Night Music: Talking Heads, “Born Under Punches”

There is a lot of irritating in David Byrne. Right?

While he no doubt started out as an artist, his instincts and skills put him into the churn of business and commercialism, and Talking Heads thrived without obviously selling out. That’s a great accomplishment. But it comes with its own negatives. Becoming the object of lust for a cult of deranged college kids can create unfortunate associations. Qu’est-ce que c’est.

But he’s done amazing things in his life, both musically and with bike racks.

Like many of our great artists of the last decades, he has also worked with Brian Eno, and some of his most amazing work was made with Eno.

I love this song. It is a bubbling pastiche of rock and soul and afrobeat and high life, with clever mzungu lyrics, and a dark universal chorus. The African influence and the arty fartsy punk context are brilliant.

And you can dance to it.

2 thoughts on “Night Music: Talking Heads, “Born Under Punches”

  1. huge heads/byrne fan, Peter. though “Once in a Lifetime” is the one that kills me off this album. Those grinding overdriven guitars at the end. whew.

    But, there are a ton of Talking Heads tunes i completely love. thanks for kicking that brain cell. great choice.

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