[[caption-width-right:350: Left to right: [[Music/TomTomClub Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth]], Jerry Harrison, and Music/DavidByrne.]]

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

Talking Heads was an American rock band formed in 1974 in UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity and active until 1991. The band comprised vocalist / guitarist Music/DavidByrne, 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 post-punk/new wave musical style of Talking Heads combined elements of punk rock, avant-garde, pop, funk, afrobeat and art rock.]] Essentially, they're post-punk's SpiritualAntithesis to the likes of Music/JoyDivision and Music/TheCure. 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 Music/BrianEno on all their albums between 197880, 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 ''Music/RemainInLight'' 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 ''Film/TrueStories,'' starring FaceOfTheBand David Byrne as the narrator. (Ironically, the film itself falls under the ''trope'' TalkingHeads.)

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. Rolling Stone later named them the 100th greatest artists of all time on their updated list.

!! Discography:

* ''Music/TalkingHeads77'' (1977)
* ''Music/MoreSongsAboutBuildingsAndFood'' (1978)
* ''Music/FearOfMusic'' (1979)
* ''Music/RemainInLight'' (1980)
* ''Speaking in Tongues'' (1983)
* ''Little Creatures'' (1985)
* ''Music/TrueStories'' (1986)
* ''Naked'' (1988)
* ''Sand in the Vaseline'' (1992 compilation)

You can now vote for your favourite Talking Heads album [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/Sandbox/BestAlbumTalkingHeads HERE!]]


!! "And you may say to yourself, 'This is not my beautiful trope'":

* {{Adorkable}}: Tina Weymouth
* AfterTheEnd: "(Nothing But) Flowers".
* AnimatedMusicVideo: "And She Was".
* AntiLoveSong: "I'm Not in Love".
* AxCrazy: The narrator of "Psycho Killer".
* TheBandMinusTheFace: The band broke up because of tension between David Byrne and the rest of the band. In 1996, the group (under the shortened name The Heads) recorded ''No Talking, Just Head'', an album on which Byrne was replaced by a new guitarist and a variety of guest singers, including [[Music/{{Blondie}} Debbie Harry]], Music/IggyPop, [[Music/{{INXS}} Michael Hutchence]], [[Music/{{XTC}} Andy Partridge]] and Johnette Napolitano of Concrete Blonde (who sang lead on the accompanying tour). The album was not well received, and its success was hampered by Byrne filing a lawsuit against the band, which delayed the its release. That was the end for any version of Talking Heads (except for a three song performance at the band's induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002).
* BoDiddleyBeat: "Ruby Dear".
* 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.
* BrokenRecord: ''Same as it ever was... same as it ever was... same as it ever was... same as it ever was...''
* 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 / CoolOldLady: The members of Talking Heads have all graduated to these.
* CoveredInGunge: This happens to Frantz and Weymouth in the video for "Love for Sale". Especially Weymouth.
* DarkerAndEdgier: ''Fear of Music''.
** The final song on ''Fear of Music'', "Drugs", is itself a Darker and Edgier reworking of an earlier song called "Electricity", which had the same words and chord structure but an entirely different feel.
* 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 ''Remain in Light'' and the best parts of the band in their prime.
** "Psycho Killer" used to be this in concert: The final section would devolve into Byrne and Harrison dueling on guitars for minutes on end.
* 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: Adrian Belew lobbied hard to be the fifth member of the band but in the end Byrne decided that if anyone was going be their resident guitar hero, it would be himself. The late Bernie Worrell toured with the band a lot in the early '80s and is regarded by some as being a ''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 affiliated 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 (almost certainly acid); it's almost painfully obvious when you pay attention.
* GratuitousFrench: "Psycho Killer".
* HappilyMarried: Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz.
* HeavyMeta: "Electric Guitar".
* IAmTheBand: Byrne is a notorious example.
* IconicOutfit: Byrne's gigantic white suit from ''Stop Making Sense''. Music/WeirdAlYankovic dons a similar costume while performing his style parody of them, "Dog Eat Dog", in concert.
* [[IdiosyncraticEpisodeNaming Idiosyncratic Album Naming]]: Their live album ''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: The other members came to regard Byrne as this, and on the DVD commentary for ''Film/StopMakingSense'' he admitted that there was some justice to it (see ControlFreak, above.)
* IntercourseWithYou: "Making Flippy-Floppy".
* InTheStyleOf: "The Overload" is in the style of Music/JoyDivision, but because Talking Heads had never actually listened to the band, it was based on descriptions of Joy Division's sound that the band had read in the music press. The end result wasn't all that far off from how Joy Division's grimmer material actually sounded (compare "The Overload" to "In a Lonely Place"), although when the Heads finally heard Joy Division they were disappointed that 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?!?''
** The other members have occasionally had large ham tendencies, such as Chris Frantz during ''Stop Making Sense'' and Jerry Harrison throughout the music video for "Wild Wild Life".
* LeadBassist: Tina Weymouth's basslines are funky and melodic.
* LyricalDissonance: Highlighted in "Life During Wartime."
* MarionetteMotion: David Byrne's signature dance moves.
* 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: The early albums run on it. Who else but Byrne could write lyrics about civil servants and buildings with such conviction?
* MyGodWhatHaveIDone: "Once in a Lifetime" [[TropeNamers coins the phrase]].
* NewSoundAlbum: ''Remain in Light'' and ''Little Creatures''. {{Lampshade|Hanging}}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: ''Once in a Lifetime'', ''Burning Down the House'', ''[[https://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.
* PepTalkSong: A lot of the band's early songs were these: "New Feeling", "Tentative Decisions", "Don't Worry About The Government", "The Girls Want To Be With The Girls", "The Good Thing". These are what gave the band its early reputation for being clean-cut preppies or even proto-yuppies.
** Later on, "Road to Nowhere" is a Pep Talk Song about reconciling yourself to the inevitability of death.
* 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).
** "Stay Up Late" quotes the line "I know you wanna leave me" from Music/TheTemptations' "Ain't Too Proud to Beg."
** Music/WeirdAlYankovic gave the band one with his original song "Dog Eat Dog", written in the style of a Talking Heads song. In live performances, he even dons a ''Film/StopMakingSense''-inspired big suit.
** Music/ThePixies' "Dig for Fire" is also written in the style of Talking Heads.
* [[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. In the DVD commentary for ''Film/StopMakingSense'', Tina Weymouth said that this was responsible for his distinctive guitar sound.
* {{Spinoff}}: Frantz and Weymouth's Music/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 (although Byrne's relationship with Jerry Harrison is apparently on better terms than his relationship with Chris or Tina), 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 1990s, 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.
* UpdatedRerelease: The 2004 reissue of ''The Name of This Band is Talking Heads'' added a wealth of extra tracks, with the second disc of the 1980-81 ''Music/RemainInLight'' tour arranged in the setlist order.
* {{Utopia}}: Deconstructed with "(Nothing But) Flowers", where the singer is utterly bored by the paradisaical 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.
->'''[[JustForFun/StatlerAndWaldorf Statler:]]''' Same as it ever was.\\
'''[[JustForFun/StatlerAndWaldorf Waldorf:]]''' Same as it ever was.\\
'''Statler:''' Yeah...\\
'''Both, in unison:''' ''Terrible!'' Doh ho ho ho...