Thursday, May 29, 2008

1984: Once In A Lifetime

Talking Heads: Once In A Lifetime


I was not a Talking Heads fan in 1984. I saw the Burning Down The House video on MTV at some point and immediately concluded that they sucked. It was in about 1990 that my then-girlfriend, now-wife, re-introduced me to them. I'm glad she did. They really have some cool albums, and overall they were a great band (although I still don't care for Burning Down The House).

This song, Once In A Lifetime (from the 1984 live album, Stop Making Sense), is especially good. I like the quirky vocal cadence and the mid-life suburban existential angst represented in the lyrics. As midlife has crept up on me, I have often looked around at my life and said, "Well... How did I get here?" and "This is not my beautiful house!".

As the years have passed, I have become increasingly anti-music-video, to the point that I refuse to watch them nowadays. However, for this song I make an exception. This is one of the very few songs that is almost incomplete without the video. Byrne seems to be churned through a production line of some sort, controlled like a puppet, and reproduced over and over. He seems to be a widget in the suburban industrial machine.  But there's something human there too. Check it out here.


Paul said...

"My God, what have I done?"