[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/talking-heads.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Left to right: Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, Jerry Harrison, David Byrne.]]

->''"This ain't no party, this ain't no disco, this ain't no foolin' around"''
-->--'''Talking Heads''', ''Life During Wartime''.

->''"Singing is a trick to get people to listen to music for longer than they would ordinarily."''
-->--'''David Byrne'''

Talking Heads was an American rock band formed in 1974 in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and active until 1991. The band comprised vocalist/guitarist David Byrne, drummer Chris Frantz, bassist Tina Weymouth (married to Frantz), and guitarist/keyboardist Jerry Harrison. Auxiliary musicians also frequently made appearances in concert and on the group's albums.

[[GenreBusting The new wave musical style of Talking Heads combined elements of punk rock, avant-garde, pop, funk, afrobeat and art rock.]] Frontman and songwriter David Byrne contributed whimsical, esoteric lyrics to the band's songs, and emphasized their showmanship through various multimedia projects and performances. The band worked with famous RecordProducer BrianEno on all their albums between 1978-1980, whose influence steered them towards their SignatureStyle dominated by incredibly dense, hypnotic funk grooves over which Byrne would improvise his vocals. They parted ways with Eno after their masterpiece ''Remain in Light'' and continued with a LighterAndSofter sound for the rest of their career, to increasing dissatisfaction from fans and critics. In 1986, they made a movie called ''TrueStories'', starring FaceOfTheBand David Byrne as the narrator.

In 2002, the band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of the band's albums appeared on Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and the Channel 4 100 Greatest Albums poll listed one album (''Fear of Music'') at number 76. Their concert film ''Film/StopMakingSense'' is widely regarded as one of the finest examples of the genre.

