"Soon after emerging from the punk/alternative/new wave CBGB's Club scene in 1976, the Talking Heads released their amazingly authentic debut, "Talking Heads '77." This exhilirating, inspiring debut album features the band at their most attentive, crafting every detail to the fullest. Foreshadows every direction the band's music will take, while capturing the sophistication (there's that word again) of their unique music. Although "77" was relatively disappointing on the charts and in commercial terms, it remains true that all great classics are brought to the light with time. "Uh-Oh, Loves Comes To Town" is just as unique as the Talking Heads themselves, while "No Compassion" shows the more grim, yet delightful side of their music. The purposely naive and satirical "Don't Worry About The Government" foreshadows the Heads' later cynical aspect. And "Psycho Killer" remains to this day one of the group's most effective and uneasy songs. And although there are many predictable (yet still unique) places in the content, "Talking Heads 77" is a remarkable, landmark gem deserving of attention."
Wee Jimmy | Tring, Hertfordshire United Kingdom | 06/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is not Talking Heads' best album - fans tend to rate any one of their four subsequent studio releases - but it's definitely worth having. Quirky, poppy and slightly amateurish, it has a sound all of its own. The emphasis is squarely on David Byrne's songs, to which the band are at this stage subordinated, and the songs are pretty much uniformly great. The best known is of course Psycho Killer, a jarring and twisted number written from the point of view of a (surprise) psycho killer, but there is better fare on offer here. Don't Worry About The Government, Uh-Oh, Love Comes To Town, Happy Day and Book I Read are all cheerfully deranged masterpieces; Byrne's ability to write a song in character is utilised to the full, as is his ability to explore themes that other lyricists just wouldn't think of: who else could write a line like 'some civil servants are just like my loved ones'? However, the album's crowning glory is Pulled Up, an ecstatically cheerful pop song which, in its middle eight, showcases the band's ability to 'be funky' with a sparse guitar riff, wonderful bassline and soaring tune.
But it's not perfect by any means - when Byrne runs out of decent tunes the songs fall flat on their faces because the band don't quite have the chemistry going on that they did over the next few albums. Songs like Who Is It are lightweight and throwaway, and although they're not particularly bad, I certainly wouldn't have bought the album if they were all like that. Maybe this lack of chemistry was simply because the band were entering the studio to record an album for the first time and their nerves got the better of them - certainly they had a great reputation as a live band at around the same time - but they do bring the album's star rating down a notch. But if you've bought and liked any of their albums, you should enjoy this."
A New Wave Classic!
Michael J Harrington | Phoenix, Arizona USA | 02/19/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I couldn't say it much better than Mike Farmer's review earlier...this was just one collection of tunes that really grab you in some strange way - a gem among the midst the rather bland arena rock of the time... The 'Heads' were geniuses of the time - despite the 'competition' of the hard-edge punk and other non-eventful music of the time, they rose above it all with a refreshingly original sound and solid rhythm.For those new to their music, go for this one and 'More Songs about Buildings and Food', as well as 'Fear of Music'. To get it all in one, the 'best of (Sand in the Vaseline) is not a bad collection either...The bottom line is that this CD is a *classic*, and easily ranks with similar classics of the time in this genre (debuts from the Car's, B-52's and Pretenders)."
One Of The Greatest Debuts From The Early New Wave
JOHN SPOKUS | BALTIMORE, MARYLAND United States | 04/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Here we see the early Heads, prior to Eno, African rhythms,extra musicians; and what we get is a beautifully tight, engaging quirky little band with great tunes. There isn't a clunker in the bunch. This is what '77 New Wave in all it's glory was about. And of Course "Psycho Killer" is maybe Byrne's best song ever. His manic vocals color all the material on this essential album. Byrne and Jerry Harrison's funky sputtering rhtythm guitars along with Tina Weymouths melodic inventive basswork and Chris Frantz's solid drumming are a textbook example of a great TIGHT modern band in action."