If you’ve worn out your copy of Talking Heads’ concert film Stop Making Sense and still feel the urge to experience more live music from David Byrne and Co., this DVD should take care of you.
Chronology features 18 live clips from Talking Heads ranging from their days playing as a trio in front of a handful of fans at CBGB’s in 1975 to the expanded lineup (featuring former P-Funkster Bernie Worrell and a legion of others) entertaining hundreds of thousands at the US Festival in 1982 and on to their 2002 reunion performance at the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame.
Along the way, we get clips from a variety of sources…grainy black & white video from CBGB’s, plus appearances on Old Grey Whistle Test, Saturday Night Live, American Bandstand and David Letterman.
What’s fascinating about viewing these clips one after the other is watching the band evolve from an uptight group of post-modern college students who seem to spend way too much time internalizing their feelings to the extremely funky and fun-loving band they eventually became during the early 1980s with hits like Burning Down The House.
There metamorphosis becomes even more apparent and understandable thanks to the commentary track that accompanies each clip. All four band members take part…Byrne, Chris Franz, Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison. Byrne’s reactions to watching his very shy, awkward stage presence on the early footage are the most interesting. He has no problem self-analysing himself as that was what a lot of the Heads’ songs were all about anyway.
Bonus material includes a 35 minute South Bank Show shot in 1979 and an interview with Byrne shot in 1978. Watch in awe as the interviewer loudly chews his gum and blows cigarette smoke in Byrne’s face as he painfully reads his questions from a sheet of paper. Now that’s music journalism at its finest!