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More Songs About Buildings and Food
More Songs About Buildings and Food
is the second studio album by the American rock band Talking Heads, released in July 1978. The album was the first of three Talking Heads
Talking Heads
LPs produced by collaborator Brian Eno. It saw the group move musically toward a danceable style, crossing singer David Byrne's unusual delivery with new emphasis on the rhythm section composed of bassist Tina Weymouth
Tina Weymouth
and drummer Chris Frantz. More Songs established the group as a critical success, reaching 29 in the US Billboard Pop Albums chart and 21 in the UK Albums Chart. The album featured the group's first Top 30 single, a cover of Al Green's "Take Me to the River".

Contents

1 Artwork and title 2 Release 3 Reception 4 Track listing 5 Personnel 6 Charts

6.1 Certifications and sales

7 Notes 8 References

Artwork and title[edit] The front cover of the album, conceived by Byrne and executed by artist Jimmy De Sana, is a photomosaic of the band comprising 529 close-up Polaroid photographs.[6] The rear cover of the album shows a satellite image (taken by one of the Landsat
Landsat
satellites) of the United States.[nb 1] Concerning the album's title, bassist Tina Weymouth
Tina Weymouth
was quoted in a 1979 interview with Creem
Creem
magazine:

When we were making this album I remembered this stupid discussion we had about titles for the last album," Tina smirked. "At that time I said, 'What are we gonna call an album that's just about buildings and food?' And Chris said, 'You call it more songs about buildings and food.'[7]

XTC
XTC
frontman Andy Partridge
Andy Partridge
later claimed, however, that he gave the title to Byrne.[8] Release[edit] More Songs About Buildings and Food
More Songs About Buildings and Food
was released on July 21, 1978.[6] It peaked at number 29 on the Billboard Pop Albums chart. The album's sole single, a cover of the Al Green
Al Green
hit "Take Me to the River", peaked at number 26 on the pop singles chart in 1979. The single pushed the album to gold record status.[9] The album was ranked at No. 4 among the top "Albums of the Year" for 1978 by NME, with "Take Me to the River" ranked at No. 16 among the year's top tracks.[10] In 2003, the album was ranked number 382 on Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. It was ranked the 45th best album of the 1970s by Pitchfork Media
Pitchfork Media
in 2006. It was ranked number 57 on Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
magazine's list of the greatest albums of 1967–1987. Warner Music Group
Warner Music Group
re-released and remastered the album in 2005, on its Warner Bros., Sire and Rhino Records
Rhino Records
labels in DualDisc
DualDisc
format, with four bonus tracks on the CD side—"Stay Hungry" (1977 version), alternate versions of "I'm Not in Love" and "The Big Country", and the 'Country Angel' version of "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel". The DVD-Audio
DVD-Audio
side includes both stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution (96 kHz/24bit) mixes, as well as a Dolby Digital
Dolby Digital
version and videos of the band performing "Found a Job" and "Warning Sign". In Europe, it was released as a CD+DVDA two-disc set rather than a single DualDisc. The reissue was produced by Andy Zax
Andy Zax
with Talking Heads. Reception[edit]

Professional ratings

Review scores

Source Rating

AllMusic [11]

Chicago Tribune [12]

Christgau's Record Guide A[13]

Encyclopedia of Popular Music [14]

The Irish Times [15]

Rolling Stone [16]

The Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Album
Album
Guide [17]

Spin Alternative Record Guide 9/10[18]

Uncut [19]

Writing for The Village Voice, critic Robert Christgau
Robert Christgau
said:

Here the Heads become a quintet in an ideal producer-artist collaboration--Eno contributes/interferes just enough. Not only does his synthesized lyricism provide flow and continuity, it also makes the passive, unpretentious technological mysticism he shares with the band real in the aural world. In fact, there is so much beautiful music (and so much funky music) on this album that I'll take no more complaints about David Byrne's voice. Every one of these eleven songs is a positive pleasure, and on every one the tension between Byrne's compulsive flights and the sinuous rock bottom of the music is the focus.[13]

Reviewing the album for Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s", Nick Sylvester said:

