Deluxe Edition of Talking Heads’ Seminal Stop Making Sense Returns in 2LP Black Vinyl and 2LP Crystal-Clear Vinyl Options on July 26

Thankfully, Sense is being made once again — quite literally. What I mean by that is, the expanded soundtrack of Talking Heads’ seminal 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense will be re-released in a pair of 2LP editions by Sire/Rhino on July 26, 2024.

The now-sold-out 2LP deluxe edition of SMS that was initially released on August 18, 2023, returns to the marketplace in July on 2LP black vinyl (SRP: $39.99) as well as via a 2LP crystal-clear vinyl option that will be available at Barnes & Noble as a B&N Exclusive (SRP: $41.99; shown below, and pre-orderable here). Both variants feature a 12-page booklet with liner notes from all four bandmembers — bassist/vocalist Tina Weymouth, vocalist/guitarist David Byrne, drummer/vocalist Chris Frantz, and guitarist/keyboardist/vocalist Jerry Harrison — along with band photos. Just like their 2023 2LP predecessor, both re-release versions of SMS have also been earmarked as limited editions.

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As faithful readers will recall, yours truly, along with AP contributor Mark Smotroff, co-wrote a tag-team review of the initial 2LP 40th anniversary deluxe edition of SMS that posted here on August 25, 2023. As either a refresher or a first take, you can read that review right here to glean all the salient pressing-related and listening-evaluation details. We rated this SMS 11 for Music and 9 for Sound. A quick look at Discogs finds (as of this posting) that sealed, unplayed M (i.e., mint) copies of that particular 2LP edition start at $83.

Stop Making Sense — initially released on vinyl in its abbreviated, nine-track 1LP form by Sire in September 1984 as the ostensible soundtrack to the still influential shot-in-1983 concert film directed by Jonathan Demme — centered around Talking Heads music. But now, the expanded, 18-track 2LP edition includes the Heads’ versions of a few songs originally recorded outside the band — “Genius of Love” by Tom Tom Club (Side 4, Track 1) from the June 1981 Weymouth/Frantz sideproject on Sire, Tom Tom Club, along with “What a Day That Was” (Side 3, Track 1) and “Big Business” (Side 3, Track 4), the latter two tracks coming from Byrne’s December 1981 Sire release The Complete Score From the Broadway Production of “The Catherine Wheel.” Limited-edition vinyl versions of both of those albums, along with Harrison’s 1981 solo effort on Sire, The Red and The Black, were released for Record Store Day last year. (You can read our review of The Catherine Wheel LP here.)

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In an official press release for the re-release edition, all four Talking Heads bandmembers had some interesting things to say about the SMS experience. Weymouth praised Demme as a collaborator. “Jonathan was a very enthusiastic, highly adaptive, and imaginative guy who was just as good a listener as he was a talker and collaborator. From the get-go, you just got the impression he was as flexible as he was disciplined. Being team players, that boded well for a great relationship and a great film!”

Harrison added that the film still holds up today (and we very much agree). “To me, Stop Making Sense has remained relevant because the staging and lighting techniques could have been created in a much earlier time period. For example, Vari-Lights, lights with motors to re-aim them, had just come into vogue. Had we used them, there would have been a timestamp on the film, and it eventually would have felt dated. . . The absence of interviews, combined with the elegant and timeless lighting, created a film that can be watched over and over.”

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For his part, Byrne said it’s interesting that this album was, for many people, an introduction to Talking Heads. “We had done a live album before this [March 1982’s The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads, also on Sire], but coupled with the film, and with the improved mixes and sound quality, this record reached a whole new audience. As often happens, the songs got an added energy when we performed them live and were inspired by having an audience. In many ways, these versions are more exciting than the studio recordings, so maybe that’s why a lot of folks discovered us via this record.”

Finally, Frantz recalled the sheer joy surrounding the entire Stop Making Sense experience. “I’m talking about real, conscious, transcendent joy. . . I’m talking about what the Southern gospel people call ‘getting happy,’ which means ‘to be filled with the Spirit.’ That is what happened to us onstage every night, and from my seat behind the drums, I recognized that this was happening to the audience too. Joy was visible in front of me and all around me every night.”

Considering how much we absolutely loved — and still love — the expanded version of SMS on double vinyl, we wholeheartedly recommend you pre-order your copy today via the Music Direct link directly below.

Music Direct Buy It Now

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TALKING HEADS
STOP MAKING SENSE

2LP (Sire/Rhino)

Side One
1. Psycho Killer
2. Heaven
3. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel
4. Found A Job
5. Slippery People
6. Cities*

Side Two
1. Burning Down The House
2. Life During Wartime
3. Making Flippy Floppy
4. Swamp

Side Three
1. What a Day That Was
2. This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)
3. Once In A Lifetime
4. Big Business / I Zimbra*

Side Four
1. Genius Of Love
2. Girlfriend Is Better
3. Take Me To The River
4. Crosseyed And Painless

*previously unreleased

COMMENTS
Glotz's picture

Smart for them not to waste time on a re-press. Yes.... pre-order.

vinyl listener's picture

The '23 2LP set was awful.

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sabrina's picture

Just one week left until the deluxe edition of Stop Making Sense drops! I can’t wait to revisit this classic Retro Bowl College in such a special format!

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