Credit: Craig Howell

Talking Heads get fiery and funky on their ‘Remain In Light’ tour in Rome, 1980

If there’s one band who should always be experienced both in your headphones and on stage it’s David Byrne’s Talking Heads. One of the first acts to truly warrant a concert film, this clip sees the band in full flow.

The video below isn’t the band’s legendary 1983 film Stop Making Sense but sees the band on the road to their peak. The Talking Heads arrived in Rome back in 1980 as conquerors of the new wave sound.

The group were two months down the road from their mega-album Remain In Light and were steeped in funky grooves that had seen them burst away from the rest of the new wave movement. While Blondie and co were wearing brash make-up, David Byrne and the rest of the band were starting fires across the globe. They arrived in the Italian capital with a match and a Molotov cocktail.

It was the end of a very long tour when they took to the stage at the Palazzo dello Sport in Rome. The band had Adrian Belew and Parliament-Funkadelic keyboardist Bernie Worrell sitting pretty on stage and they benefitted from the increased musicianship.

While many of their performances are just nuggets of gold for those who attended and intent on mining their musical minds. Luckily, this performance was caught on film. It makes for a video volume of reasons why you should always have a Talking Heads record in your collection.

The performance at Palazzo dello Sport, not only highlights the ludicrous talent of the band, but also the sheer audacity they had to produce and deliver such mercurial work. It’s a venue which has seen some of the greatest rock and roll acts grace its stage and Talking Heads are certainly one of the best.

Exploring the undulating setlist, the band performed five tracks from the 14 that makeup Remain In Light. Songs like ‘Houses In Motion’ and ‘Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On)’ take on a rawer, more frenetic guise on the stage, with the Talking Heads — then at the peak of their powers also providing a taste of what the decade would hold in their iconic song ‘Once In A Lifetime’.

It’s a classic performance from the band and sees them at the peak of their powers. While the whole performance is certainly worth your time—and let’s face it, we have a lot of it nowadays—if you’ve only got a few minutes, catch their performance of ‘Crosseyed and Painless’ for a preview of their fiery and funky performance in Rome, 1980.

Full performance:

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