Nowadays 1979’s ‘Fear Of Music’ is largely remembered as the Talking Heads album with ‘Life During Wartime’ and ‘Heaven’ on it - probably something to do with the fact that they are the only two songs from the record that made it into 1984’s ‘Stop Making Sense’ (though ‘Cities’ was included in the extended version of the film). This legacy does ‘Fear Of Music’ a great disservice - sure, those are both absolutely top tracks, but the whole album really is a triumph of the airless agit-funk style that the group had lasered in on throughout 1977’s ‘77’ and 1978’s ‘More Songs About Buildings And Food’. It also bridged the gap between those LPs and the transcendent polyrhythms of 1980's ‘Remain In Light’. This is Talking Heads at their most frantic, paranoid and couched, an effect heightened by Brian Eno’s daring production. The frenzied ecstasies of ‘I Zimbra’, ‘Animals’, ‘Memories Can't Wait’ etc. are pretty much unparalleled in the post-punk era.
Vinyl LP £16.49 0081227965549
LP repress on Sire.
9/10 Jack 6th January 2015
Employing the talented assistance of producer Brian Eno, Fear of Music harnessed the continuing innovation of the New Wave rock band Talking Heads. Fear of Music is seen by some as a stage-setter for the group’s magnum opus Remain in Light, but the Heads’ third record is an amazing record in its own right. Starting with the compelling instrumental I Zimbra, the listener immediately knows he is in for a transcendent experience. Lead singer David Byrne sings over classics like “Life During Wartime” and “Heaven” with a manic desperation that will leave you spellbound. Check out “Air” and “Electric Guitar” if you have the time.
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