The Good, the Rare and the Nostalgic in Boxed Sets

Via The New York Times

By Jon Pareles

Most bands are happy to be recognized for one style and cling to it. Not Talking Heads, who changed radically for every album: from spindly bubble gum new wave ("77") through ominous multileveled funk ("Fear of Music") to countryish rock ("Little Creatures") and supple world-beat ("Naked"). As the songwriter David Byrne mellowed from quizzical, flinty outsider to jovial humanist, his band grew and shrank, the music darkened and lightened, and every phase - especially 1977-84 - yielded memorable songs. All eight Talking Heads studio albums are in this box, with outtakes that are often wilder than the cooler-headed, more deadpan versions chosen for posterity. The discs also include surround-sound DVD-audio remixes and rare video, for a body of work that makes arty younger bands sound timid, even without live material. Individual albums will be released separately in January; grab "Remain in Light" for its extended funk-Minimalist jams.

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