Influences/Imitators?

The band and their music

Influences/Imitators?

Postby bigideas on September 22nd, 2008, 7:06 pm

When Talking Heads first started were there any other bands they would be compared to in the press?
Did they ever say they were influenced by "x" band in any interviews?

I wasn't around when they were coming up, so I have no idea if there was some local band David Byrne loved and imitated the vocals or whatever.

This is something I've wondered about for a while, because it's hard for me to imagine another singer like David around that time.

For instance, in music now, Fleet Foxes are getting a lot of praise.
I'm not saying they're bad in the least bit, but he sounds so much like the My Morning Jacket guy I just can't seperate it.

I also wondered, were there some imitators in the 70's/80's that sounded a lot like Talking Heads.
After the Beatles blew up, you had all these bands sounding like them, some so close you almost thought it was them.
Even more recently, with Radiohead's OK Computer, there were numerous albums that came out the next few years where you could hear the influence on them.
I wondered if this happened with TH at all?
Influence is not always negative either - take the Zombies. You know they were influenced by the Beatles and probably Beach Boys and they made some incredible music their own way with those influences.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby ph4t3Xp4t on September 23rd, 2008, 8:54 am

.

There have been a couple of TH cover bands. Somewhere I have a bootleg from a show from a band in Tennessee called 'The Same as it Ever Was.'

Rather enjoyable club show from 2007 sometime. I'll see if I can dig that up and make it available; my copy is in *.flac format, so it'll be a fairly large download.

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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby bigideas on September 23rd, 2008, 4:27 pm

ph4t3Xp4t wrote:.

There have been a couple of TH cover bands. Somewhere I have a bootleg from a show from a band in Tennessee called 'The Same as it Ever Was.'

-- t3h 3Xp4t


cool.

i meant more like someone who was heavily influenced by them and wrote original material that was Talking Heads-esque.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby francey on September 23rd, 2008, 7:34 pm

bigideas wrote:i meant more like someone who was heavily influenced by them and wrote original material that was Talking Heads-esque.


Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, Clap your Hads say Yeah, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, The Ting Tings, LCD Soundsystem Grandaddy etc.

But none of them ever were as good as Talking Heads were :lol:
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby ph4t3Xp4t on September 23rd, 2008, 10:13 pm

.

bigideas wrote:cool.

i meant more like someone who was heavily influenced by them and wrote original material that was Talking Heads-esque.


Oh. OKay. kewle, 2 ... sorry I missed the point. Sorry I can't contribute directly on-topic.

But.

I tend to look toward the mirror through the other end of the stethoscope in this view. Think of contemporary and forward efforts from the TH era in parallel. What Brian Eno went on to do, the contemporary King Crimson configuration(s) & Adrian Belew. I'd sorta wrap Robert Fripp & David Sylvian in there, also.

Not because their music resembled TH sound/styles .. but because they went on to push envelopes in new directions with a 'similar energy' to TH, Byrne, Tom Tom Club.

Letting my mind wander in an open way, I'd certainly mention Beck as something of a spin-off. Again, not necessarily for similarities in sound, but for the raw, creative genius of opening new windows with bizarre, freaky, addictive and mesmerizing grooves.

Oh. Primal Scream comes to mind.

Y'know, though ... it's sorta 'genius begets genius' in this situation. The example set by the TH acted more as a catalyst for others to explore with greater confidence. By definition, artists inspired by the Talking Heads (& all the immediately related) went on to do things that were the same as it never was, forging unique paths into the Big Next.

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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby elbakan on September 24th, 2008, 2:27 pm

When Talking Heads first started were there any other bands they would be compared to in the press?


These are great questions.

Some of those "new wave" bands would include, The Cars, The Police, and Blondie. Keep in mind that this was the press--not me--and I have lived almost all my life on the East coast of the USA. In another part of the world the discussions may be different.


