Great Rock Albums of the 70s: Talking Heads- 77

In the mid to late 70s, a genre of rock called punk was establishing itself on both sides of the Atlantic. In Britain, bands like The Sex Pistols and The Jam to name two were gaining a following which would later immortalise them. In the US, the punk scene was gaining notoriety at a New York club called CBGB’s where bands like The New York Dolls and the Talking Heads were delighting the audiences.

Back in those days, I viewed the punk scene with outside regard only. Like anything new and foreign in America, punk was viewed with suspicion and branded evil by the religious right. I remember a preaching denouncing punk rock stating that it encouraged violence. He said that once they heard the music, everyone would start beating one another up and then destroy the place. Being an impressionable teen, I believed this, however, I suggested that my high school American football team listen to some punk before every game to give them that killer instinct. I now know this is a myth because I played some before a street hockey game in the hopes it would make me more violent, boy was I stupid.

The album “77” from the Talking Heads never made me vi0lent either, even though the top single from the album is called “Psycho Killer.” What I like about this album is that it had a sound that I hadn’t heard before. It wasn’t full power chords, but the music has something about it that makes me look up and take notice. The amusing lyrics behind the songs give it another level and prove to me that David Byrne is an underrated genius.

Track Listing:

1. Uh Oh, Love Has Come to Town

2. New Feeling

3. Tenative Decisions

4. Happy Day

5. Who Is it?

6. No Compassion

7. The Book I Read

8. Don’t Worry About the Government

9. First Week/Last Week…Care Free

10. Psycho Killer

11. Pulled Up

Talking Heads

David Byrne- vocals, guitar

Jerry Harrison- guitar, keyboards, vocals

Chris Frantz- drums

Tina Weymouth- bass

The Talking Heads would go on to be accepted in more mainstream music in the early 80s and would eventually start experimenting in funk. But, it’s this, their debut alubm which will always have the highest place for them in my mind.

Next post: The Sex Pistols- Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols

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