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Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense [1994] [DVD] [1984]

David Byrne , Bernie Worrell , Jonathan Demme    Exempt   DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
Price: 6.98 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense [1994] [DVD] [1984] + Stop Making Sense: Special New Edition + Remain In Light
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Product details

  • Actors: David Byrne, Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steven Scales, Lynn Mabry
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Format: Anamorphic, PAL, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Palm Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 15 Mar 2004
  • Run Time: 99 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004RCLW
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,184 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)



Over the course of three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in December 1983, filmmaker Jonathan Demme joined creative forces with cinematographer Jordan Cronenweth and Talking Heads ... and miracles occurred. Following a staging concept by singer-guitarist David Byrne, this euphoric concert film transcends that all-too-limited genre to become the greatest film of its kind. A guaranteed cure for anyone's blues, it's a celebration of music that never grows old, fuelled by the polyrhythmic pop-funk precision that was a Talking Heads trademark, and lit from within by the geeky supernova that is David Byrne.

The staging--and Demme's filming of it--builds toward an orgasmic release of music, rising from the bare-stage simplicity of Byrne, accompanied only by a boom box on "Psycho Killer" to the ecstatic crescendo of "Burning Down the House", by which time the Heads and additional personnel have all arrived on stage for a performance that seems channelled from heaven for the purpose of universal uplift. (God bless Demme for avoiding shots of the luckiest audience in 80s pop history; its presence is acknowledged but not at the viewer's expense.) With the deliriously eccentric Byrne as ringleader (pausing mid-concert to emerge in his now-legendary oversized suit), this circus of musical pleasure defies the futility of reductive description; it begs to be experienced, felt in the heart, head and bones, and held there the way we hold on to cherished memories. On those three nights in December 1983, Talking Heads gave love, life, and joy in generous amounts that years cannot erode, and Demme captured this act of creative goodwill on film with minimalist artistic perfection. Stop Making Sense is an invitation to pleasure that will never wear out its welcome. --Jeff Shannon

Product Description

Jonathan Demme made this stunning and unique rock concert video of the Talking Heads by documenting three different shows the group performed in Hollywood at the Pantages Theater in December 1983. Restrained while maintaining a classic sense of style, Demme gets the most out of his subjects. The camera is always a second citizen to the action. The film begins with a solo from David Byrne, performing an acoustic version of "Psycho Killer," and soon has evolved into a nine-piece band for "Take Me to the River." In addition to Byrne, the Heads include Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth, and Chris Franz, who are joined by three more musicians and two backup singers--who don't shy away from the chance to dance and run around with the rest of the band. The screen behind the band displays a variety of images ranging from words to evocativeimages to children's drawings. The end result is a resounding testament to the band's talent and sense of humor--and one of the finest rock films ever made.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once in a lifetime 13 Mar 2003
By degrant TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Before David Byrne's collaboration with X-Press 2,"Lazy", Talking Heads had fallen off the critical radar and disappeared from public consciousness. It is high time they were credited for "Remain in Light" and this, easily the best live concert of all time. Audio releases of the concert (especially the original nine track version) do the visual power of the concert an injustice even though "Slippery People" "Burning Down the House" and "Take Me to the River" better the respective studio versions.
The pacing of the film is exemplary: the gradual addition of musicians provides the context for David Byrne's metamorphosis from tense New Waver to full-on funkster. And while the rest of the Heads, augmented by musicians of the class and charisma of Bernie Worrell and Alex Weir amongst others, play brilliantly, Byrne steals the show. He is more compelling than Michael Stipe in "Tourfilm", Bjork at the Royal Opera House last year or anyone else you care to mention.
Thankfully the classic "I Zimbra/Big Business" (the latter a Byrne solo number from "Songs from the Catherine Wheel") is included as an extra and proves one of the many highlights of the disc. Making further great use of DVD's potential, the disc provides the viewer with a choice of sounds tracks. While the concert sound was always good, the remastered track blows it away for clarity, depth and feeling. The voiceover gives great history and background and is good accompaniment to "Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa Fa", the biography of the band which reveals the extent of the inevitable animosity as Byrne garnered all the plaudits.
Accusations that this is over-rated and dated are without foundation as well as explanation.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tiptop re-release and excellent use of medium 4 Jan 2001
By A Customer
At last a DVD that makes use of the technical advantages of the medium. Looks and sounds so much better than the video. Includes the original set design diagrams with notes by Byrne. An amazing concert concept brilliantly brought to life - the remixed sound is incredibly lifelike.
If only more bands bothered to put this much thought into their live shows... ;-) Highly recommended
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
"Stop Making Sense" changed my life. The album, actually, not the film; I was 15, on a disastrous school trip to Amsterdam (I know, I know, what were they thinking sending a bunch of drink-and-drug crazed mid-teens to Amsterdam, of all places) and somebody lent me a tape of the original soundtrack album, a great Talking Heads primer in its own right. I had been having a spectacularly bad time, and had never much liked the Heads before, but somewhere in there I glimpsed the psychodrama, so much clearer in the movie, of a nerdy white boy loosening up - and I never looked back.
This is the greatest concert movie ever made because it works as a movie, even if you aren't much of a fan of Talking Heads' music (and God knows, I got over my subsequent obsession with them). From David Byrne's hopeful, intellectual-at-summer-camp rendition of "Psycho Killer" all the way to the manic version of "Crosseyed and Painless", it builds and builds and grips your attention. The most striking thing about it, watching it again 20 years later, is just how much this foursome of uptight preppies could rock. Their enjoyment of their own music is genuine, unforced and palpable. Byrne cheerfully admits on the commentary that he was going through a "dictator" phase at the time, to the point that he wouldn't even allow plastic cups of water onstage, because it would spoil the visual effect; if ever a band needed them, it was this one. In the studio, they could sound clipped and filtered to a fare-thee-well, but live, they had a real swing.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
A very energetic performance by David Byrne and Talking Heads. Superb music brought to life by a very well mixed 5.1 soundtrack and stunning visuals. The DVD has a fair selection of extras too. By far the best music DVD I have seen.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything I expected it to be 17 Mar 2011
By Yves
I was 15 when this movie came out. The songs psychokiller, burning down the house, were great hits in my opninion. But when you are 15 you do not have the resources to buy all the things you want. But as I got older, it gets easier. So now I am catching up, I buy stuff I always wanted to have.
So when I watched this movie, it exceded my expectations... This is what I wanted it to be. I still think David Byrne personificates the Talking Heads, he is the group. The extra's on are also worth watching. Especially the interview they gave in 2000 to celebrate the 15th birthday of the DVD.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Exception 13 Feb 2011
By Wharf
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Live albums are usually disappointing (the sound mix is either too flat or too boomy, the audience noise can detract from rather than enhance the atmosphere, and most bands cannot capture the same feel "live" that they achieve in the studio). Live concert films compound the problem - with poor visuals, bad lighting, and a boring mix of close/mid/long range shots.