More Songs About Buildings and Food
More Songs About Buildings and Food
transformed the Talking Heads
Talking Heads
from a quirky CBGB spectacle to a quirky near-unanimously regarded "it" band. New producer Brian Eno
Brian Eno
can take his due credit for the album's success, smartly tightening up the rhythm section's energy for more dance-oriented beats and a more prominent role in general, though without taking the limelight off head Head David Byrne's nervous sputters. Byrne's own songwriting was, as the album titled suggested, in the same quotidian vein as '77, though perhaps Buildings and Food has slightly more vitriol, especially on album closer, "The Big Country", Byrne's indictment of the South. More Songs About Buildings and Food probably could have survived as a cult album by a cult band, but what really opened up the Talking Heads
Talking Heads
for a national audience was the band's slinky cover of Al Green's famous "Take Me to the River", which put them on the top 30 singles charts for the first time.[20]

Track listing[edit] All tracks written by David Byrne, except where noted.

Side one

No. Title Writer(s) Length

1. "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel"   2:11

2. "With Our Love"   3:30

3. "The Good Thing"   3:03

4. "Warning Sign" Byrne, Chris Frantz 3:55

5. "The Girls Want to Be with the Girls"   2:37

6. "Found a Job[a]"   5:00

Side two

No. Title Writer(s) Length

7. "Artists Only" Byrne, Wayne Zieve 3:34

8. "I'm Not in Love"   4:33

9. "Stay Hungry" Byrne, Frantz 2:39

10. "Take Me to the River" Al Green, Mabon "Teenie" Hodges 5:00

11. "The Big Country"   5:30

2005 reissue bonus tracks

No. Title Writer(s) Length

12. "Stay Hungry" (1977 version) Byrne, Frantz 3:45

13. "I'm Not in Love" (alternate version)   5:15

14. "The Big Country" (alternate version)   5:01

15. "Thank You for Sending Me an Angel" ("Country Angel" version)   2:12

Note

^[a] - Mixed at Media Sound Recording Studios by Brian Eno
Brian Eno
and Ed Stasium

Personnel[edit]

Harrison and Byrne (right) with Talking Heads
Talking Heads
in August 1978 at Jay's Longhorn Bar, Minneapolis, Minnesota

"The Big Country"

An audio sample of "The Big Country"

Problems playing this file? See media help.

Talking Heads

David Byrne
David Byrne
– lead vocals, guitars, synthesized percussion Chris Frantz
Chris Frantz
– drums, percussion Jerry Harrison
Jerry Harrison
– piano, organ, synthesizer, guitar, backing vocals Tina Weymouth
Tina Weymouth
– bass guitar

Additional musicians

Brian Eno
Brian Eno
– synthesizers, piano, guitar, percussion, backing vocals Tina and the Typing Pool – backing vocals on "The Good Thing"

Production

Benji Armbrister [21] – assistant engineer Rhett Davies – engineer, mixing Joe Gastwirt – mastering Ed Stasium
Ed Stasium
– mixing on "Found a Job"

Charts[edit] Album

Year Chart Position

1978 Billboard Pop Albums chart 29

UK Albums 21

Singles

Year Single Chart Position

1978 "Take Me to the River" Billboard Pop Singles 26

Certifications and sales[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales

United Kingdom (BPI)[22] Gold 100,000^

United States (RIAA)[23] Gold 500,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone ^shipments figures based on certification alone

Notes[edit]

^ "The back cover is a reproduction of "Portrait U.S.A.", the first color photomosaic of the United States. It is made up of 569 photos taken from space by the LandSAT satellite. Each photo in the mosaic is made up of four separate photos of different parts of the light spectrum: Green, Red, and two different Infra-red regions. These light regions were chosen because they help bring out the differences in geographical forms and types of vegetation. Each image is made up of many scan lines, much like a T.V. picture ... analog information is converted to digital information and then transmitted to various ground receiving stations. This information is then converted into a black-and-white picture corresponding to each spectral region. These can then be combined to make the color pictures that are used in this mosaic. In the version reproduced on the cover, the information from the green spectral region is printed as yellow, the red region is printed as magenta, and the infra-red region is printed as cyan. This is called a false color image. In this version vegetation appears as turquoise, rocks and soil appear as red, yellow, brown, and towns, roads, and water appear as black. Objects as small as 33 feet are visible on the LandSAT photos if the object is in contrast to its environment. The practical applications of the LandSAT photos are many, some of which are forest-fire damage, regional planning, assessment of land use: Which crops are being grown where, mapping of ice for shipping, mapping and detection of air and water pollution, and monitoring surface mining.

