Talking Heads' 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense was a shocker at the time: No backstage footage, no stoned interviews, no clichés. Just a kickass nine-piece band burning down the house for 90 minutes of art-damaged space funk. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it's one of the alltime great concert movies – a flick that could always get a theater crowd up and dancing by the third song. And for its 30th birthday, it gets its first-ever digital release. David Byrne starts the show solo with "Psycho Killer," just his guitar and a boombox, twitching in his famous white suit. But the band builds up, piece by piece, with so many unforgettable moments: the soulful acoustic "Heaven," Byrne's tango with a lamp in "This Must Be the Place," the climactic blowout "Crosseyed and Painless." The anniversary reissue adds a couple of bonus tracks ("Cities" and "Big Business/I Zimbra"). Stop Making Sense remains a uniquely festive celebration of music and the slippery people who make it. At the end, even the roadies come out to take a bow.
From The Archives Issue 1215: August 14, 2014