Legendary concert film soundtrack gets 2 LP deluxe edition
In 1983, Talking Heads joined forces with director Jonathan Demme for the groundbreaking concert film Stop Making Sense. To celebrate the 40th anniversary of the concerts filmed for Stop Making Sense, a newly restored 4K version of the film will return to theaters for a global theatrical run with A24.
Rhino will also release a deluxe version of the soundtrack that will now include the complete Stop Making Sense concert for the first time. Stop Making Sense (Deluxe Edition) will be available on August 18th as a limited edition 2 LP set and digitally along with a Dolby Atmos mix of the complete concert, mixed by Jerry Harrison and ET Thorngren, who also mixed the original release.
Both versions will feature every song performed in the film, including two that have never been released – “Cities” and “Big Business/I Zimbra.” The limited edition vinyl version features a 28-page booklet with previously unpublished photos along with new liner notes from all four band members — Tina Weymouth, David Byrne, Chris Frantz, and Jerry Harrison.
The inspiration for Stop Making Sense came when director Jonathan Demme saw Talking Heads perform during the band’s 1983 tour for Speaking in Tongues. Afterward, he approached them with the idea of making the show into a concert film. They agreed and worked together over the next few months to finalize the details. Ultimately, Demme filmed three shows at Hollywood’s Pantages Theater in December 1983 to create Stop Making Sense.
The concert film presents a retrospective of the band up to that point, with a performance that weaves together songs from all six of its studio albums. The show progresses methodically, opening with Byrne onstage performing “Psycho Killer” alone with a drum machine. After each song, he’s joined by a new band member until Weymouth, Frantz, and Harrison are all on stage with him. The group continues to grow throughout the concert as members of the stellar touring band are added: keyboardist Bernie Worrell, percussionist Steve Scales, guitarist Alex Weir, and back-up singers Lynn Mabry and Ednah Holt.
The band performs 18 songs in Stop Making Sense, including its recent single at the time, “Burning Down The House.” That summer, the song was in heavy rotation on radio and MTV, helping the song become the band’s first top 10 hit in America. It was, however, a different song from Speaking in Tongues that was destined to deliver one of the film’s signature moments. Byrne would perform “Girlfriend Is Better” wearing his now iconic, oversized business suit inspired by costumes worn in traditional Japanese theater. For good measure, a picture of him in the suit also graces the album cover.
Stop Making Sense focuses mainly on music by Talking Heads but does include a few songs recorded outside the band: “Genius Of Love” by Tom Tom Club, Weymouth and Frantz’s side-project, and “What A Day That Was” and “Big Business” from Byrne’s 1981 album, The Catherine Wheel. Limited edition vinyl versions of both of these albums, along with Harrison’s The Red And The Black, will be available for this year’s Record Store Day on April 21st.
Stop Making Sense was an artistic and commercial triumph when it arrived in September 1984. The film had people dancing in theatre aisles while the soundtrack sold over two million copies. Just last year, the Library of Congress added Stop Making Sense to the National Film Registry in recognition of its cultural, historical, and aesthetic significance.