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.