Talking Heads, “Crosseyed and Painless” from Remain in Light (1980): One Track Mind

Share this:

First, there’s this cascading rhythm, almost like an avalanche of keyboard scronks, humping bass and sawing psycho-killer guitar from the Talking Heads. Everything is happening all at once, yet flowing together in a recognizably soulful torrent.

The Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless,” released as part of the Brian Eno-helmed Remain in Light on Oct. 8, 1980, was a fizzy blend of Africana and funk, through the too-thick lenses of t-shirt-wearing group of college nerds.

And that’s just what the Talking Heads were. Of course, so were we. It was beautiful.

Everybody remembers the facts-are-this and facts-are-that part – clearly, we see now, a signpost for the easy suburban nihilism of the looming decade – but this was the heart of “Crosseyed and Painless”: “I feel like an accident,” Talking Heads vocalist David Byrne hiccuped, echoing the deeper fears a generation.

But also, copping to the found-object brilliance of this four-piece amalgam. Would’ve made a lot of sense, if we had stopped dancing around long enough to think about it.

I know I didn’t.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
Share this:
Close