Talking Heads is heading back to the theaters.
No, the seminal New Wave band of the 1970s and 80s is not reforming and going on tour – that will probably never happen. But their landmark concert film Stop Making Sense is getting a re-release from indie distributor A24.
Talking Heads frontman David Byrne let the news slip in an interview with Entertainment Weekly about his preparations to perform his Academy Award nominated original song “This Is A Life,” this Sunday during the Oscar Ceremony telecast. Byrne co-wrote the song with singer-songwriter Mitski for this year’s 800-pound awards season gorilla Everything Everywhere All At Once, also released by A24.
Byrne did not give an indication as to when the re-release would be happening, but it could conceivably happen by the end of the year.
Talking Heads formed in in New York in 1975, with Byrne joining with drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth, and a bit later guitarist and keyboardist Jerry Harrison. The band was one of the foremost groups of the city’s burgeoning punk/new wave music scene alongside the Ramones, Blondie and Television. They later immortalized that era of playing in rock clubs such as CBGB’s and the Mudd Club in a line of their song “Life During Wartime.”
Released in 1984, Stop Making Sense was a hit with both movie and music critics, and it still continues to place high on various lists of best concert films of all time. Collaborating with director Johnathan Demme, the band set out to capture their Remain In Light tour by filming the final four performances at Los Angeles’s Pantages Theater in December 1983. By this time, the band had expanded to include keyboardist Bernie Worrell, guitarist Alex Weir, percussionist Steve Scales and Ednah Holt and Lynn Mabry on backing vocals.
Stop Making Sense pioneered the use of 24-track digital sound recording for concert films while the soundtrack album went double platinum, selling more than two million copies.
In 2021, the Library of Congress named Stop Making Sense as one of the 25 films it annually adds to the United States National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.