40 Years of The Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense

Posted on April 24, 2024

by Eric S

Arguably the crowning achievement of an already impressive career, the Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense remains one of the greatest concert films of all time. Shot by filmmaker Jonathan Demme over the course of four nights in December 1983 at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, Stop Making Sense features the best performances of some of the band’s biggest hits and best deep cuts. From the opening moments, in which lead singer David Byrne walks on stage with a cassette player, wearing his now-iconic gray suit, you know you’re in for something far more than the typical concert experience. Byrne starts in with “Psycho Killer,” the standout track from the band’s first album, accompanied by only an acoustic guitar and drum machine. Each new song adds an additional band member (and their instruments), along with other singers and musicians until the empty stage is filled with activity—culminating towards the song “Girlfriend is Better,” in which Byrne appears in a comically-oversized suit that emphasizes his unusual, rhythmic head bobs. Above all else, Stop Making Sense is the perfect encapsulation of the greatness that is the Talking Heads: it’s art but also entertainment, it’s fun yet cerebral, and most importantly, it’s filled with amazing songs and performances from start to finish. I dare you not to be moved by the version of “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)” featured in this film! So, in honor of four decades of Stop Making Sense, bust out your massive suit and get ready to dance to some of the greatest songs of the 1980s all time.  

For more great music, make sure to check out the offerings of your local branch and Freegal. 

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