Talking Headswere 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 Weymouthwas 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.
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.
The production was also by the aforementioned Brian Enoborn 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.
Leo Sayer is an English singer songwriter born in Shoreham-by-Sea, Sussex in 1948. It is recorded that he was discovered by David Courtney who co-managed him along with British Singer / Actor Adam Faith. Faith had several successful hit singles and 4 albums during the early 1960’s.
Just A Boy was Sayers second album released 9 months after his duet album Silverbird reached #2 in the UK in early 1974. Sayers style on this record I would describe as very quirky but with a hint of blues and reminds me that when you hear his voice there is a unique quality to it. Only two singles were released from it however most of Sayers singles in his career made the top 10 in the UK. The singles released were One Man Band UK #6 and Long Tall Glasses UK #4 US #9
Side one opens with “Telepath” where the vocals have a strange rasping vibrato style to it. “Train” opens in a soft ballad style but goes into a pop chorus. “Bells of St Marys” is a piano lead and is my favourite track of side 1. Its laid back soft blues where you can pick out the bass and percussion. This is followed by the single “One Man Band”. The final track is “In My Life” a soulful and bluesy vocal due to organ and electric guitar backing.
Side two opens with “When I came Home This Morning” where his vocal is both sensitive and powerful. A move to country for the second single off the album “Long Tall Glasses”. This is followed by “Another Time” where his vocal rasps in places. Track 4 is “Solo” again his vocal is stamped all over this. The the album finishes with the title track “Giving It All Away” where the title of the album “Just A Boy” forms part of the lyrics. A fantastic classic track, a ballad with emotion and again piano lead.
All songs were written by Leo Sayer and David Courtney. Production by David Courtney and Adam Faith.
The album made it to #4 in the UK charting for 14 weeks and also was a major hit in the US reaching #16.
My copy is actually the US pressing on Warner Brothers. I bought the album in a bargain bin in “Lewis’” Birmingham. The record shop has long gone, but would say I got it in the very early 1980’s