Former Talking Heads Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth are returning to their Tom Tom Club side project, started in 1981 during an earlier break with the band. A forthcoming five-song EP will be their first music since 2000′s The Good, the Bad and the Funky; Frantz and Weymouth said a spring tour is in the works, as well.
As with the Tom Tom Club’s previous five projects, a rotating cast of musicians are featured. Frantz and Weymouth told Billboard.com that the EP will include a remake of “Love Tape” by the Pinker Tones, the Spanish electronica group. “It’s been very exciting,” Frantz said. “We recorded it with the touring band we have, and it sounds really great.”
Named after the dancehall in the Bahamas where the group initially rehearsed, Tom Tom Club had club hits with “Genius of Love” (which eventually became a staple for hip-hop sampling) and “Wordy Rappinghood,” both from their self-titled debut on Sire in 1981. The group also had a Top 40 UK hit with a cover version of The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk.”
Initially, Frantz and Weymouth — married since 1977 — viewed Tom Tom Club as a stop gap, something to do between Talking Heads albums. Thirty years later, they’ve only performed in concert with frontman David Byrne and keyboardist Jerry Harrison once since the Heads’ official breakup in 1991 — at the band’s 2002 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
“We thought of Tom Tom Club as a studio dance band, but instead it’s kind of replaced what Talking Heads was for us,” Weymouth said. “It’s the band that goes out and tours now. It’s wonderful and it’s crazy because we’re with a group of people that actually love being together and miss each other when they’re not together — which is an amazing, remarkable dynamic and chemistry. It’s so… I can be as bad as anything and they’ll totally make up for any flaws. It’s really a beautiful thing.”
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on the Talking Heads. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: TALKING HEADS: The Talking Heads seemed to do what so few manage – start a career almost fully formed, then gradually grow without giving up their signature style. They emerged weird, polished that weirdness, and let the world catch up. You really have to put your mind back in the 1970s to imagine how different they were: There’s disco here, hard rock and heavy metal over there, and to that other side is punk. And then, right here, tucked away in this little corner, is a found-object quartet of funky art-school nerdiness. They were, really, a tremendous relief. And, even as we’ve gotten older, the Talking Heads are still making sense.
TALKING HEADS – CHRONOLOGY DVD (2012): An often fascinating look back at the short, but trailblazing career of one of rock and roll’s most unlikely success stories, as viewed through the rear view window of music video and documentary footage. But you won’t find any of the live sequences from the great Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, nor the MTV videos for songs like “Burning Down The House” here (though there is a performance of that song from the old David Letterman show). Instead,Chronology tells the Talking Heads story through the use of more rarely seen footage, that stretches from the band’s earliest days at New York punk rock clubs like CBGB, to their reunion upon the event of their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002.
TALKING HEADS: THE NAME OF THIS BAND IS … (1982): A definitive entry in the Talking Heads’ catalog this was somehow out of print at one point for, what, nearly two full decades? I was lucky enough to stumble upon a bootleg copy of the vinyl a while back but the sound quality was pretty rough; there was no doubt it came from a well-loved copy of the vinyl. Then, in 2004, Rhino reissued this amazing live compilation spanning the years 1977-1981 with a whole slew of bonus tracks, filling out both discs to near-capacity.