Thursday, August 8, 2019

"Wild Wild Life" by Talking Heads

Song#:  2854
Date:  09/06/1986
Debut:  90
Peak:  25
Weeks:  21
Genre:  Rock, Pop, New Wave

Pop Bits:  For their seventh studio album, the Talking Heads took on material that leader David Byrne had written for True Stories, a film he co-wrote and directed.  While the Heads performed a few of the tunes for the soundtrack, others were recorded with the actors who appeared in the film. For their album True Stories, the band recorded their own versions of those songs and combined them with the tunes they recorded for the film. Since several of the tracks did not appear in the film, the LP was not considered a soundtrack, but as the Talking Heads' next release. This single was the first one lifted from the album. It did well at Rock becoming the band's second and biggest Top 10 there getting to #4. It would also prove to be their second biggest hit at Pop reaching #25. The hit helped send the album to #17 and it would eventually be a gold-seller. Unfortunately, the song would be the band's last to reach the Pop chart. Their next album, 1988's Naked, would spawn the #5 Rock track "(Nothing But) Flowers," but it would fail to reach the Pop chart. Still, the band's fans showed up and the LP got to #19 and went gold. The band would go on hiatus after the album, but in 1991 they would officially break up.

ReduxReview:  This song pretty much picks up where the band left off with their more commercial-leaning previous LP Little Creatures. It's another cool, catchy track that had a popular associated video that won two MTV Music Video Awards (Best Group Video and Best Video from a Film). Was it an art-pop, new wave classic like "Life During Wartime" or "Once in a Lifetime?" No. But it was a fun and engaging tune that made for a good single. The band would go back to being more eclectic with the world music-leaning Naked and the results weren't as good despite some positive critical notices. They never really tailored their music for the charts, but they did have a few solid commercial moments and this was one of them.

ReduxRating:  7/10

Trivia:  Double Shot!  1) Despite having a lot of music, an official soundtrack from the film was never released at the time. Byrne did issue out an LP titled Sounds from True Stories, which mainly consisted of the incidental music he wrote for the film and a few other tunes, but it skipped over the main songs done by the Heads and the tracks featuring the film's actors. Later in 2018, a full complete soundtrack album from the film was finally issued out.  2) There was a song on the True Stories album titled "Radio Head." In the mid-80s there was a UK band that started up called On a Friday. They were finally signed to a major label, EMI, in 1991, but the label requested a name change. The band remembered the True Stories song and thus became Radiohead.


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