Friday, June 22, 2018

Speak/Talk: Talking Heads Burning Down the House

purchase [ Speaking in Tongues ]

It seemed such a no-brainer to include Talking Heads Speaking in Tongues that I feared it had already been done here. It's been done lots of other places, but I'll bring it back from wherever in history it's been lurking for you. We're talking about 1983 here.

To start, I browsed the entire archive of Star Maker posts related to the Talking Heads over the years (of which there are about 20) and don't see that anyone has ever picked this one up.

Curiously, the Wiki tells us that Burning Down the House was their "lone top ten single on the US Billboard Hot 100." Me? I loved them and I still follow David Byrne through his mailing list/blog at

Just about every one of their albums "went gold", so that's nothing to scoff at, and there's no denying that especially Tina Weymouth and David Byrne have written their names in the pantheon of modern music greats.

You are aware of course that their vocal style is pretty heavily built on talking imposed over a funky/new wave instrumental composition. Burning Down the House is no exception. The line itself apparently comes from a common audience chant of those years, which the band adopted/converted to their use.

And then there's the Tom Jones/Cardigans rendition of the same. One of his better outputs (unless you want to count Delilah!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Speak/Talk: Let's Give Them Something to Talk About

purchase the whole album! [Luck of the Draw]

There are few living that can play a slide guitar the way Bonnie Raitt does. She's played with them all: Clapton, Duane Allman, Ry Cooder, Lowell George and a number of others. But it isn't just her slide guitar - there's <something to talk about> in her vocals.

Without getting too deep into the #MeToo issue, you can assume that Bonnie Raitt has seen it all. She seems to have weathered it fairly well - I don't see her personal remarks about her man-handling over the years. Yes, she's been the subject of various public broadcasts, but mostly stayed (rightly) UN-affected. Let's Give Them Something to Talk About has gained some notoriety:

I have to note that the song was written by Shirley Eikhard, who you might want to explore, since she's written songs picked up by the likes of Anne Murray and Cher (in addition to Raitt).

Jennifer Love Hewitt

Rae Solomon

Brittney Spears


KT Tunstall & Daryl Hall