Well, I've definitely revised my view of this album which I used to think was one of the lesser albums in their canon. I used to think that the live album "Stop Making Sense" contained better versions of some these songs but now I'm not so sure. Taking on its own merit this is a joyous slab of skewed funk. It's strange how Talking Heads haven't really got the credit they deserve and unlike some of their contemporaries (Gang Of Four, Wire etc.) aren't routinely thought of as an influence to current bands. And yet given the quality of their back catalogue ( with the probable exception of their last album "Naked") there's a good case for claiming that they are a contender for best band of the eighties . Kicking off with 'Burning Down The House', you would have thought it couldn't get any better but it does. 'Making Flippy Floppy' with it's squelchy synth and relentless funk obviously owes a debt to Funkadelic/Parliament but listening to it is sheer unbridled joy. 'Girlfriend Is Better' is peerless pop and then you've got 'Slippery People' with it's Staple Singers gospel groove. So four tracks in and it's 5 stars already but the quality doesn't dip, ending as it does with the killer one-two of Pull Up The Roots and the gorgeous "This Must Be The Place".
The extra tracks on the first CD aren't essential although "Two Note Swivel" starts off promising but runs out of steam. And I'm sorry but I can't comment on the 5.1 DVD surround sound version (due to hardware poverty) but it's nice to have the videos for "Burning Down The House" and "This Must Be The Place" available. Could have done with more comprehensive sleveenotes though.
The songs on here are relatively streamlined compared to the over the top (but brilliant with it) kitchen sinkness of "Remain In Light". "Remain In Light" might indeed be the high watermark of the Talking Head albums but it really is time to reassess the less feted later albums. "Little Creatures" (which, strangely for such a well established band, was a lot of people's first taste of Talking Heads) was very good and "True Stories", whilst not up to the same standard, is still worth having. But this is brilliant. Listening to the gloriousy melodic choruses and relentless grooves it's been a revelation to me (as was the new version of "The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads")as to how uniformly strong this album is.