Once In A Lifetime – Talking Heads (1980)

Sire Records SIR 4048

Talking Heads were an American Rock Band who formed in 1975 (New York) and in the UK they signed to Warner Brothers’ subsidiary label Sire Records. All the members became involved with other projects both during their time together and after their disbanding in 1991. David Byrne was the main songwriter and vocalist. Tina Weymouth was the bass player, drums by Chris Frantz and keyboards and guitars by Jerry Harrison. They recorded three albums gaining RIAA Gold status in the US up to 1980 and released a few singles that really didn’t trouble the upper part of the charts. Much of the music produced was described as a mixture of new wave, punk, avant-garde, and dance.

Picture Sleeve for “Once In A Lifetime”

The first hit to enter the top 100 in the UK was the track “Once In A Lifetime”. In a ten week run starting in February 1981 the song slowly climbed to #14 stalling for two weeks. It also became a hit top 40 hit in Canada, The Netherlands, and Australia. A curious mix of spoken word verses and sung chorus it was different from many of the sounds being produced at the time. Possibly experimental even though it is very bass and percussion driven with synth overtones co written by Byrne and Brian Eno.

B-Side “Seen and not seen”

The production was also by the aforementioned Brian Eno born Suffolk, England who was once a member of English rock band Roxy Music. He left and became known for his prolific association as a musician, writer and producer with other artists such as Genesis, David Bowie, U2 and Paul Simon. The B side is “Seen And Not Seen” again in a spoken word style written by the same team.


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