Happy Birthday David Byrne: Talking Heads Music Videos

By Scott Bernstein May 14, 2021 12:30 pm PDT

David Byrne was born in Dumbarton, Scotland on this date in 1952. The 69-year-old vocalist was a founding member of Talking Heads, a band that was a pioneering new wave act who were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame in 2002. Talking Heads’ career spanned 1975 until 1991 and Byrne has been focusing on his solo career ever since.

Byrne’s recent project has been his American Utopia production that began as an innovative tour in which the musicians were untethered to the stage. Byrne adapted the tour and brought it to Broadway, where it will resume performances in September following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Byrne attended art school in Rhode Island and Maryland and Talking Heads are one of the bands many people think of when the phrase “art-rock” is thrown around. So it’s only fitting the group were pioneers of the video era. When the cable network MTV was launched in 1981, Talking Heads had two videos ready to go for their 1980 album Remain In Light. Tony Basil directed the clip for “Crosseyed & Painless,” which doesn’t star the band, while Basil worked with Byrne who is featured in the “Once In A Lifetime” video.

By the time Speaking In Tongues came out in 1983, MTV was a hit and Byrne took creative control of Talking Heads’ videos for that album. David directed both “Burning Down The House” and “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).” Each video marked a huge leap from the two released in 1981 and Byrne and Stephen R. Johnson took music videos to the next level with “Road To Nowhere” in 1985. The Byrne-directed videos for “Wild Wild Life” and “(Nothing But) Flowers” are also filled with vivid imagery that adds to the music.

Celebrate David Byrne’s birthday with this collection of seven Talking Heads’ music videos:

Crosseyed & Painless (1981)

Once In A Lifetime (1981)

Burning Down The House (1983)

This Must Be The Place (1983)


Road To Nowhere (1985)

Wild Wild Life (1986)

(Nothing But) Flowers (1988)

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[Updated article originally published May 14, 2019.]

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