Every Studio Album by Talking Heads Ranked Best to Worst

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Talking Heads - Remain in Light
While I like, and even love, the majority of Talking Heads' albums, I will admit that none of them even really come close to holding a candle to Remain in Light. As previously stated, this record takes the dark, brooding nature of Fear of Music, and just makes it so much better. The songs on this record are all crafted to pristine perfection, with each layer of instrumentation mixing perfectly with the next. There is so much going on, and yet it's all so delightfully cohesive, as every single track on this record has its own memorable personality, and intricate complexities. I often see people criticize this record for its so called "lackluster second half", as people generally seem to be somewhat iffy on this album's more lowkey closing tracks. Personally, I love the second half of this record. I love how the album gets creepier and creepier as it goes on, eventually culminating with the eyrie "Listening Wind" and finishing with the sinister "The Overload". It's makes it feel like the off putting, yet still upbeat, songs from the beginning have all died, leaving me in a horrifying musical no man's land. It's just so ridiculously brilliant, and I can't sing enough praise for what has come to be one of my favorite albums of all time.

Favorite Song: "The Great Curve"
Talking Heads - Speaking in Tongues
Following up what is widely considered to be their best work was a tall task, but my god, did Talking Heads ever pull it off. Speaking In Tongues is, without a doubt, one of the most satisfyingly consistent records in the group's discography, as each song on here is just absolutely terrific. In contrast to the third album on this list, Speaking in Tongues is likely the Heads' most jubilant, bright, and happy, project. From the classic, bumping, "Burning Down the House", to the peppy, mood-brightening "This Must Be the Place", each song on here feels warm, fun, and distinct. The writing is also more than exceptional, especially on tracks such as the cheeky, and humorous "Girlfriend is Better". Just a terrific amalgamation of everything I love about Talking Heads packed into one, sweet package.

Favorite Song: "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)"
Talking Heads - Fear of Music
Planting the seeds that would later sprout into the styles prevalent on records such as Remain in Light, Fear of Music sees Talking Heads inject their sound with elements of afro-beat, as well as introduce darker and more sinister themes to their lyrics, and songwriting. It was the most adventurous and experimental record of their career at the time of its release, and it continues to be one of the group's stand-out records, to this day, both for its overall sound, and outstanding quality. Nearly every song on this record is enjoyable to at least a certain degree, from the groovy, catchy, well-written "Life During Wartime", to the paranoid, outlandish and anxiety-fueled "Animals", there really isn't a track on here that I would confidently call poor, or even average, as even the weaker cuts, such as "Electric Guitar", still carry many positive merits. Overall, Fear of Music is a phenomenal album. It's catchiness and dancibility don't get lost within in it's unrelenting eyriness, and it's lyrics are among some of the best David Byrne has ever written.

Favorite Song: "Cities"
Talking Heads - Talking Heads: 77
While 77 may be a tad bit sonically thin, off-putting, and even awkward in parts, don't let that trick you into thinking that this record is anything less than great. I won't deny that it is incredibly obvious at times that this is Talking Heads' first rodeo, but I will remain steadfast in my stance that, even so early into their career, Talking Heads already knew how to write fantastic lyrics, as well as compose a killer groove. I also personally find David Byrne's very amateurish, often jitterish vocals to be incredibly charming, as they lend this record a tremendous amount of character despite it's relatively straight forward nature. It's obvious that the band was still developing during the creation of this album, but many of the more primitive, unpolished ideas and sounds that they had were still exceptional to the highest degree. Do not dismiss this simply because it's not as experimental as their later stuff, as it's arguably just as good as those future albums, if not a little better in parts.

Favorite Song: "Pulled Up"
Talking Heads - More Songs about Buildings and Food
Managing to knock it out of the park twice to start their career, Talking Heads' sophomore record is nearly just as good as their debut. While not a complete and total stylistic shift, this record feels significantly groovier than the band's debut, and as such, it lays the groundwork for what they would go on to do on future albums like Speaking In Tongues, Little Creatures, and Fear of Music. David Byrne's vocals also feel more refined, but only slightly, still possessing a great deal of quirkiness and awkward charm. While this may not be the most experimental album the band ever made, it did pave the way for much of the more daring material that was to come, and is an incredibly important, and relative, piece of their discography.

Favorite Song: "Thank You For Sending Me an Angel"
Talking Heads - Little Creatures
I consider this to be the first real bump in the road for Talking Heads in a career that has been otherwise stellar up until this point. Unfortunately, this record also serves as a warning of sorts, as their following two albums would end up being their worst, with many of those records' least appealing qualities also popping up on this project. The drop in quality can be heard not only in the lack of many infectious, or standout, grooves on this album, but also in David Byrne's flat, uninteresting, and sometimes awful, songwriting present as on tracks such as "Stay Up Late", and "Creatures of Love". Aside from "And She Was", and maybe "Road to Nowhere", I can't say there's really a song on this record that I truly adore, and ultimately, Little Creatures serves as the first pothole in a long series of roadblocks to come.

Favorite Song: "And She Was"
Talking Heads - Naked
A bloated and middling album that ultimately feels useless, Naked sees Talking Heads go out, not with a bang, but with a whimper, as this would be the last record the group ever released. It's an album that was disappointing on many levels, but what was most notable about it was its inability to pair David Byrne's interesting songwriting with anything memorable instrumentation-wise. Taking on the sounds and stylings of latin pop, the album desperately tries to fool you into thinking it's interesting, with its bloated runtime and disastrous foray into different genres, such as industrial rock on the song "The Facts of Life". However, it ultimately feels like this was done in a cheap attempt to remain on the cutting edge, rather than in an honest attempt to try something new, and experimental, with these ideas and genre fusions. Even the best song on here, "(Nothing But) Flowers", is only interesting due to it's lyrics and catchy hook, rather than it's rather basic and unoriginal instrumentation. The record ultimately feels as tacky as it's cover art, and is about as inessential as an album can possibly be. It isn't terrible, but it merely exists in the background, as the deformed cousin that lives in the basement that everyone avoids, and whenever someone does cautiously attempt to interact with it, they leave just as baffled and disturbed as they were going into it.

Favorite Song: "(Nothing But) Flowers"
Talking Heads - True Stories
This is the album where Talking Heads pretty much completely lost their signature sound. Most of the tunes on here lack any of the charm, or uniqueness, of the band's earlier records, instead feeling rather safe, and unadventurous. If you played someone a record like Remain In Light, and then played them this, I doubt they would recognize them as the same band. Going further, I also believe this to be the group's most sonically dated album. While it isn't as heavy and overbearing with its production like many other records from the 80's were, it's time of conception is still painfully obvious with it's gated drums and new wave riffs, resulting in a record that many could interpret as cheap, or formulaic. However, that's not to say it isn't enjoyable. If there's anyone who can make 80s schlock enjoyable, it's David Byrne, and he does manage to do so on a few tracks on here, most notably on "Wild Wild Life" and "Love For Sale", although I won't pretend like he knocks it out of the park this consistently throughout the entire album. Really, despite a few standout moments here and there, "True Stories" feels very inessential, and ultimately basic, and is the likely Talking Heads' most poorly aged record.

Favorite Song: "Wild Wild Life"
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