This may require more research
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby Mr.DRC on September 24th, 2008, 4:06 pm

In UK 77 the closest - to would be early XTC. Check out White Music,their debut platter,and tell me that's
not TH filtered thru Brit sensibilities... :idea:

Don

Also I contend Ric Ocasek is the closest-to frontman to DB.Oddly-skewed charisma anyone?
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby elbakan on September 24th, 2008, 4:54 pm

Mr.DRC wrote:In UK 77 the closest - to would be early XTC. Check out White Music,their debut platter,and tell me that's
not TH filtered thru Brit sensibilities... :idea:

Don

Also I contend Ric Ocasek is the closest-to frontman to DB.Oddly-skewed charisma anyone?


XTC were bigger on the West Coast of the USA then the East Coast. Great band though.

Ocasek was close. But there are differences also--most songs of the Cars have to do with Man's endless
pursuit of Women. And the Talking Heads were clearly much better live. But I do like Ocasek's sense of humor
with Todd Rungren and the "New Cars".
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby Louisfyne on September 25th, 2008, 11:09 pm

Here are a perfect imitation (or better tribute): God Johnson performing the whole SMS movie live... check it out...

http://www.archive.org/details/gj2007-11-24.SBD.flac16

and

http://www.archive.org/details/GJ2008-02-14.GJ2008-02-14-SMS2.flac

Remembers me of the perfect Phish Halloween Show 10/31/1996 at the Omni, Atlanta where they performed the whole RIL album.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby Chandler on September 26th, 2008, 4:22 am

In UK 77 the closest - to would be early XTC. Check out White Music,their debut platter,and tell me that's not TH filtered thru Brit sensibilities...


This is arguable, Mr.DRC… respectfully arguable, as if by two gentlemen on a bench, talking, waiting for Godot (or for the Tom Tom Club concert to begin :waycool: ).

Checking various sources: ’77 was released in September 1977, and XTC’s White Music was released on January 20, 1978… but recorded in October 1977. And that discounts the songwriting and rehearsals (the “Science Friction” / “She’s So Square” single appended to the CD was initially issued in October 1977, suggesting that it was recorded more or less at the same time as ’77).

I think an inventive quirkiness was in the air circa 1977, consider Devo… (that was the year I saw Elvis P. in concert)

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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby bigideas on September 26th, 2008, 9:38 pm

francey wrote:
bigideas wrote:i meant more like someone who was heavily influenced by them and wrote original material that was Talking Heads-esque.


Franz Ferdinand, MGMT, Clap your Hads say Yeah, The Strokes, Arcade Fire, The Ting Tings, LCD Soundsystem Grandaddy etc.

But none of them ever were as good as Talking Heads were :lol:


i've actually heard all of those with the exception of The Ting Tings and not much of Clap Your Hands.

i do remember Arcade Fire getting the comparison for Funeral. it probably has to do with some of the almost disco-esque beats (is that the right term?) and how he kind of yelps at times.

White Williams is great lesser known kinda dance indie rock that is out there, although probably more towards Bowie/Eno.

were there any singers that did the type of ad libs that David does - especially live?

on The Name of - i think it's on Artists Only he does this crazy sound. i'm not sure what that's from - Looney Tunes? i don't even know how to write a representation of it to explain.

ooEEooEEooEE
(almost like the sound of a cartoon character getting bonked on the head)

i haven't heard any XTC.
all those other 70's bands mentioned i only know the singles.
i guess i'm hoping there was this band in the late 70's or early 80's who loved TH and put out a record or two and were little known.
almost like an Emmit Rhodes and how he is to The Beatles.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby francey on September 27th, 2008, 11:29 am

I was sent a MP3 of Agneta Faltkog's (yes, of ABBA) "Can't Shake Loose" last week - I didn't knew the song before, but it sounds very much influenced by Talking Heads... (although we, connaisseurs, probably don't want anything ABBA-related on the list of influenced acts ;-)
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby bigideas on September 29th, 2008, 10:01 pm

francey wrote:I was sent a MP3 of Agneta Faltkog's (yes, of ABBA) "Can't Shake Loose" last week - I didn't knew the song before, but it sounds very much influenced by Talking Heads... (although we, connaisseurs, probably don't want anything ABBA-related on the list of influenced acts ;-)


