Stop Making Sense is a live album recorded by Talking Heads on the tour to promote the studio album Speaking In Tongues in 1983.
It is also the soundtrack for the concert film of the same name.
This live album is very highly regarded by critics but I have to admit to being puzzled because I don’t believe it is a match for The Name Of The Band Is Talking Heads, a live album from earlier in their career.
Stop Making Sense
My Rating – 26 out of 30 – highly recommended but the DVD is even better
Average Amazon Customer Rating – %%AVERAGERATING%% Stars
Set List Rating – 7/10
- Psycho Killer – 4:24 (originally on the album Talking Heads 77)
- Heaven – 3:41 (Fear Of Music)
- Thank You for Sending Me an Angel – 2:09 (More Songs About Buildings And Food)
- Found a Job – 3:15 (More Songs About Buildings And Food)
- Slippery People – 4:00 (Speaking In Tongues)
- Burning Down the House – 4:06 (Speaking In Tongues)
- Life During Wartime – 5:51 (Fear Of Music)
- Making Flippy Floppy – 4:40(Speaking In Tongues)
- Swamp – 4:30 (Speaking In Tongues)
- What a Day That Was – 6:00 (from David Byrne’s The Catherine Wheel solo album)
- This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) – 4:57 (Speaking In Tongues)
- Once in a Lifetime – 5:25 (Remain In Light)
- Genius of Love – 4:30 (on the Tom Tom Club of the same name)
- Girlfriend Is Better – 5:06 (Speaking In Tongues)
- Take Me to the River – 5:32 (More Songs About Buildings And Food)
- Crosseyed and Painless – 6:11 (Remain In Light)
This album has five songs from the latest Talking Heads album, Speaking In Tongues together with their four “big hits” – Psycho Killer, Life During Wartime, Once in a Lifetime and Take Me to the River.
It also includes a couple of non Talking Head songs, David Byrne’s What a Day That Was and Genius of Love by Tom Tom Club.
Personally I’d prefer a set list more focused on their earlier songs so I give the set list 7/10.
Performance Rating – 10/10
Talking Heads have put together a tight, funky performance that makes this album very addictive.
Here are some videos of Talking Heads performing live in concert in 1983.
Life During Wartime
Make Flippy Floppy
Atmosphere & Authenticity Review Rating – 9/10
If you’ve seen the film (or even attended the concerts back in 1983), you will listen to the album and remember the visuals on stage. This is one of those rare cases where I prefer the DVD to the CD.
Total Rating For Stop Making Sense By Talking Heads – 26/30
I don’t play it anything like as often as The Name Of the Band Is Talking Heads.
My rating system has put together a total of 26 and I’m surprised.
I also own the Stop Making Sense DVD and my problem is that I keep struggling with the set list. It doesn’t have enough Talking Heads songs that I want to keep hearing from their early days and it also excludes songs I like from the later Little Creatures studio album.
What Others Say About Stop Making Sense
Talking Heads were a big favourite of the critics for their first four albums – 77, More Songs About Buildings And Food, Fear Of Music and Remain In Light.
Stop Making Sense appeared after those halo days but it is regularly nominated on the best live album lists.
Slate Readers Poll – 3rd
Q – 2006 – 7th
Stylus – 11th
Chordstrike.com – 13th
Rolling Stone – included in the Top 25 greatest live albums
Classic Rock – 41st
NME – 44th
DigitalDreamDoor.com – 52nd
As you can see, plenty of people rave about this live album. Others prefer The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads as I do.
Just about every best live album list has one Talking Heads live album on it.
Amazon reviewers love it too.
It’s nominated in my poll to discover the greatest punk and new wave live albums ever, just click on the link to vote and see the results so far.
Buying Stop Making Sense
To help you to find the album quickly and easily, I’ve given you the following links::
What Do You Thinking Of Stop Making Sense By Talking Heads?
Who do you think is right, the critics or me? Is this the best live album by Talking Heads?
If you love this album, I’d like to know what makes it so special so please leave me a comment below.
What Are The Best Live Albums Of All Time?
Please help me find the best live albums by voting in the readers polls.
I class Talking Heads as a new wave band and an art rock band so Stop Making Sense appears in two best live albums polls.
Please vote for the Best new wave albums
And the Best art rock albums
You may also be interested in the poll to find the best prog rock live albums.