"Portrait U.S.A." is copyrighted by the General Electric Co., 1976. It was produced by their Beltsville Photo Engineering Lab with the assistance of the National Geographic Society
National Geographic Society
and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration".[Record inner sleeve]

References[edit]

^ Ruhlmann, William. " More Songs About Buildings and Food
More Songs About Buildings and Food
– Talking Heads". AllMusic. Retrieved January 4, 2015.  ^ Aaron, Charles (August 2004). "New Wave". Spin. New York: 104. Retrieved April 4, 2013.  ^ Gittins, Ian (September 1, 2004). Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime, The Stories Behind Every Song. Hal Leonard Corporation. p. 39. ISBN 0-634-08033-4. Retrieved April 4, 2013.  ^ Grimstad, Paul. "What is Avant-Pop?". Brooklyn Rail. Retrieved 1 October 2016.  ^ Reynolds, Simon (2005). Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-1984. Penguin. p. 163.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ a b Gimarc, George, Punk Diary, p. 148. ^ Barbara Charone (October, 1979). "More Songs About Typing and Vacuuming". Creem, n.p.c. link. Retrieved June 17, 2010. ^ " XTC
XTC
on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 4 January 2015.  ^ William Ruhlmann. " More Songs About Buildings and Food
More Songs About Buildings and Food
- Talking Heads - Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 4 January 2015.  ^ "Albums and Tracks of the Year". NME. 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2016.  ^ Ruhlmann, William. " More Songs About Buildings and Food
More Songs About Buildings and Food
– Talking Heads". AllMusic. Retrieved January 4, 2015.  ^ Kot, Greg (May 6, 1990). " Talking Heads
Talking Heads
On The Record". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 8, 2015.  ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings and Food". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the '70s. Ticknor and Fields. ISBN 0-89919-026-X. Retrieved February 4, 2016.  ^ Larkin, Colin (2011). The Encyclopedia of Popular Music (5th concise ed.). Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-85712-595-8.  ^ Courtney, Kevin (January 13, 2006). "Talking Heads: 77/More Songs About Buildings and Food/Fear of Music/Remain in Light". The Irish Times. Retrieved November 8, 2015.  ^ Emerson, Ken. "Talking Heads: More Songs About Buildings And Food". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on May 29, 2001. Retrieved February 4, 2016.  ^ Sheffield, Rob (2004). "Talking Heads". In Brackett, Nathan; Hoard, Christian. The New Rolling Stone
Rolling Stone
Album
Album
Guide (4th ed.). Simon & Schuster. pp. 802–03. ISBN 0-7432-0169-8.  ^ Weisbard, Eric; Marks, Craig, eds. (1995). Spin Alternative Record Guide. Vintage Books. p. 394. ISBN 0-679-75574-8.  ^ Shapiro, Peter (February 2006). "The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth". Uncut (105): 82.  ^ [1] ^ Discogs - Benjamin Armbrister - profile and discography ^ "British album certifications – Talking Heads
Talking Heads
– More songs". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter More songs in the search field and then press Enter. ^ "American album certifications – Talking Heads
Talking Heads
– More songs". Recording Industry Association of America.  If necessary, click Advanced, then click Format, then select Album, then click SEARCH

v t e

Talking Heads

David Byrne Chris Frantz Jerry Harrison Tina Weymouth

Studio albums

Talking Heads: 77 More Songs About Buildings and Food Fear of Music Remain in Light Speaking in Tongues Little Creatures True Stories Naked

Live albums

The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads Stop Making Sense

Compilations

Sand in the Vaseline: Popular Favorites Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads Once in a Lifetime The Best of Talking Heads Talking Heads Bonus Rarities and Outtakes

Singles

"Love → Building on Fire" "Psycho Killer" "Take Me to the River" "Life During Wartime" "I Zimbra" "Cities" "Crosseyed and Painless" "Once in a Lifetime" "Houses in Motion" "Burning Down the House" "This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" "Girlfriend Is Better" "Road to Nowhere" "And She Was" "Wild Wild Life" "Blind" "(Nothing But) Flowers" "Sax and Violins"

Other songs

"Heaven" "Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)"

Filmography

Stop Making Sense True Stories Storytelling Giant

Related articles

Discography How Music Works "King's Lead Hat" My Life in the Bush of Ghosts No Talking, Just Head Sounds from True Stories Tom Tom Club