Barnes and Noble had clips.
it is kinda TH-esque backing track wise, even with those bendy synths that are on Speaking in Tongues.
but it came out in 83, so i don't know if it could have been directly influenced by SiT.
too, is Agneta a musician or just mainly a singer?
it may lie more in the producer and or studio players.

there is this track in the movie Ghostbusters i always liked - Mick Smiley - Magic that is somewhat Talking Heads-esque to me.
it plays when all those ghosts are released, kinda spooky.
i could never find out too much information on the guy - if he released albums or anything - other than the song on the soundtrack album and maybe on some other films.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby jsundin on October 1st, 2008, 5:54 am

The Ghostbusters song! Holy crap! I remember that. I always thought Slippery People was in the closing credits for some reason so apparently there's another similar song.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby Tom Tom on October 24th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Have visited this site for many years now and this is my first post! - how lazy eh?

Anyway - has anyone heard the the band Friendly Fires? Their song "At the Hospital" sounds almost exactly like Crosseyed and Painless within which, as you guys will all know, DB sings the phrase "at the hospital". Check it out! I hope they have credited our heroes as appropriate!

Their self titled album is very good and they perform very well live (saw them on Jools Holland Show on the BBC performing other tracks last week)- well worth a view if you can get access to the BBC iPlayer.


(PS I appologise if someone else has posted a similar point - I'm still getting used to the great new board format).
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby bigideas on October 27th, 2008, 4:50 pm

I haven't heard of them, though it's not too surprising since their debut album just came out last month.
I'll have to see if I can find some samples.
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby qubism on November 2nd, 2008, 5:08 pm

Around about the late 70s early 80s I think someone in the band did say they inevitably caught a dose of the funk from Parliament/Funkadelic..... Bernie Worrell played with the funk meisters didn't he?

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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby iRene on November 2nd, 2008, 8:20 pm

He certainly did, Rich S, and he can be seen wearing a very fetching hat on the Mothership Connection dvd!
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby labrador on November 3rd, 2008, 4:35 pm

bigideas wrote:When Talking Heads first started were there any other bands they would be compared to in the press?
Did they ever say they were influenced by "x" band in any interviews?


The press at the time lumped all of the bands that came out of CBGB's as one kind of movement.
It would be known today as Alternative music. It doesn't mean they all sounded alike, but they were non-conformal with the various categories of top-40 of the day.

I think the Talking Heads were an original band. They were at times pushed by David's ideas of musical aesthetic, and cultured into something more well-rounded by the others. David has joked before that Talking Heads 77 was to sound like KC And The Sunshine Band, but that this failed miserably and what you get instead was the by-product of Talking Heads 77.

One thing which made them different than the punk scene they were loosely associated with was the absence of disdain for disco and music with roots. A group such as The Ramones would never do material like "Take Me To The River" unless it was some sort of subversion on the song.

In the liner notes of Sand In The Vaseline, David talked about making his guitar sound thin and less macho in the early times. The sound he wanted to experiment with was the opposite of what everyone else in the punk scene was after. In the early CBGB acts the sound is almost all bass and drum. The electric guitar sounds like it isn't plugged in but has a regular Shure 58 mic next to it.

Tina has said James Brown and Muddy Waters were influences for her (liner notes - Sand In The Vaseline).

I watched the youtube.com video of Warning Sign at CBGB's, and it was revealing the meaning of that song for the first time to me. The studio version is fantastic, and I love the layers of guitars. The CBGB's version is where David's voice changes slightly between the man looking for sex and the woman who is slowly turning into prostitution lifestyle without realizing it.

As Talking Heads matured, I'm sure they picked up on various things they saw and heard to incorporate into what they do. Who doesn't? I read that Burning Down the House was created based on a jam Chris and Tina did after a Parliament-Funkadelic show.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burning_Down_the_House

Thank you very much for that, Chris and Tina!
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Re: Influences/Imitators?

Postby bigideas on November 10th, 2008, 10:53 pm

did anyone ever ask David at the time what - if anything - influenced his singing style?

the ad libbed stuff he put in there is very funny to me. like on Artists Only that on The Name of This Band...that sound - i don't know what it is - from Looney Toons maybe? and of course over the years he made weird sound - totally changing his voice for Swamp and other things like that.
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