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* Live *

Recorded: December 1983

Charted: Sept. 22, 1984

Rating: 3.625 (average of 6 ratings)

Genre: rock > new wave

Quotable: --

Album Tracks:

  1. Psycho Killer
  2. Swamp
  3. Slippery People
  4. Burning Down the House
  5. Girlfriend Is Better
  6. Once in a Lifetime
  7. What a Day That Was
  8. Life During Wartime
  9. Take Me to the River

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only 2.0
sales in U.K. only - estimated 0.1
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated 2.1


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart 41
peak on U.K. album chart 37

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • Psycho Killer * (2/18/78) #92 US
  • Take Me to the River * (11/4/78) #26 US
  • Life During Wartime * (11/3/79) #80 US
  • Once in a Lifetime * (2/7/81) #91 US **, #14 UK
  • Buring Down the House (7/23/83) #9 US, #6 AR
  • This Must Be the Place (Naďve Melody) *** (11/26/83) #62 US, #51 UK
  • Slippery People (11/3/84) #68 UK **
* Information for original releases of singles recorded in the studio.

** Actual live recording from this release.

*** Original studio release; live version only appeared on 1999 Special Edition.

“When the soundtrack for the classic Talking Heads movie Stop Making Sense was originally issued in 1984, it was only nine tracks in length, even though a total of 16 [‘Heaven,’ ‘Thank You for Sending Me an Angel,’ ‘Found a Job,’ ‘Making Flippy Floppy,’ ‘This Must Be the Place (Naďve Melody),’ ‘Genius of Love,’ ‘Crosseyed and Painless’ are the extra tracks] were performed on film. So when the film was re-released in theaters and on home video in 1999, a new version of the soundtrack was issued as well, including all 16 songs and sporting an even better remastered sound.” GP


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. One of Time Magazine’s All-TIME 100 Albums.

Stop Making Sense
Talking Heads
“Talking Heads were part of the first wave of New York City punk rock, but their angular, jittery grooves were a long way from the full-throttle assault of the Ramones or the Dictators. Their interest in funk and African rhythms eventually started moving forward, peaking on the extended jams of 1980’s Remain in Light before connecting with a pop audience on Speaking in Tongues in 1983.” TL

“The follow-up tour [was] captured in Jonathan Demme’s phenomenal concert film Stop Making Sense.” TL “Recorded over three nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theatre in December 1983, …the usual four-piece lineup was supplemented by Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell, percussionist Steve Scales, guitarist Alex Weir, and backup singers Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt.” GP

The show opened “with David Byrne alone onstage with a boom box” GP performing such “early selections [as] Psycho Killer…as bare renditions.” GP The performance continued by “gradually adding musicians until the show was a full-on psycho-Afro-disco frenzy.” TL

Included are “full-band funky versions of such later hits as Life During Wartime, Burning Down the House, Once in a Lifetime, and Girlfriend Is Better.” GP

“Even with some of his more memorable tics edited out, Byrne is in fine voice here: Never before had he sounded warmer or more approachable, as evidenced by his soaring rendition of ‘Once in a Lifetime.’” MH

“The band makes room for one of Byrne’s…hard-driving, elliptical What a Day That Was)” MH from his 1981 Catherine Wheel album and, on the Special Edition, “Genius of Love by the Tom Tom Club, a side project of drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth.” GP

“Purists…found [the original] Stop Making Sense slickly mixed and, worse yet, incomprehensive. The nine tracks included jumble and truncate the natural progression of frontman David Byrne's meticulously arranged stage show. Cries for a double-album treatment…were sounded almost immediately…[but] until a 1999 ‘special edition’ cured the 1984 release’s ills, fans had to make do with the Stop Making Sense they were given – which is, by any account, an exemplary snapshot of a band at the height of its powers.”MH “One of the greatest live albums ever…A quintessential purchase.” GP

Review Source(s): SE Special Edition

Last updated March 9, 2010.