"Stop Making Sense" is one of the brilliant exceptions. It is successful because although it was staged as a conceptual documentary record - a post-modern attempt to deconstruct "live" performance - it actually provided a much better platform in which to experience Talking Heads in concert. The song selection is great (although I'm still not sure about the Tom Tom Club contribution...) and draws on all of the Heads' albums to date, especially the peak period of "Fear Of Music"/"Remain In Light". The visuals are intriguing throughout (use of camera angles, lighting and stage sets). And David Byrne is on fire as a shamanic presence leading the band through a mesmerising performance.

My only complaint is that the DVD extras are rather lame - surely there is some interesting rehearsal footage out there?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Musical Art
Never been a Talking Heads fan, this DVD was recommended by a friend, and on first viewing, it was just another music DVD, but after watching the alternative commentary that runs... Read more
Published 13 days ago by Ztyxx
5.0 out of 5 stars Best concert film ever
I defy anyone to watch this film and not move their feet. I watched this at the cinema in the 80's and its every bit as good as I remembered
Published 5 months ago by colin ramsay
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Classic
lovely HD so aslong as you know how to watch a Blu Ray film on good equipment you wont go wrong
Published 5 months ago by Osmics
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this
Always liked Talking Heads got a few albums but never that fussed.Obviously seen bits of this show before but watched it in full on you tube for the first time couple of months... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Duncan Woodbridge
5.0 out of 5 stars great album by a great band
what a showman David Byrne is not only a great voice but puts on a great show worth buying this dvd.
Published 7 months ago by Elizabeth Kerr
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than ever
I hadn't seen this since my first time in a movie theatre. I was wondered that it might not be as good as I remember it. But it was better! Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kimba Girl
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
This Bluray sounds soooo much better than on my VHS tape. I am Very happy with the purchase. Th ank you.
Published 9 months ago by Debbie McMillan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Blu-Ray starts to make sense of a classic performance
This film combines footage of Talking Heads in concert, shot over three nights at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood in December 1983 as part of the `Speaking in Tongues' tour. Read more
Published 10 months ago by The Guardian
5.0 out of 5 stars Best DVD ever in my books
We already have this on DVD but chose to get the Blu Ray version as well, it was so worth buying, the Talking Heads almost jump out of the box dancing and singing it's that good :)... Read more
Published 10 months ago by Cindy
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
I saw this while out one night and I had to get it. For entertainment value, this is 10/10, and brought back a lot of good memories..
Published 11 months ago by Mr. D. P. Bates
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