From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
The band was composed of David Byrne (lead vocals, guitar), Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison (keyboards, guitar). Described as "one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the '80s", the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.
As former art school students who became involved in the 1970s New York punk scene, Talking Heads released their 1977 debut album, Talking Heads: 77, to positive reviews. They collaborated with producer Brian Eno on a trio of critically acclaimed releases—More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978), Fear of Music (1979), and Remain in Light (1980)—which blended their art school punk sensibilities with influence from artists such as Parliament-Funkadelic and Fela Kuti. By the early 1980s, they began to expand their band by including a number of additional musicians in recording sessions and stage shows, notably guitarist Adrian Belew, keyboardist Bernie Worrell, singer Nona Hendryx, and bassist Busta Jones.
After a hiatus, Talking Heads hit their commercial peak in 1983 with the U.S. Top 10 hit "Burning Down the House" from the album Speaking in Tongues and released the concert film Stop Making Sense, directed by Jonathan Demme. For these performances, the band was joined by guitarist Alex Weir, percussionist Steve Scales, and singers Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt. In 1985, Talking Heads released their best-selling album, Little Creatures. They produced a soundtrack album for Byrne' film True Stories (1986), and released their final album, worldbeat-influenced Naked (1988), before disbanding in 1991. Without Byrne, the other band members performed under the name Shrunken Heads, and released an album, No Talking, Just Head, as the Heads in 1996.
In 2002, Talking Heads were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Four of their albums appear in Rolling StoneTemplate:'s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, and three of their songs ("Psycho Killer", "Life During Wartime", and "Once in a Lifetime") were included among the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll.
- David Byrne – lead vocals, guitar (1975–1991, 2002)
- Chris Frantz – drums, backing vocals (1975–1991, 2002)
- Tina Weymouth – bass, backing vocals (1975–1991, 2002)
- Jerry Harrison – keyboards, guitar, backing vocals (1977–1991, 2002)
- Adrian Belew – lead guitar, vocals (1980–1981)
- Alex Weir – guitar, vocals (1983–1984)
- Bernie Worrell – keyboards, backing vocals (1980–1984, 2002)
- Busta Jones – bass (1980–1981)
- Steve Scales – percussion, backing vocals (1980–1984, 2002)
- Dolette McDonald – vocals, cowbell (1980–1981)
- Ednah Holt – vocals (1983–1984)
- Lynn Mabry – vocals (1983–1984)
- Nona Hendryx – vocals (1980)
- Talking Heads: 77 (1977)
- More Songs About Buildings and Food (1978)
- Fear of Music (1979)
- Remain in Light (1980)
- Speaking in Tongues (1983)
- Little Creatures (1985)
- True Stories (1986)
- Naked (1988)
- List of dance-rock artists
- List of funk rock bands
- List of new wave artists and bands
- List of post-punk bands