Discography:
* ''Talking Heads: 77'' (1977)
* ''More Songs About Buildings And Food'' (1978)
* ''Fear of Music'' (1979)
* ''Remain in Light'' (1980)
* ''Speaking in Tongues'' (1983)
* ''Little Creatures'' (1985)
* ''True Stories'' (1986)
* ''Naked'' (1988)
* ''Sand in the Vaseline'' (1992 compilation)
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!!Examples:
* AcademyAward: David Byrne won an Oscar for ''Film/TheLastEmperor''.
* AfterTheEnd: "(Nothing But) Flowers".
* AnimatedMusicVideo
* AntiLoveSong: "I'm Not in Love".
* AxCrazy: The narrator of "Psycho Killer".
* TheBandMinusTheFace: ''[[TakeThat No Talking]] Just Head'', a 1996 album by The Heads (the band minus Byrne), with a different vocalist on each of the tracks. Byrne sued them so they couldn't tour under the name.
* BoDiddleyBeat: "Ruby Dear".
* BowtiesAreCool: "Once in a Lifetime".
* BreakupBreakout: David Byrne has had a successful solo career since the band's breakup, while Jerry Harrison has become a successful RecordProducer, and Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz founded the Music/TomTomClub.
* CaptainObvious: Lots of lovable instances in the lyrics. Works in a weird, unexplainable way. Are you aware, for example, that "there is water at the bottom of the ocean"?
* {{Cloudcuckoolander}}: David Byrne comes across as one.
* ControlFreak: The other band members claim Byrne was this throughout the band's history, and caused the band to break up by being this. He admitted as much on the DVD commentary to ''Stop Making Sense''.
* ConveyorBeltVideo: "And She Was"
* CoolOldGuy and CoolOldLady: The members of Talking Heads have all graduated to these.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Fear of Music''.
* EpicRocking: ''The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads'' features the live version of "Born Under Punches" clocking in at 8:25 with the band performing the song and milking every minute for what it's worth. "The Great Curve" and "Houses In Motion" on the same album are both over six minutes and show the best parts of the "Remain In Light" album and the best parts of the band in their prime.
* EveryoneWentToSchoolTogether: Weymouth, Frantz, and Byrne were all students at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and had started another band together (The Artistics) there before moving to New York and (after a little while) becoming Talking Heads.
* FakeGuestStar: Bernie Worrell, a funk musician known for his work with [[Music/GeorgeClinton Parliament-Funkadelic]], was never an official member of the band, but performed with them for virtually their entire existence, and is usually regarded as the ''de facto'' fifth member.
* FakeOutFadeOut: "No Compassion"
* {{Funk}}: An important influence on their style. To underscore this, the backing musicians who accompany them on their ''Film/StopMakingSense'' album/concert movie are all funk musicians affilliated with Parliament-Funkadelic (except for Alex Weir, who was part of The Brothers Johnson).
* FlyoverCountry: "The Big Country".
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: "And She Was", one of their biggest hit singles, is about a drug trip.
* GratuitousFrench: "Psycho Killer".
* HappilyMarried: Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz.
* HeavyMeta: "Electric Guitar".
* IAmTheBand: Byrne is a notorious example.
* IconicOutfit: Byrne's gigantic suit from ''Stop Making Sense'', which WeirdAlYankovic later parodied in his spoof of them, "Dog Eat Dog".
* [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Album Naming]]: Their live ''The Name of This Band is Talking Heads'' stems from Byrne announcing the next songs as "The name of this song is [insert song title here]".
** It was also named that way because David Byrne was frustrated by people adding a 'The' to the band's name when there wasn't supposed to be one.
* InsufferableGenius: David Byrne is this in a way.
* InTheStyleOf: "The Overload" is in the style of Music/JoyDivision, but because Talking Heads had never listened to the band, it was based on what the music press wrote about them. Impressively, it's not far-off from how Joy Division actually sounded, although when the Heads finally heard Joy Division they were disappointed -- they thought the Manchester band was a lot more conventional than they'd been led to imagine.
* JerkAss: The other members, notably Tina Weymouth as described below, think David Byrne is one. Byrne thinks the other members have been this to him as well.
* LargeHam: Byrne, resulting in such gems as "Don't you miss it! Don't you miss it! Some of you people just about missed it!" and "And you may say to yourself, 'My God, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?'".
* LyricalDissonance: Highlighted in "Life During Wartime".
* MarionetteMotion
* MilitaryBrat: Both Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. Her dad was an admiral; she says that "Don't Worry About the Government" is inspired in part by that.
* MilkingTheGiantCow: In the video for "Once in a Lifetime," David Byrne does this while shouting 'My God, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?'", going along with the LargeHam tendencies noted above.
* MindScrew: Seen And Not Seen.
* TheMovie: ''Film/TrueStories'', directed by David Byrne.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: Who else but Byrne could write lyrics about civil servants and buildings with such conviction?
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: TropeNamer.
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Remain In Light'' and ''Little Creatures''. {{Lampshade}}d by David Byrne in the first appearance of the expanded touring band, saying "We don't sound like we used to."
* NonAppearingTitle: "Life During Wartime" and "New Feeling", among others.
* NotableMusicVideos: ''[[http://www.mtvmusic.com/talking_heads/videos/98580/once_in_a_lifetime.jhtml Once in a Lifetime]]'', ''[[http://www.mtvmusic.com/talking_heads/videos/33720/burning_down_the_house.jhtml Burning Down the House]]'', ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWP07YgUWig Wild, Wild Life]]''.
* OccidentalOtaku: David Byrne's staging for Music/TalkingHeads' 1983 tour, as captured in ''Film/StopMakingSense'', was inspired by Kabuki and Noh theater, including the famous big suit and the stagehands dressed in black visible to the audience
* PopStarComposer: David Byrne composed the scores for several films and theatrical productions, most notably ''TheLastEmperor''.
* SelfDeprecation: The name of ''More Songs About Buildings and Food'' was the result of writer's block when it came to choosing the title of the album.
-->'''Tina Weymouth''': When we were making this album [''Fear of Music''] I remembered this stupid discussion we had about titles for the last album. At that time I said, 'What are we gonna call an album that's just about buildings and food?' And Chris said, 'You call it more songs about buildings and food.'
* ShoutOut: A spectacularly obscure one in the video for "Once In A Lifetime" -- During his time at the Rhode Island School of Design, David Byrne worked at a "New York System" hot dog stand in Providence. The up-the-arm chopping motion from his weird, twitchy dancing exactly matches the procedure for putting toppings on a row of short, chili-soaked hot dogs.
** The fighter planes depicted on ''Remain in Light'''s back cover are a reference to Tina Weymouth's MilitaryBrat family background. (The planes in question are Grumman Avengers used by the Navy.)
* [[SpellMyNameWithAThe Spell My Name]] ''[[InvertedTrope Without]]'' [[SpellMyNameWithAThe A The]]: There is no "the" in "Talking Heads". Referred to in the title of their live album ''The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.''
** Chris Frantz notably gets this wrong in ''Film/StopMakingSense'':
--->''"We gotta change back into The Talking Heads!"''
* TheSeventies, TheEighties
* TheSouthpaw: David Byrne is left-handed, but plays guitar right-handed.
* {{Spinoff}}: Frantz and Weymouth's TomTomClub.
* SurrealMusicVideo
* TextlessAlbumCover: ''More Songs about Buildings and Food''.
* TitleOnlyChorus: "Blind" whose chorus uses the single word title fourteen times each verse.
* {{Tsundere}}: Tina Weymouth was reportedly obsessed with Byrne in the band's early days (some people have even claimed she was in love with him), and now takes the opportunity to publicly badmouth him every chance she gets.
** While all members have their grudges against Byrne, she was the most outspoken about it (being asked why they wouldn't reform, she described Byrne as a man [[ManipulativeBastard "incapable of returning friendship"]]).
** According to Byrne, Tina Weymouth would [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech write scathing letters to him]] in the 1990's, but then by the end of each letter would ask why he didn't want to work with her or the other members of the band anymore.
* {{Utopia}}: Deconstructed with "Nothing But Flowers", where the singer is utterly bored by the paradisical garden world he's stuck in.
* VillainSong: "Psycho Killer"
* WanderlustSong: ''Road To Nowhere'' may or may not be this.
* WordSaladLyrics: David Byrne is fond of these. "Burning Down The House", for example, is just a list of phrases that fit the rhythm he had composed and loosely fit together thematically.
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->'''[[StatlerAndWaldorf Statler:]]''' Same as it ever was.\\
'''[[StatlerAndWaldorf Waldorf:]]''' Same as it ever was.\\
'''Statler:''' Yeah...\\
'''Both, in unison:''' ''Terrible!'' Doh ho ho ho...
-->-- ''Series/MuppetsTonight''
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