20 Fave Talking Heads Songs

Updated by Brian Cherchiglia on December 19, 2020

20 Fave Talking Heads Songs

Today I’m pleased to offer you (what I assume is) exactly what David Byrne would not want someone to do with his art: apply one’s own senses of alleged musical expertise and bias to separate his most well-known conjunctive works into a list, sorted by personal preference, complete with my explanations for each corresponding applicable numeric placeholder. This brings me great joy. Great joy (feel free to repeat that in your head with the vocal tonality of C. Montgomery Burns).

Not only have (the) Talking Heads been one of my absolute favorite groups for my entire adult life, and for most of what I call my “consciously adaptive years,” but as a musician I can blatantly acknowledge their influence on me as well as their transitive influence on almost any of today’s performing artists.

They made large jackets fashionable. They used Moog Synthesizers before almost everyone, and they got Bernie Worrell and Brian Eno to sonically screw-drive that shit. They made the greatest live concert film ever with Stop Making Sense in 1984. They were fearless, they were dangerous, and more than anything: they were funky. Tina Weymouth, people. Tina. Weymouth. Chris Frantz. Jerry Harrison. David Byrne. David. Fucking. Byrne! The name of this band is Talking Heads, and these are their best twenty songs. Artwork for this playlist comes from illustrator Jack Cant.

20. “Love → Building on Fire”

19. “Artists Only”

18. “Take Me To The River”

17. “The Great Curve”

16. “Found a Job”

15. “Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)”

14. “Swamp”

13. “Cities”

12. “And She Was”

11. “Making Flippy Floppy”

10. “I Zimbra”

9. “This Must Be the Place”

8. “Thank You for Sending Me an Angel”

7. “Girlfriend Is Better”

6. “Memories (Can’t Wait)”

5. “Life During Wartime”

4. “Burning Down The House”

3. “Psycho Killer”

2. “Once in a Lifetime”

1. ”Slippery People”