Stop Making Sense is a live 1984 album by Talking Heads, the soundtrack to the film of the same name. The original release of the album features only nine of the songs from the movie, many of them heavily edited. The album spent more than two years (118 weeks) on the Billboard 200 chart. In 1999, a 16-track re-release coincided with the concert's 15th anniversary.

Byrne's intention was not to make a traditional soundtrack album, but to have it be a separate experience. Limited pressings of the original LP version featured a full color picture book wrapped around the album jacket. Regular versions had many of the pictures and captions on the album's inner sleeve. In 1999 - to correspond with the theatrical re-release of the movie - the album was extended and remastered, restoring all of the songs from the movie with only very minor edits. The newly included tracks feature Frantz's original drumming from the concert recordings.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 345 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 2012 Slant Magazine listed the album at #61 on its list of "Best Albums of the 1980s".[5]


 [hide*1 Track listing

Track listing[edit]Edit

All songs written by David ByrneChris FrantzJerry HarrisonTina Weymouth except as noted.[6]

Side one[edit]Edit

  1. "Psycho Killer" (Byrne, Frantz, Weymouth) – 4:28
  2. "Swamp" – 3:50 (LP) 4:28 (cassette, CD)
  3. "Slippery People" – 3:35 (LP) 4:13 (different mix; cassette, CD) ["When this song was originally recorded onSpeaking in Tongues," says Frantz in the liner notes of Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads, "it had a funky and compact sound. This Stop Making Sense version is funky and big as a house. (Or should I say church?)"]
  4. "Burning Down the House" – 4:14
  5. "Girlfriend Is Better" (Byrne) – 3:32 (LP) 5:07 (cassette, CD)

Side two[edit]Edit

  1. "Once in a Lifetime" (Byrne, Brian Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 4:34 (LP) 5:34 (cassette, CD)
  2. "What a Day That Was" (Byrne) – 5:08 (LP) 6:30 (cassette, CD)
  3. "Life During Wartime" – 4:52 (LP) 5:52 (cassette, CD)
  4. "Take Me to the River" (Al GreenTeenie Hodges) – 6:00

Film/Special New Edition Soundtrack[edit]Edit

Bonus live tracks "Heaven" and "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" were available as B-sides on various US 7" and UK 12" singles during the album's original release. These versions were released on the Special Edition soundtrack.

  1. "Psycho Killer" (Byrne, Frantz, Weymouth) – 4:24
  2. "Heaven" (Byrne, Harrison) – 3:41
  3. "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" (Byrne) – 2:09
  4. "Found a Job" (Byrne) – 3:15
  5. "Slippery People" – 4:00
  6. "Burning Down the House" – 4:06
  7. "Life During Wartime" – 5:51
  8. "Making Flippy Floppy" – 4:40
  9. "Swamp" – 4:30
  10. "What a Day That Was" (Byrne) – 6:00
  11. "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" – 4:57
  12. "Once in a Lifetime" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 5:25
  13. "Genius of Love" (Weymouth, Frantz, Adrian BelewSteven Stanley) (performed by Tom Tom Club) – 4:30
  14. "Girlfriend Is Better" – 5:06
  15. "Take Me to the River" (Green, Hodges) – 5:32
  16. "Crosseyed and Painless" (Byrne, Eno, Frantz, Harrison, Weymouth) – 6:11


Additional personnel[edit]Edit


"A bona fide classic," opined Neil Jeffries in a five-star review of the reissue for Empire, "a perfectly measured snapshot of a widely loved and respected band playing at the height of their powers… No other band could do this. No other music movie soundtrack sounds this good."[7] "A timely reminder of the achievements of perhaps the most underrated band of the post-punk age," agreed Q. "From its stripped-down intro… to the nine-piece finale, Stop Making Sense remains heady, stirring stuff."[8]



Year Chart Position
1984 The Billboard 200 41/53
UK albums 37/24


Organization Level Date
RIAA – U.S. Gold March 1, 1985
BPI – UK Gold November 26, 1985
RIAA – U.S. Platinum July 2, 1986
Double Platinum August 17, 1994

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