Talking Heads DVD Audio Box SetTalking Heads' 30th anniversary was commemorated by sonically upgrading their eight, era-defining polyrhythmic albums via Dual Discs in a molded white plastic box set. Each disc contains complete album tracks and bonus cuts remastered in Stereo on its CD side, while the DVD programming on the flip offers up the audio tracks in expansive new 5.1 Surround Sound mixes, with all of the sonic upgrading personally supervised by keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison. Fans of the band will find its wealth of bonus music, which includes various B-sides and previously unreleased outtakes, as well as several videos including a number of rare live clips, to be equally intriguing as the surround sound mixes.

Talking Heads' 30th anniversary was commemorated by sonically upgrading their eight, era-defining polyrhythmic albums via Dual Discs in a molded white plastic box set. Each disc contains complete album tracks and bonus cuts remastered in Stereo on its CD side, while the DVD programming on the flip offers up the audio tracks in expansive new 5.1 Surround Sound mixes, with all of the sonic upgrading personally supervised by keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison. Fans of the band will find its wealth of bonus music, which includes various B-sides and previously unreleased outtakes, as well as several videos including a number of rare live clips, to be equally intriguing as the surround sound mixes.

Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002, listeners have long since enjoyed their fusion of rock, funk, and punk with diverse world beats, minimalism, and pure pop genius.

As a Talking Heads fan, I immediately jumped on picking this box set up when I found out it was still available. Most great groups come together via a unique balance of varied, seemingly incongruous elements, and this group is no exception. Begin with the distinctive, innovative and eccentric lead vocalist, guitarist, and principle songwriter, David Byrne; and continue with bassist Tina Weymouth, drummer Chris Frantz, keyboardist/guitarist Jerry Harrison, and at times top it off with an expanded lineup of mostly funk-oriented musicians. Beginning as a left-of-center pop-meets-rock quartet, their debut in 1977 went against the grain of not only the mainstream, but also steered clear of alternative musical trends. The following two albums "More Songs About Buildings and Food" (1978), and "Fear of Music" (1979), began to see their sound expanding both stylistically and sonically, in part via Brian Eno's co-production. The subsequent albums were as flawless and innovative as the debut, and continuing with the absolutely brilliant "Remain in Light"(1980). After a semi-hiatus, the group changed focus and became a lot more pop oriented as is evidenced on 1983's :Speaking in Tongues," featuring their biggest hit "Burning Down The House".   Many followers believe that was the group's peak, and the last three albums were clearly short from spectacular. However, their album "Little Creatures" (1985) was still very good. Perhaps it was somewhat of a retreat musically from the funk-based musical experimentation of the last several discs. 1986's "True Stories" effectively put more emphasis on the tunes and is considered their lowest point, while the last album (1988's "Naked", to an extent took its cues from the earlier era, with Paris-based African musicians added to the quartet.

The surround sound versions create a fullness and clarity of sound that is amazing to hear. So much detail is brought out particularly on Fear of Music and Remain in Light, that it is hard to imagine all the tracks squashed into the original stereo mix. Making it seem that elements  were added.  Even if you don't have a surround sound system, the stereo versions on the CD side are also significant improvements to earlier mixes and masters.

These surround sound mixes, done by longtime Talking Heads producer Eric 'E.T.' Thorngren and Heads' keyboard player Jerry Harrison - is by far one of the best surround mixes I've heard. The listener is put in the perfect spot with the band playing just in front of you and secondary instrumentation and percussion haunting you from the rear and sides of the room.

Also the earlier albums  sound spectacular in surround. The listener will clearly hear the handclaps, bass lines, percussion, background vocals, and synths, all on the original records when they were first recorded , but due to lack of separation these were nearly inaudible on the vinyl and CD releases.  Listening to their discography in multi-channel is just like hearing them for the first time.

The dual-discs were also released as separate discs in January 2006, some have already been sold out, specifically Fear of Music.  Of course picking up a copy of the "Brick" box set is highly recommended.  Or we could always hope for a Bluray Audio version!

 

 Format Info

8 dual-disc DVD-Audio and CD's box set

 

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