Talking Heads: Little Creatures poll

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Little Creatures is the sixth album by Talking Heads, released in 1985. The album examined themes of Americana and incorporated elements of country music, with many songs featuring the steel guitar. It was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice Pazz & Jop critics poll.

http://www.leninimports.com/talking_heads_gallery_1.jpg

Poll Results

OptionVotes
9. "Road to Nowhere" – 4:19 14
6. "Stay Up Late" – 3:51 10
1. "And She Was" – 3:36 9
3. "Creatures of Love" – 4:12 3
4. "The Lady Don't Mind" – 4:03 3
7. "Walk It Down" – 4:42 3
2. "Give Me Back My Name" – 3:20 1
8. "Television Man" – 6:10 1
5. "Perfect World" – 4:26 0


Bee OK, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:03 (thirteen years ago) link

this might be my favorite TH album even though I think that's a wildly unpopular opinion.

hop up out the bed, turn my Drag-On (surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:06 (thirteen years ago) link

toss up between And She Was and The Lady Don't Mind

caek, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:06 (thirteen years ago) link

tight album

caek, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:06 (thirteen years ago) link

"Walk It Down"

hop up out the bed, turn my Drag-On (surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:07 (thirteen years ago) link

I really don't think I like any of these songs. I really don't like this album. Even True Stories has some good moments, Naked is brilliant in comparison but this is yuck. I think I'll have to vote for Television Man even though it's almost a self parody.

the next grozart, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:07 (thirteen years ago) link

And She Was is baout the most likeable song ever imo

wilter, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:10 (thirteen years ago) link

The first one I ever bought, and while far from a favorite, I really enjoy about half of it. In retrospect it pointed to a second chapter in Byrne's emotional life that he was, unfortunately, uninterested in exploring with the band in the best position to articulate it. "Television Man" is an underrated jam, and "And She Was" and "Road to Nowhere" are terrific singles.

But I'm voting for "Creatures of Love," the silly love song that too often gets passed over in favor of "This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody)." Its guitar lines sound more like King Sunny Ade than we knew at the time.

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:14 (thirteen years ago) link

"And She Was" is about the most cheerful shit I can stand to listen to but "Road to Nowhere" at either the very beginning of a road trip or when your road trip destination is in sight (esp if it's the OCEAN) is about the best pop music gets.

bread will never maybe attack your brain again (nickalicious), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:45 (thirteen years ago) link

"Stay Up Late" was made into a very creepy children's book that my parents used to read to me, so I voted for that.

I'm the head soul brother in the US. Where to now? (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:49 (thirteen years ago) link

I am very sad to be reminded that this is where a band I adored entirely, utterly, and eternally lost all appeal for me. There is not a single song in that batch that I care to ever hear again.

Fishes, You Hit Me With A Flounder (Dr. Joseph A. Ofalt), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 01:51 (thirteen years ago) link

this might be my favorite TH album

to be fair i'm gonna SB this cock-mongler until they ban me from the site

Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:12 (thirteen years ago) link

"Stay Up Late" vs "Road To Nowhere"

I can sit in my car all day, and that doesn't make me a car. (HI DERE), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:25 (thirteen years ago) link

I can't figure any serious method of this being yr fave TH album unless you're making some kind of "the Byrne Dies Screaming" party anthem.

Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:28 (thirteen years ago) link

a) what the fuck are you talking about?
b) David Byrne dies screaming party anthem sounds amazing
3) no YOU'RE a cock-mongler

hop up out the bed, turn my Drag-On (surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:31 (thirteen years ago) link

to be fair

hop up out the bed, turn my Drag-On (surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:31 (thirteen years ago) link

I can understand why this might be a fan favorite (and it's one of the band's best sellers): it's weird! the tunes are catchy! Their personality was intact. What's hard to understand?

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:34 (thirteen years ago) link

LITTLE CREATURES being yo fave Talking Heads album is like Ball Cancer being yo fave death how much clearer cd I be?

Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:35 (thirteen years ago) link

This is the only album I don't own and/or listen to as an ALBUM but 7/10 of these songs are permanently lodged in my 8GB ipod so there's that!

bread will never maybe attack your brain again (nickalicious), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:39 (thirteen years ago) link

And tbh 7-10 on this album is maybe the best ENDING of any TH album (besides I guess maybe MSABAF?).

bread will never maybe attack your brain again (nickalicious), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:40 (thirteen years ago) link

"Walk It Down" is secret weapon on this LP

sleeve, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:55 (thirteen years ago) link

I rilly like this album btw

Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 02:56 (thirteen years ago) link

I thought "And She Was" would be a smash single as a follow-on to "Burning Down the House." Not quite. In the US it peaked at #54 vs. "BDTH" which made it to #9. In the UK, "And She Was" went to #14 and "BDTH" failed to chart. I'm with the US.

I think I'll vote for the Lady.

that's not my post, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 03:23 (thirteen years ago) link

i had no idea this won Pazz & Jop in 1985, that was a big surprise!

Bee OK, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 05:09 (thirteen years ago) link

"Road to Nowhere" at least has a hint of "The Big Country". Other than that, after looking at this tracklisting again (and I listened to this dozens of times in high school), I'd be happy not hearing this again.

Eazy, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 05:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Stay Up Late is a great song. And She Was and Road to Nowhere are too, but going with my first instinct.

Johnny Fever, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 05:46 (thirteen years ago) link

This album is awesome! Such a diverse discography, they have.
Great album cover, too:
http://radiovalentinletelier.cl/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/talking-heads-little-creatures-1985.jpg

Shannon Whirry & the Bad Brains, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 06:17 (thirteen years ago) link

voted for "stay up late," which besides affectionate evocation of bemused parenthood has a good breakdown and that out-of-left-field david ruffin moment.

this is a pretty great pop-rock album, i can't understand antipathy toward it. unless people either hate pop-rock or just don't think it's something talking heads should have sullied their hands with.

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 06:21 (thirteen years ago) link

shouldn't have, i mean.

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 06:21 (thirteen years ago) link

should have, i mean. (i got my negatives all criss-crossed.)

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 06:22 (thirteen years ago) link

"And She Was" was a great little pop song, so I voted for that one.

Geir Hongro, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 08:21 (thirteen years ago) link

i had no idea this won Pazz & Jop in 1985, that was a big surprise!

I didn't know that either. There were several great albums released that year, but this wasn't one of them.

featuring Strawberry and the Shortcakes (Billy Dods), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 08:27 (thirteen years ago) link

Well done to Geir for picking out the great little pop song buried in all those 15 minute Prog epics.

Passantino Complexion (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 08:43 (thirteen years ago) link

'Stay Up Late' wins, and I haven't heard that for ages.

zeus, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 14:40 (thirteen years ago) link

stay up late

dan selzer, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 14:58 (thirteen years ago) link

"Road to Nowhere" easily. The rest of this album practically made me hate the band.

Alex in NYC, Wednesday, 15 April 2009 15:51 (thirteen years ago) link

All I remember about this album is loving the singles and skipping over everything else.

I can sit in my car all day, and that doesn't make me a car. (HI DERE), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 15:53 (thirteen years ago) link

i have an oddly vivid memory of hearing "and she was" (then brand new) blaring over the p.a. pre-show while lying on the lawn at an outdoor concert space waiting for graham parker to open for ... eric clapton, maybe? i don't remember for sure who the headliner was, but i totally remember hearing that song there.

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 16:11 (thirteen years ago) link

(i think the reason i remember it is the "lying in the grass" line, while i was lying in the grass, whoa dude)

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 16:12 (thirteen years ago) link

Road to Nowhere - best lyrical conceit on the record

Pre-Beatles Yoko Ono (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 16:37 (thirteen years ago) link

LITTLE CREATURES being yo fave Talking Heads album is like Ball Cancer being yo fave death how much clearer cd I be?

― Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:35 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

so in this analogy death = talking heads albums. what is your point and why post in this thread? If I made a BEST CANCER TO DIE FROM poll on ILE and I picked ball cancer would you be like "baaawww what an IDIOT!! who picks ball cancer I mean clearly THE worst sugban!!"

also

I rilly like this album btw

― Straight from the Top of My Dom (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, April 14, 2009 10:56 PM (Yesterday) Bookmark

my conclusion: you like ball cancer so you're an idiot

hop up out the bed, turn my Drag-On (surfboard dudes get wiped out, totally), Wednesday, 15 April 2009 16:46 (thirteen years ago) link

i probably think "Creatures of Love" is their best pop song they have ever done.

Bee OK, Friday, 17 April 2009 00:39 (thirteen years ago) link

for The Beginning Of The End this is a great, great record

"And She Was" vs. "Creatures Of Love" with "The Lady Don't Mind" coming up fast on the outside. I kinda like that style.

butt-rock miyagi (rogermexico.), Friday, 17 April 2009 02:05 (thirteen years ago) link

I liked it a lot when it came out, being a Heads freak, but it's barely held up over the years. I wouldn't call it a bad album; there are some good pop songs, but they're far less interesting or unique pop songs than anything on the first 2 albums.

I disliked Speaking in Tongues from the start, yet I'm more likely to listen to that than Little Creatures nowadays. Speaking in Tongues = Interesting failure. Little Creatures = Boring success.

Voted "Road to Nowhere," which is kind of odd because I usually hate songs in march tempo.

Hideous Lump, Friday, 17 April 2009 03:00 (thirteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Saturday, 18 April 2009 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

I love this band to death, but have never really liked this album, as hard as I have tried. It's hurt so much by not really bad production but just really plain, boring production, which tends to bring the songs down with it. I mean, the songs aren't bad. It's just sort of ... there. I even listen to "Naked" a lot more.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 April 2009 00:31 (thirteen years ago) link

naked is ok, but i think the songwriting on this one is a lot stronger. i even think the songwriting on true stories is better than naked. i sort of think naked gets overrated for having been somewhat a return to art-rock form after their two pop albums.

would you ask tom petty that? (tipsy mothra), Sunday, 19 April 2009 00:58 (thirteen years ago) link

is Naked ever overrated? You get it right in your first sentence: it was a sign that the Heads could "expand" all over again, without being a totally successful album in its own right. Naked is one of the rare examplesin my canon of a perfectly good album whose quality fails to compensate for its redundancy.

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 April 2009 01:15 (thirteen years ago) link

Controversy: "(Nothing But) Flowers" >>> anything on "Little Creatures." Except maybe "Creatures of Love."

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 April 2009 02:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 19 April 2009 23:01 (thirteen years ago) link

Very reasonable.

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Sunday, 19 April 2009 23:16 (thirteen years ago) link

This was the most Soto-esque of their albums, though, was it not?

Kevin John Bozelka, Monday, 20 April 2009 15:10 (thirteen years ago) link

haha -- you'll have to explain that one.

I'm crossing over into enterprise (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 20 April 2009 15:11 (thirteen years ago) link

Controversy: "(Nothing But) Flowers" >>> anything on "Little Creatures." Except maybe "Creatures of Love."

― Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 19 April 2009 02:13 (Yesterday) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

You'll have to do better than that - "Nothing But Flowers" is one of my favourite TH songs on any album. I'll defend "Naked" and place it as high as any of their classic stuff really.

the next grozart, Monday, 20 April 2009 15:23 (thirteen years ago) link

xpost

You're the ILM keeper of the mature, Apollonian, usually 1980s, well-produced, well-made song. This Talking Heads album dealt in such creatures more than any other.

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 21 April 2009 11:32 (thirteen years ago) link

five years pass...

entire album is worth it for the way he sings "from a bott-ull" on Stay Up Late.

piscesx, Saturday, 3 May 2014 13:22 (eight years ago) link

Naked is my favourite Talking Heads album. I'm not so keen on Remain in Light, it sounds too 'whitey' and cold - I'd rather go listen to King Sunny Ade's stuff of the same period.
I also like David Byrne's solo stuff way more than the Heads'. his singing voice, songwriting, emotional power all developed further since the band's demise and no-one's ever pointing that out. I prefer davidbyrne and Feelings to anything Talking Heads released (except maybe for Naked).
I like Little Creatures. I'd have voted The Lady Don't Mind.

