David Byrne’s a New York man who works a special New York charm: even though his last really gripping album is now over thirty years old, he keeps his name in the lights – and in the critics’ good books – by constantly innovating with sounds, pushing the frontiers of recording technology, and challenging conventional methods of music distribution; doing everything, in fact, short of making a record worth listening to.
The Talking Heads were arty New York snots whose début, Talking Heads: 77, is pretty much that, the Talking Heads in ’77. Overeducated Cambridge students the Soft Boys released their first a full two years later; this record is called A Can of Bees, and, what d’you know, that’s exactly what it sounds like. Talking Heads: 77 features a warped, turned-on-its head take on pop music which would then go on to inspire legions of new wave bands. A Can of Bees features a warped, turned-on-its-head take on pop music which would then go on to inspire almost nobody – few groups have been so roundly ignored by the world. The Talking Heads record explores urban alienation and paranoia in an age of increasing mechanisation. The Soft Boys tackle such wildly gripping and relevant subjects as the Rat’s Prayer, Leppo and the Jooves, and the Return of the Sacred Crab.