Talking Heads: Stop Making Sense 25th Anniversary Blu-ray review (Detroit Metrotimes)

As soon as you wrap your head around the fact it has been a quarter-century since Jonathan Demme and David Byrne teamed up to create Stop Making Sense, you may settle into another realization: Despite the intervening years bestowing a sort of classic-rock status upon the band’s hits, the Talking Heads were always an amazingly weird band. After all, what other band would spend nearly the first third of a concert film simply getting all of its equipment and personnel onto the stage? From the opening scenes which find David Byrne plunking out “Psycho Killer” with no other accompaniment other than an acoustic guitar and a boom box, Stop Making Sense slowly builds into an art-rock concert par excellence, and always — amazingly — keeps the focus on the music. Even with Byrne bopping around in his big-ass suit, demanding that everyone acknowledge the concert as An Art Event, the smiles of Tina Weymouth and, more notably, P-Funkateer Bernie Worrell, are far more captivating. This Blu-ray edition offers superb fidelity and a miraculously clean transfer — so clean, in fact, that the film grain is noticeable throughout — but also a wealth of bonus material, including a hilarious Byrne self-interview, two songs (“Cities” and a medley of “Big Business” and “I Zimbra”) that were inexplicably cut from the original version, plus, you get the choice of either the feature film’s audio mix or a studio mix of the material.

First appeared Nov. 4, 2009 in Detroit Metrotimes.

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