Talking Heads: Shortlist – December 11, 1980, Amsterdam

From August 1980 through February 1981, Talking Heads toured North America, Europe, and Japan as a gigantic band, making groundbreaking music. 

An entire show, including the tour’s whole setlist, is beautifully documented on the expanded version of “The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.” There are also several exciting live videos from the tour that you can easily find online.

From an audio quality POV, the Amsterdam soundboard stands out, both for clarity and for being quite a different mix than the one featured on “The Name of This Band is Talking Heads.”

The Amsterdam mix is also notable because it is not dominated by huge bass and drums and massed vocals. Instead, the higher end of the percussion is emphasized, the guitars are quite prominent, and the individual vocalists are more discernible. 

That balance makes some songs fall flat, but it takes others into a fantastic, wiry, “Fear of Music” place. Those performances are featured on this mix, re-EQed somewhat to bring up the bottom end.

28-minute mp3 mix zipped up here

  • Born Under Punches
  • Crosseyed & Hungry (edit)
  • Drugs
  • Warning Sign
  • Cities

You’ll find a couple of other weirdo Save Your Face Talking Heads experiments here.

Side Trips: Imaginary Post-Punk Maxi-12-Inch Split Single

"It was in the city of shapes that she made love to several apes. She felt weird for a couple of days, but pretty soon she got used to their ways." (Robyn Hitchcock) I think you'll have a similar encounter with these mixes.

mp3s here  (if you want to download). Or stream the tracks, below.

Talking Heads: One Mix About Buildings and Food (8:51): An edit made up of pieces from nearly every song on "More Songs About Buildings and Food" that is looking for the proto-“Remain in Light” jam lurking inside it.

Television: Marquee Miniature (4:51): An almost entirely instrumental recombination of most of the album's  short instrumental breaks, which results in something that sounds surprisingly prog-y, and surprisingly like one song.

Talking Heads vs. NEU! (6:34): NEU!’s “Negativland” segues seamlessly into the “Psycho Killer” jam from the Talking Heads’ live performance in Sydney, Australia in 1979. A hint about what The Talking Heads were listening to and being inspired by.