Talking Heads: Love → Building on Fire (Love Goes To Building On Fire)

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Spotify HTTP Link: Talking Heads – Love -> Building On Fire

There are bands that you used to love years ago that you still listen to today. For me, a few examples would be The Beatles, T.Rex, R.E.M., and Mott the Hoople/Ian Hunter. Then there are bands who you used to love and never find yourself listening to at all anymore. I would have to place Talking Heads in the latter category.

And yet…

If you were there in 1977, you know what I’m talking about and if you weren’t, you have no idea what you missed. When I moved from the New York area to Philadelphia to go to art school that year, it was like stepping back in time 10 years. New York was Patti Smith, Talking Heads, and Television, while Philadelphia was Foreigner, Led Zeppelin, and the Eagles. I remember being introduced by one of my school friends: “This is Marc. He’s into punk rock. Har har har.” There was one guy named Ken who lived in the dorm who used to hang out in my room and listen to my Roxy Music albums. He was the only other person there who was into punk and new wave. Ken later left school, moved back to Long Island, and was in a band called The Bloodless Pharaohs with a guy named Brian Setzer.

But I digress. Ken and I went to The Hot Club in Philadelphia to see Talking Heads. It was one of the first new wave acts I’d ever seen. I remember looking at the crowd outside the club and thinking, so these are the other people who like this music.

When Talking Heads came on the scene, they were nerdy arty types fresh from the Rhode Island School of Design. Their music was one part 1910 Fruitgum Company, one part, I don’t know, one part just plain weird. And I was attracted to the different-ness of their music.

If you wanted to buy new wave/punk records, there were two places to get them. In New York, there was Bleeker Bob’s. In Philadelphia, there was Third Street Jazz & Rock. My UK import copy of the single Love Goes To Building On Fire probably came from Bleeker Bob’s and it was hands down my favorite Talking Heads song. The reverse side had a version of New Feeling with horns.

The song is presented in a not-so-high-quality YouTube clip above. If you have Spotify, you can use the links to check out the track in its original form. Who knows, maybe I’ll listen to Talking Heads 77 later on today.


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