. “This Must Be the Place”
Yeah, it’s the basic pick, but it’s basic for a reason. Truly one of the greatest songs written. It’s so incredibly groovy and you just wanna bop your head the whole way through. Not to mention the lovely dance Byrne does with the lamp. That’s perfection folks.

2. “Girlfriend Is Better”
This one has just got this mix of rock and funk and the lyrics are really interesting to sit and listen to. Like, what exactly is he speaking of? You pick up bits and pieces and I get the general idea, obviously he’s saying he has a girlfriend that’s better than all this, but there’s definitely some other questions about this song that are worth looking into. What I’m saying is that the lyrics are fire. Oh, they also say the title of the movie in this song, so it’s got that. Very cool.

3. “Once in a Lifetime”
The song that got me into Talking Heads. I first listened to it and I was like, “woah, all right! Imma go watch Stop Making Sense now.” It is so fun, so stylish and this live version is great. Byrne whips out his glasses and his most spastic moves yet. Pure delight.

4. “Psycho Killer”
I much, much prefer this live version to the original album version. Something about it works a lot better as an acoustic song to me. I love how it’s just pretty bare in terms of instruments and background singers. It’s just Byrne and his guitar (and the sounds from the radio thing, but ya). The original version is still great, but this is where it’s at.

5. “Thank You For Sending Me An Angel”
I have a soft spot for this song for whatever reason. I can’t explain, but it just really connects with me. It’s a lot of fun, short, but sweet. The lyrics are easy to catch along with and it’s just one of the band’s most easy listening songs, if that makes sense.

6. “Slippery People”
One of their songs that gets stuck in my head a lot, specifically the “what’s the matter with him (HE’S ALL RIGHT!)?” part. It’s incredibly funky and groovy at the same time. One of my favorites to dance to. All of the songs from “Speaking In Tongues” album have this style in the instrumentals and stuff that I just adore.

7. “Heaven”
A soft rock song that I really love. A rare occurrence for the band I think, we don’t see much like it. I prefer this one to the album one. Again, I like how it’s kinda “stripped down”, this time just Byrne and the bass player. Guitar and bass, really simple, really calming to be honest. Love this one, would like more like it.

8. “Burning Down the House”
They have so many signature songs. I know it’s only supposed to be one, but this song works as their signature as well. It captures what Talking Heads is all about and I love it. I’ve been listening to this one on repeat. Absolutely classic.

9. “What a Day That Was”
I believe this is a track original to this concert, because I don’t see it on any of the other albums. Either way, it’s amazing. Honestly, it should probably be higher, but I guess we’ll sit it here. It’s 6 minutes, but that just breezes by for me. It has such a fun nature to it, especially when the chorus hits. Really shouldn’t pass this one up, it’s a gem.

10. “Life During Wartime”
Oh, yeah, a classic. One I need to listen to more I think. The keyboard work in this is super extra catchy, works so well as the backing. Byrne’s vocals are crisp as always. One I’ll just randomly start singing the chorus out loud for. “THIS AIN’T NO PARTY, THIS AIN’T NO DISCO! THIS AIN’T NO FOOLING AROUND!!”

11. “Found a Job”
This is one of my favorites lyrically wise. It tells this very interesting story that I just love. Really, I can’t describe what it’s about, you should just listen to it. I definitely like the live version better than the original, but the original is good too. Byrne looks like he is having so much fun while performing each of these songs, it’s just such a pleasure to watch.

12. “Making Flippy Floppy”
Another one off of “Speaking in Tongues”, the style is through the roof on these things. A tad bit funk, a tad bit pop, recipe for goodness as always with Talking Heads.

13. “Crosseyed and Painless”
A really good way to end the concert in my opinion. What really stands out in this song is the guitar work (and the bass it great as well). The guitar playing is some of my favorite from the concert. Such a distinct style to it, one I don’t hear much of. Now, I don’t really know what this song is about as I haven’t listened to it much, but I do love it.

14. “Take Me To The River”
I do like this song, but this particular version carries on too long. Also, Al Green is one of my favorite artist and his version, which is the original, I love much more, so there’s that. This is still a great cover, but not a favorite Talking Heads song in my book.

15. “Swamp”
It’s such a creepy song, I don’t know. It’s certainly not a favorite. I think it’s growing on me, but it’s just really bizarre the way it’s sung and the overall sound to me. I’m not sure, maybe I’m coming around to it.

16. “Genius of Love (Tom Tom Club)”
The only song in this thing that’s truly a miss for me. I skipped it this time around after like a minute. It’s just weird and doesn’t fit the film for me. Oh, well, the rest are amazing.

Well, there ya have it! That was incredibly messy, but I had fun! Let me know what you’re ranking is if you have one, I’m always curious to know. Thanks for reading, take care, everyone!

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