When 'Catherine Wheel' was released it got a right pasting in most of the popular music press, which is a real shame because it's very good. This makes an excellent accompaniment to 'My Life in the Bush of Ghost'. Twyla Tharp, for whom this work was originally written, was reported to have considered it one of the most difficult works of music she had ever had to choreograph.
The work awards repeated listening. It is dark, dense and occasionally difficult but there are passages of funk, ambience and African rhythms to hang your hat on. It is one of the records I come back to on a regular basis for inspiration. In the same year Jerry Harrison, keyboard player with Talking Heads, released a solo album titled 'The Red and the Black' which I also recommend as an interesting comparison to the solo work of Byrne, as both explore rhythmic expression, though Harrison's work ties into political themes more heavily then Byrne.
Both Harrison's and Byrne's work in this year really underpin where Talking Heads were musically in the early 80's and adds new dimensions to an interesting and experiemental time. An important and under-rated record, well worth purchasing.