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Talking Heads: David Byrne (vocals, guitar, vocodor, synthesizer, bass, percussion); Jerry Harrison (guitar, piano, organ, synthesizer, bass, background vocals); Tina Weymouth (keyboards, synthesizer, bass, percussion, background vocals); Chris Frantz (keyboards, synthesizer, drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Brian Eno (guitar, piano, synthesizer, bass, percussion, background vocals); Robert Fripp (guitar); Jon Hassell (trumpet); Wally Badarou (keyboards); Robert Palmer, Paulinho Da Costa (percussion); Nona Hendryx (background vocals).
Producers include: Mark Spector, Tony Bongiovi, Lance Quinn, Talking Heads, Brian Eno.
Compilation producers: Talking Heads, Gary Stewart, Andy Zax.
Recorded between 1976 & 1992. Includes liner notes by Tim Scanlin.
Expanding on the excellent two-disc SAND IN THE VASELINE compilation, the three-CD/one-DVD Talking Heads box set, ONCE IN A LIFETIME, includes most of the former release, along with more than 20 additional tracks. Like the highly visual NYC art-rockers themselves, the collection, in both sound and design, is perversely smart and strangely beautiful.
Starting with the group's early days in the late 1970s, ONCE IN A LIFETIME features frantic, urban-themed tracks such as “Don't Worry about the Government” and “Pulled Up.” From the city, the setting shifts to wider spaces on their breakthrough cover of Al Green's “Take Me to the River” and the rural twang of “The Big Country.” The second disc sees the Heads hitting the zenith of their fruitful collaborations with Brian Eno, while frontman David Byrne reaches new levels of both lyricism and experimentation on the iconic title track. The third disc cherry-picks from the group's later years, including their most accessible songs (“And She Was,” “Road to Nowhere,” and “Wild Wild Life”), along with the previous unreleased outtake “In Asking Land.” As a summation of the consistently inventive and restlessly energetic ensemble that was the Talking Heads, things don't get any better than ONCE IN A LIFETIME.
What the critics say…
Entertainment Weekly (11/28/03, p.127) – “…This stunningly produced
[box set] moves from the perky pretentio-pop of ‘Psycho Killer’ to the
Afro-rock experiments on REMAIN IN LIGHT…” – Rating: A-
Q (12/03, p.156) – 4 stars out of 5 – “…This collection is laced with a compelling sense of psychosis…”
Uncut (1/04, p.118) – 4 stars out of 5 – “‘Once In A Lifetime’ still sounds like it's being broadcast back to us from some voodoo World Service of the future…TALKING HEADS ought to be lauded as authentic pioneers.”
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