I’m not here to educate you about who The Talking Heads were. Playing from ’74 to ’91, David, Tina, Chris and Jerry should, along with Brian Wilson, be considered the Gods of indie rock. Nearly every indie rock band around owes the band a debt either because of their sound, their skill, their audience base, their D.I.Y. nature, or their general musical philosophy of inclusiveness. If there’s no link to the song below, then look for the song in the zip file.
And don’t be rude: Drop me a comment and tell me your favorite Talking Heads family cover. If it isn’t here, share!
A is for Arcade Fire’s cover of Naive Melody. Perhaps one of my top 10 favorite covers ever, AF add a bittersweet, forlorn tone that isn’t present in the original. I thought it was fitting that this be the first cover of today.
B is for the Biz! Genius of Love Tom Tom Club w/Biz Markie (X-Ecutioners remix). An outlaw tune, due to failed sample clearance.
C is for Heaven by Clem Snide. R.I.P. Clem Snide, one of the truly great ironic indie rock bands.
D is for double Ds! Toe Jam-David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal
E is for Escape Goat’s cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River,” performed Talking-Heads style. The rare example of a band covering a band doing a cover.
E is also for Life During Wartime-Euphonic Brew. Not dramatically different from the original, but slightly faster and a party of synth lines.
F is for fire! Burning Down The House-Speakeasy. Bar band style.
G is for Road to Nowhere-Greensky Grass. The bluegrass version! Is there any genre that doesn’t work for Talking Heads music?
H is for Houston ,and I is for I Wanna Dance With Somebody (Whitney Houston cover)-David Byrne
J is for Johnson. Making Flippy Floppy-God Johnson. Because who covers this song? Well, Orooni does, too. Really!?
K is for killer! As in Psycho Killer! As in, this post.
L is for liberation. Naive Melody-Animal Liberation Orchestra.
M is for Memories Can’t Wait-Eric McFadden. Living Colour did a great version of this. Of course, it’s RIAA and all.
N is for Naive Melody-Counting Crows. Yet another version!
N is also for Nothing But Flowers-Guster. You’d be surprised how many covers there are of this minor T-Heads hit, from late in their career. This is one of the better covers, but it’s pretty much faithful to the original. Here’s another good one: Nothing But Flowers-The Bridge.
O is for Once in a Lifetime-Smashing Pumpkins. By far the most ambitious reworking on this page.
P is for Pull Up the Roots-The Morning Benders. Love this song.
Q is for Quagmire’s take on Once in a Lifetime. Superfunky!
R is for Road to Nowhere-The Editors. Ubiquitous on the blog scene, but deservedly so. Gomez did a very nice cover of this song, too, and it’s in the zip file.
S is for Sad Song-Simplicity (David Byrne cover).
T is for This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)-Euforquestra. The tribal drums version.
U is for unnother version of Road to Nowhere. Road To Nowhere-Rademacher.
V is for Heaven is a Place-Voxtrot.
W is for Wild, Wild Life-Of Montreal. Another great Of Montreal TH cover? Tropical Iceland / And She Was – Of Montreal.
And Z is for zip file!