Someone Controls Electric Guitars (Godfatherecords G.R. 909)
Electric Ballroom, London, England – December 7, 1979
(77:56) Tuning, Artists Only, Stay Hungry, Cities, Paper, Mind, Heaven (false start), Heaven, Electric Guitar, Air, Animals, Love/Building On Fire, Found A Job, Memories Can’t Wait, Psycho Killer, Life During Wartime – Bonus Tracks: Paradiso, Amsterdam, The Netherlands – January 14, 1978; Uh-Oh Love Comes To Town, Take Me To The River, The Book I Read
The Talking Heads made their live debut at the infamous CBGB’s on June 20, 1975 opening for The Ramones. With their unique art rock new wave style they quickly became regulars around the New York club scene. Anything but a stereotypical punk band, their songs pushed the boundaries of modern music with a funky new wave dance groove and David Byrne’s lyrics told colorful stories, when you can make out what he was saying, that is. Byrne’s quirky vocal style actually fits the music and genre perfectly. The band would become an inspiration to a lot of artists that followed and even saw their own “Memories Can’t Wait” covered by the hard rock funk band Living Color in 1988.
The recording from the Electric Ballroom in London features a superb sounding soundboard that has an almost perfect balance and is comparable to an official release. This comes before the band expanded their live show to include additional players and captures the original four in an intimate setting.
Having just released their third LP, Fear Of Music, in August 1979, The Talking Heads perform all but two tracks from their latest LP. The recording sounds like the complete set save for a small cut after “Love/Building On Fire” clipping the first few seconds of “Found A Job”. “Psycho Killer” was one of their breakthrough songs and really kicks it up a notch about four and a half minutes in and is definitely one of the most memorable from the set. “Life During Wartime”, the first single from the new record, had also helped the band’s popularity as well thanks to the increasing airplay it was receiving (Remember… “This ain’t no party! This ain’t no disco!”). After the set gets over David Byrne says “Thank you, that’s it…don’t bother clapping, that’s all we’re going to do…” (I found that rather hilarious).
Godfather includes three bonus tracks from Paradiso in Amsterdam almost two years earlier. The sound quality is equally as good as the London show and is very enjoyable. A cover of Al Green’s “Take Me To The River” is a standout regardless of Byrne’s slightly out of tune guitar.
Someone Controls Electric Guitars is a very cool release from Godfather who is once again expanding their catalog with rarely booted artists. With the labels really nice packaging and excellent liner notes from Ian Iachimoe, Talking Heads fans won’t want to miss this one.