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Trivia / David Byrne

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  • All-Star Cast: Here Lies Love. Aside from David Byrne and Fatboy Slim on the songwriting and production, the album features vocals by Florence Welch, Candie Payne, St. Vincent, Tori Amos, Martha Wainwright, Nelly Mc Kay, Steve Earle, Cyndi Lauper, Allison Moorer, Charmaine Clamor, Roisin Murphy, Camille, Theresa Andersson, Sharon Jones, Alice Russell, Kate Pierson, Sia Furler, Santigold, Nicole Atkins, Natalie Merchant, and Shara Worden.
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  • Breakthrough Hit: Love This Giant was Byrne's first solo album to crack the top 40 on the Billboard 200, reaching No. 23 and instigating a renewal in public interest that would culminate in a full mainstream reemergence with American Utopia six years later.
  • Breakup Breakout: Since the breakup of Talking Heads, Byrne has maintained an active solo career while writing essays, scoring films and participating in lots of other artistic projects while his former bandmates have kept a lower profile.
  • Career Resurrection: Following the breakup of Talking Heads, Byrne fell out from the limelight, with his solo albums being critically panned and making little to no commercial impact despite being acclaimed among fans, in part because his work with Talking Heads set the bar that high. That changed with Grown Backwards in 2004, which marked a huge resurgence of popularity for Byrne among critics thanks to it crafting a niche that allowed him to more readily stand out on his own, and he spent the remainder of the 2000's and 2010's further rising as an indie favorite, ultimately becoming Talking Heads' main Breakup Breakout. American Utopia in 2018 seemed to galvanize the trend, being his first solo record to crack the top 10 and returning him to mainstream prominence for the first time in roughly 30 years.
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  • Channel Hop: Byrne's solo material was initially released through Sire Records thanks to his contract with Talking Heads, before shifting over to his vanity label Luaka Bop upon forming it in 1988. This continued up until 2001, with distributors shifting from Sire to Warner (Bros.) Records to Virgin Records within that time, before Byrne stepped away from Luaka Bop in favor of Nonesuch Records due to his exhaustion with managing the former. Byrne would later create a new vanity label, Todo Mundo, to release Big Love: Hymnal and Everything That Happens Will Happen Today, partnering them with Nonesuch for later material.
  • Creator Breakdown: The darker tone of Fear of Music compared to Talking Heads' previous oeuvre stemmed from Byrne suffering from burnout as a result of Talking Heads constantly performing and touring. While the burnout thankfully wasn't severe enough to cause any worse issues, it did have a noticeable impact on Byrne's artistic output, both with Talking Heads and on his own, until the band stopped touring in 1984.
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  • Doing It for the Art/Money, Dear Boy: Discussed in "David Byrne's Survival Strategies for Emerging Artists -- and Megastars," in which creative freedom and financial success/support are illustrated as being inversely proportional: the more creative freedom you want, the less money you'll be entrusted with; the more money you want to make, the sooner you'll be expected to make back the massive amounts that were entrusted to you. The article serves to give creative people realistic goals and how every variation of becoming professionally creative will have its pros and cons.
  • Keep Circulating the Tapes: Between the Teeth — Live, Byrne's 1993 Direct to Video Concert Film from his 1992 Uh-Oh tour, has never been reissued at all since its 1994 LaserDisc release. Exactly why this is has never been specified, though the relative critical and commercial underperformance of the parent album (as well as Byrne's entire 1992-2003 period as a whole) may be the driving factor in this.
  • Pop Culture Urban Legends: A rather bizarre and easily disproven one asserts that this "Ghost Song," which apparently popped up online in 2011 with no real information available about it, was written and recorded by an anonymous musician who was Driven to Suicide a week after recording it. Except it wasn't. It's "Horses", a track that Byrne created for his 1999 soundtrack to interpretive dance group Ultima Vez's performance In Spite of Wishing and Wanting; what's more, not only did Byrne live well beyond a week after composing the song, as of this writing he's still alive.
  • Refitted for Sequel:
    • "Carnival Eyes" from Rei Momo is a reworking of "In Asking Land", an outtake from the Naked sessions; the song in its original form would later be included on the 2005 Talking Heads Boxed Set Once in a Lifetime.
    • "Lazy", one of Byrne's more famous songs from the 2000's, was originally written as a deep-house song with X-Press 2 for the latter's 2002 album Muzikizum; Byrne would re-record the song with a more orchestral arrangement for Grown Backwards.
  • Write What You Know: As Byrne himself admitted, the heavy focus in his songs on TV came from his habit of watching television in the 70's to try and better understand the world around him. This is most vividly illustrated in "Make Believe Mambo", about a man who imitates what he sees on the air in order to fit in, and "I Should Watch TV", which is more overtly autobiographical.
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