Max Florian, Saturday, 3 May 2014 15:01 (eight years ago) link

three years pass...

Stay up late!

Droni Mitchell (Ross), Friday, 13 April 2018 05:19 (four years ago) link

max florian has some opinions up there
they're different, those opinions
i don't like it

Karl Malone, Friday, 13 April 2018 05:31 (four years ago) link

two years pass...

Does "Stay Up Late" invent Black Francis?

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 2 August 2020 15:23 (one year ago) link

He always seemed more the Gordon Gano type.

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 2 August 2020 16:33 (one year ago) link

Ah, good call. More genuine (less performative) pathos in Gano though

Paul Ponzi, Sunday, 2 August 2020 16:44 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

picked up a copy of this recently, first album of theirs i've really given sustained multiple listens to! but tbh what i really wanted was a nice copy of Remain In Light, which i've heard a few times, and i think I'm unfairly holding it against Little Creatures that it doesn't sound more like that.

in particular, I'm missing the whole Fela Kuti/Brian Eno thing of those polyrhythmic layered-up arrangements where each person in the band is basically throwing down their own earwormy book continuously, producing so much momentum... here the band (mostly) feel like they're laying down an unobtrusive floor slab for Byrne's lyrics. right now only And She Was and Road to Nowhere (the ones i already knew) stand out, leaving a lot of hazy middle.

but some bits of some of the tunes are starting to pop up in my head, so i still think it could prove to be a grower...

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 16 June 2022 14:37 (two weeks ago) link

"The Lady Don't Mind" and "Television Man."

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 June 2022 14:52 (two weeks ago) link

Decidedly second-tier, though.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 June 2022 14:53 (two weeks ago) link

Yeah, it took me awhile to like this. It's kind of proof that their older approach to music can still yield great and more accessible results almost a decade later. I think it was the first Talking Heads album to go platinum too, so from that perspective it arguably showed how "ahead of their time" they were in terms of the pop mainstream. But that also means the album was breaking little if any new ground, so I'm a little reluctant to call it a truly great album. Still highly enjoyable, I remember throwing "And She Was" on to a class presentation once, only for like 10 seconds, and that was enough to get some people dancing.

birdistheword, Thursday, 16 June 2022 14:56 (two weeks ago) link

Beneath the heartland arrangement, the ominous minor chords of "Give Me Back My Name" are the last departing wave of the Fear of Music era.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 16 June 2022 15:28 (two weeks ago) link

I don't really return to this album much, and "And She Was" is in some ways not that much like the TH singles that come before it -- I almost think of it as a one-hit wonder by a version of this band that only existed for this one album. But.... what a hit! The kind of perfect pop uplift people are so often trying to hit and missing. I love it eternally.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Thursday, 16 June 2022 15:31 (two weeks ago) link

ftr "And She Was" is the Heads song I hear most in the wild.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 June 2022 15:34 (two weeks ago) link

I know this isn't a highly regarded Talking Heads album but just the same, still really like it. The two songs I still gravitate to most are "Stay Up Late" and "Little Creatures." I think KROQ who is most responsible for that.

Bee OK, Thursday, 16 June 2022 19:40 (two weeks ago) link

Meant "Creatures of Love."

Bee OK, Thursday, 16 June 2022 19:44 (two weeks ago) link

FWIW, I also dig the music videos.

birdistheword, Thursday, 16 June 2022 22:25 (two weeks ago) link

Will maintain till I die: Creatures of Love >>>>> This Must Be the Place

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 June 2022 22:43 (two weeks ago) link

Well that's an opinion

Vinnie, Thursday, 16 June 2022 23:11 (two weeks ago) link

I like the latter, but the former is so damn pretty with its pedal steel and its harmonies.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 June 2022 23:14 (two weeks ago) link

Also: "I've seen sex and I think it's okay" is as profound a line coming from this man as "Home is where I want to be"

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 16 June 2022 23:15 (two weeks ago) link

the ominous minor chords of "Give Me Back My Name" are the last departing wave of the Fear of Music era.

