Once in a Lifetime refers to two compilation albums by the American rock band Talking Heads, being a one-disc set released in EuropeAustralia and New Zealand by Sire/Warner Bros. in 1992, and a three-disc set released in the United States of America by Sire/Warner Bros./Rhino in 2003.

The single-CD The Best Of (Once in a Lifetime) (1992) is a fourteen-track collection released at the same time as the double disc anthology Sand in the Vaseline was released in the United States of America. It covers most well-knownTalking Heads songs as well as including two lesser-known tracks, "Sax and Violins" and "Lifetime Piling Up".

The comprehensive three-CD box set Once in a Lifetime also includes a DVD, an expanded version of the music videocompilation Storytelling Giant. The discs are packaged in a wide horizontal book that recalls a CD longbox, featuring paintings by Russian artists Vladimir Dubossarsky and Alexander Vinogradov and with art direction by Stefan Sagmeister(for which he received a 2005 Grammy award for "Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package"). Sagmeister would work with David Byrne and Brian Eno on their 2008 album Everything That Happens Will Happen Today.

Only one previously unreleased song appears in this release: the Naked outtake "In Asking Land." This song was later completed by David Byrne and released as "Carnival Eyes" on his solo album Rei Momo. Other non-album tracks are: "Sugar on My Tongue," a 1975 studio demo, dating from when the band was still a trio (minus Jerry Harrison); the 1977 single "Love → Building on Fire" and its B-side, "I Wish You Wouldn't Say That"; and two Naked-era songs - "Sax and Violins" (finished in 1991 for the soundtrack to the movie Until the End of the World) and "Lifetime Piling Up" (finished in 1992 for the Sand in the Vaseline compilation). These non-album tracks had all been included on the 1992 compilationSand in the Vaseline, though three non-album tracks (1975 studio demo "I Want to Live" and 1992's "Gangster of Love" and "Popsicle") remain exclusive to that compilation, in terms of CD releases. (Remastered versions of "I Want to Live," "Gangster of Love" and "Popsicle" were issued on the iTunes-only release Bonus Rarities and Outtakes in 2006.)

This box set marked the first CD release of "A Clean Break," a 1977 live recording from 1982's The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads. However, that album was remastered and reissued in 2004 as a two-disc set.

Once in a Lifetime consists of four previously unreleased "alternate versions," three of which would later be reissued in various forms: "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town" and "New Feeling" are the original Tony Bongiovi "pop experiment" mixes, including brass parts and other more "commercial" production techniques that the band ultimately rejected; "Cities" is an alternate take that includes a verse not found on any previous official release; and "Drugs" is an early mix of the song, featuring Robert Fripp on guitar and very different production and instrumentation than the final version. "Cities" was reissued on the 2006 remaster of Fear of Music, while "New Feeling" and "Drugs" were reissued digitally on Bonus Rarities and Outtakes.

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written by David Byrne unless otherwise indicated.

Disc one
  1. "Sugar on My Tongue" – 2:35
  2. "Love → Building on Fire" – 2:59
  3. "I Wish You Wouldn't Say That" – 2:37
  4. "Don't Worry About the Government" – 3:00
  5. "Uh-Oh, Love Comes to Town" [Alternate Version] – 2:55
  6. "New Feeling" [Alternate Version] – 3:03
  7. "Pulled Up" – 4:30
  8. "Psycho Killer" (Byrne, Chris Frantz & Tina Weymouth) – 4:20
  9. "Warning Sign" (Byrne & Frantz) – 3:55
  10. "Artists Only" (Byrne & Wayne Zieve) – 3:35
  11. "Tentative Decisions" – 3:07
  12. "No Compassion" – 4:49
  13. "Stay Hungry" (Byrne & Frantz) – 2:41
  14. "I'm Not in Love" – 4:34
  15. "The Book I Read" – 4:09
  16. "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" – 2:13
  17. "Found a Job" – 5:01
  18. "A Clean Break" (Live) – 4:57
  19. "Take Me to the River" (Al Green & Mabon Hodges) – 5:04
  20. "The Big Country" – 5:31
  21. "Heaven" – 4:01
Disc two
  1. "I Zimbra" (Byrne, Brian Eno & Hugo Ball) – 3:07
  2. "Cities" [Alternate Version] – 5:27
  3. "Life During Wartime" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 3:41
  4. "Air" – 3:32
  5. "Memories Can't Wait" (Byrne & Harrison) – 3:30
  6. "Drugs" [Alternate Version] (Byrne & Eno) – 3:33
  7. "Once in a Lifetime" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:20
  8. "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:47
  9. "Listening Wind" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:41
  10. "Houses in Motion" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:31
  11. "Crosseyed and Painless" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:45
  12. "Burning Down the House" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:01
  13. "Making Flippy Floppy" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:54
  14. "Girlfriend Is Better" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:43
  15. "Slippery People" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:05
  16. "Swamp" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:10
  17. "This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:56
Disc three
  1. "And She Was" – 3:39
  2. "Stay Up Late" – 3:44
  3. "Creatures of Love" – 4:15
  4. "The Lady Don't Mind" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:04
  5. "Road to Nowhere" – 4:20
  6. "Wild Wild Life" – 3:41
  7. "Love for Sale" – 4:31
  8. "People Like Us" – 4:29
  9. "Puzzlin' Evidence" – 5:23
  10. "City of Dreams" – 5:09
  11. "Blind" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:00
  12. "Mr. Jones" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 4:21
  13. "The Democratic Circus" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:04
  14. "(Nothing But) Flowers" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison, & Weymouth) – 5:33
  15. "In Asking Land" [Outtake] (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 3:58
  16. "Sax and Violins" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 5:18
  17. "Lifetime Piling Up" (Byrne, Frantz, Harrison & Weymouth) – 3:53
Storytelling Giant DVD
  1. "Once in a Lifetime"
  2. "Wild Wild Life"
  3. "Stay Up Late"
  4. "Blind" [Previously unreleased]
  5. "Crosseyed and Painless"
  6. "Burning Down the House"
  7. "And She Was"
  8. "Sax and Violins" [Previously unreleased]
  9. "This Must Be the Place (Naïve Melody)"
  10. "The Lady Don't Mind"
  11. "Love For Sale"
  12. "(Nothing But) Flowers"
  13. "Road to Nowhere"

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