Talking Heads ‎– Stop Making Sense

Sire ‎– 9 25186-2
CD, Album


1 Psycho Killer 4:29
2 Swamp 4:28
3 Slippery People 4:13
4 Burning Down The House 4:14
5 Girlfriend Is Better 5:07
6 Once In A Lifetime 5:34
7 What A Day That Was 6:30
8 Life During Wartime 5:52
9 Take Me To The River 6:00

Companies, etc.



Recorded at The Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, December 1983.

First US pressed CD edition. The disc face is black and white with a solid silver hub. Has a 16pp booklet with color photos and centerfold. Printed track times in the booklet are significantly off; actual times below.

©1984 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Printed): 0 7599-25186-2
  • Barcode (Scanned): 075992518628
  • Matrix / Runout: 25186-2 02@

Other Versions (5 of 99) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
1-25186, 9 25186-1 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense(LP, Album) Sire, Sire 1-25186, 9 25186-1 US 1984 Sell This Version
064 24 0243 1, 1C 064-24 0243 1 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense(LP, Album) EMI, EMI 064 24 0243 1, 1C 064-24 0243 1 Europe 1984 Sell This Version
LSEMI 11080, EJ 2402431 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense(LP, Album) Jugoton, EMI LSEMI 11080, EJ 2402431 Yugoslavia 1984 Sell This Version
TC-EMC-240243 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense(Cass, Album, XDR) EMI TC-EMC-240243 Australia 1984 Sell This Version
CDP 7 46064 2 Talking Heads Stop Making Sense(CD, Album) EMI CDP 7 46064 2 UK & Europe Unknown Sell This Version



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July 8, 2014

“Stop Making Sense” ... Is this a soundtrack? Is this a recording of a live concert? Or is this a movie? The Talking Heads, and more pointedly David Byrne, blurred the lines for all three of those questions when the movie, the soundtrack, or the movie of the concert hit the silver screens across America.

First, from the get go, I will say that this is one of the most thought out and artist concerts I have ever had the opportunity to witness. Second, the concert is scored like a movie, with an introduction of the characters, their roles, and finally their development as the story unfolds. And yes, there is a story unfolding here.

Having made that statement, I could turn it all around and say that “Stop Making Sense” is a movie about a concert, one that never actually took place in the flesh of a concert hall, but rather, was developed, scripted, blocked, structured, and played out to the camera, as brilliantly as any first rate movie would have been done.

The movie opens [or the concert begins] with David Byrne walking onto a bare stage with an acoustic guitar and a boom box for backup, and in the image of some modern day James Dean, plays the song “Psycho Killer.” Then, one by one, the other members of the band come in almost off handily, each separately building on the next song, until there is a full fledged band, The Talking Heads, right there, strolling through their songs. At times there is a concert feel to the performance, at other times there is the feeling that it’s all happening right there in your living room, and at others, The Talking Heads are taking you on a journey via flashing lights and changing backgrounds that is reminiscent of a subway ride. Whatever the case, it’s an astounding journey ... one well worth the fare.

While much seems to be lost when groups attempt to capture the effects, events, attitude and feel of a live performance, The Talking Heads have actually improved on the music they are playing live ... and that is a feat well worth experiencing. How can I make such a statement? Easy, for me, when I feel the need to hear any of the music by The Talking Heads, this is usually the disc I reach for. The production is nothing short of amazing, clear, clean, strong and relentless in all aspects and nuances.

There are dozens of statements made within the confines of this movie / concert, there are an equal amount of questions asked as well ... but I don’t feel that I’d be giving you the opportunity of really enjoying this show if I were to address all of those here. I will address one aspect simply because its effect cut a deep groove into the fashion of the day, and that was the very “Big Suit” David Byrne wore during the second part of the performance.

The concept of “The Big Suit” was missed by nearly everyone, Soon those hip enough to have scene the movie and dug the music were wearing oversized cloths, these clothes became a statement of a musical genre, and soon crossed over into mainstream fashion, but the truth of the matter is that David wore “The Big Suit” because he was making a “Big Statement,” ... and what better way to suggest or emphasize a big statement then to present a larger then life character, though with his animated gestures and the size of his head compared to the size of the suit, suggested a dancing turtle. “The Big Suit” did several things ... it insulated David from the world and his music, it suggested that there was more then met the eye, it hinted that we are all very small inside, and also that we could each be as big and strong as we would allow ourselves to be.

The performance was musically rounded out by some great backup singers, who seemed to be totally enjoying themselves and a couple of added musicians who brought a fresh edge to the sound. Because this was a movie, great care was taken regarding the sound and production quality of the music ... and it is flawless in every respect.

So enjoy the movie, dig the music, and when you finally realize that Jonathan Demme is one of the finest musicians of our time, you’ll be asking yourself why you’ve missed out on his tunes for so long ... OR HAVE I STOPPED MAKING SENSE?

Review by Jenell Kesler