Word. Little Creautures was the first Talking Heads I heard, at 10 or whatever, and "Name" was the big hint that they were potentially more interesting/idiosyncratic/unsettling than then-recent airplay had indicated.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Friday, 17 June 2022 03:18 (two weeks ago) link

its always been remarkable to me how after the soaring peak of Stop Making Sense & all the interplay, imagination and power on display there, they follow it up with a record where all of those exciting musical dynamics have been wiped away and harrison frantz & weymouth sound bland and anonymous, like an assemblage of crack session players (as dr casino noted.) the hits are undeniable and the album cuts ("stay up late" & "creatures of love" especially) are way underrated in the their catalog. but the only identifiable musical personality on it is byrne, and for that reason i'll never be able to truly love it.

ive been revisiting this era recently after coming across a folder of tracks i never heard before, 1984 home demos by byrne of songs that would end up on this and true stories, mostly just guitar & drum machine. its fun to hear the tunes wiped of their pop sheen. the acoustic take on "lady dont mind" seems to consciously reference "psycho killer", and "give me back my name" definitely stands out as something that could have been a lost track from 1978.

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 17 June 2022 13:01 (two weeks ago) link

Listening to LC after buying Rei Momo, I could hear the continuity in Byrne's vocalizing choices; he had started singing "normally" on LC.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 June 2022 13:22 (two weeks ago) link

xp 6 of 9 tracks are credited only to Byrne, including the three best-known singles. I know Frantz's book mentioned that Byrne attempted to take all of the songwriting credit on one of their earlier albums (which didn't get past the band's approval), but in this case, is it an accurate reflection of how much of the album came from Byrne alone?

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 14:32 (two weeks ago) link

Sounds like it if you've heard the demos. Funny how Frantz mentions it when Frantz is the Heads member most often credited with co-writes.

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 17 June 2022 14:36 (two weeks ago) link

Apparently, Byrne always regarded the band as his. At one point, he "fired" the others.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Friday, 17 June 2022 14:37 (two weeks ago) link

xp Could be the squeaky wheel gets the grease, where someone else is likely to let it slide but Frantz is like "PUT MY NAME DOWN IN THE CREDITS!"

birdistheword, Friday, 17 June 2022 14:47 (two weeks ago) link

iirc in Frantz's book he frames their discussion abt songwriter credit as a moment when, not long after "learning how publishing works" (how long after? CF doesnt say) Byrne approached him about being the sole lyric writer bc he felt uncomfortable singing words he didnt write - not an unheard-of thing among singers ime, but in Frantz's telling Byrne is obv lying and it's a sinister deception in order to greedily capture publishing money. but idk listening to frantz's lyrics in the years since TH i cant say as i blame byrne.

nb: i've always taken Frantz's malevolent depictions of Byrne with a grain of salt, obv i'm sure he was not the worlds most chill collaborator but i've always assumed the truth is somewhere in between (espec since Byrne has historically held back from dishing dirt from his side.) I felt Frantz's book to be particularly cruel imho, especially if you look with modern eyes on Byrne in his youth as someone navigating neurodivergence/autism spectrum issues in an era when that was considered a punchline. Frantz makes sure to include seemingly every time someone said anything bad about Byrne, incl many stories about people mocking his body & appearance, which felt ott. lots of bits like "here were me and tina drinking and partying with such-and-such famous person, but then david embarrassed us by leaving without saying goodbye, what a weird asshole!"

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 17 June 2022 15:29 (two weeks ago) link

like, not impossible for me to imagine a more sympathetic reading where byrne, as he grows more self confident, decides he doesnt need to keep accepting poetry tips from his pushy jock drummer

nobody like my rap (One Eye Open), Friday, 17 June 2022 15:32 (two weeks ago) link


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