True Stories

True Stories

by Talking HeadsTalking Heads


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Time hasn't been kind to Talking Heads' ancillary soundtrack to David Byrne's oddball directorial debut. Though it generated one of the band's biggest radio hits ("Wild Wild Life"), both the film and its songs were dismissed as self-consciously quirky retreads of other, better material; and it's well-known the quartet was beginning to splinter apart around the time of the sessions. Byrne himself has said that he regretted the whole notion of releasing True Stories with his own vocals, a decision made at the behest of the film's financial backers: All along, he intended for the lyrics to be sung, in character, by Pops Staples, John Goodman, and the rest of the cast. (Some of these alternate-vocal versions were eventually released as B-sides.) Despite its perfunctory nature, however, True Stories is not without its charms. Though an obvious swipe at consumerism, "Love for Sale" boasts one of the band's best hooks, and it's easily their hardest-rocking tune since the Fear of Music days. "Radio Head" is a successful continuation of some of the regional-American motifs Byrne explored on Little Creatures (and bears the distinction of inspiring Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and company to name their band after it). Free from the movie's weird patina of irony, "Dream Operator" is one of the most affecting tunes Talking Heads ever recorded; the closing-credits theme "City of Dreams" is similarly touching. Elsewhere, there is filler -- touching upon gospel, country-western, zydeco, and sundry other Byrne influences -- but the band's skill at arranging an album and maintaining a mood remains intact. So while True Stories may remain a regrettable chapter in the band's history, it's certainly not an embarrassing one.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/17/1990
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
UPC: 0075992551243
catalogNumber: 25512

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Talking Heads   Primary Artist
David Byrne   Guitar,Vocals
Jerry Harrison   Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Paulinho Da Costa   Percussion
Chris Frantz   Drums
Tom Morrell   Pedal Steel Guitar
Eric "ET" Thorngren   Overdubs
Tina Weymouth   Bass,Background Vocals
Kathy Botich   Overdubs
Tommy Camfield   Fiddle
Steve Jordan   Accordion

Technical Credits

David Byrne   Liner Notes
Talking Heads   Producer
Michael McClain   Engineer
Eric "ET" Thorngren   Engineer
Paul Christensen   Engineer
Jeffrey Kent Ayeroff   Cover Design
Michael Hodgson   Cover Design

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