Feels Like I'm Dreaming
April 4, 2022 3:54 PM   Subscribe

A well-known and much-loved pic of Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash
posted by Glomar response at 4:16 PM on April 4, 2022 [9 favorites]

I was SHOCKED when I read the other day in an article about Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth that the song came out in 81. I always thought it was a few years later. The article was about how they had been in a car accident (hit by a drunk driver). Tina Weymouth broke three ribs and her sternum: https://pitchfork.com/news/talking-heads-tina-weymouth-recovering-after-car-accident-chris-frantz-says/
posted by jonathanhughes at 4:36 PM on April 4, 2022

That timeline could’ve also included 1984, when Tom Tom Club played it on Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense tour. I haven’t seen the movie in a while, but I’m told David Byrne used the break to put on the big suit.
posted by box at 4:40 PM on April 4, 2022 [6 favorites]

I saw the Talking Heads perform live twice back in the early 1980s and always loved the Tom Tom Club interludes. I once commented that every live performance would benefit from a Tom Tom Club interlude.
posted by perhapses at 5:03 PM on April 4, 2022 [10 favorites]

I've always been partial to Wordy Rappinghood myself. But yeah, Genius of Love is the one which will continue to be sampled until the heat death of the universe.
posted by kaibutsu at 5:34 PM on April 4, 2022 [5 favorites]

Five years ago, I was a few days into what was turning into a stressful beach vacation - some family BS, bad weather, a mob of irritable, ungrateful children - and I was in a sour mood. Late that night, I took a drive and stopped at a Wawa for coffee where, as I was getting out of the car, a minivan pulled up BLASTING “Genius of Love”. Like me, the driver was a broken down-looking middle aged guy in a beat up car full of kid rubble - in contrast, though, he was smiling and sat behind the wheel shamelessly rocking out before heading in to buy (as it turned out) a gigantic frozen strawberry lemonade.

Clearly, I was doing this wrong, and his vibe rubbed off on me. I felt better. Tom Tom Club is now a go to when I have to stop wallowing in my own crapulence.
posted by ryanshepard at 5:43 PM on April 4, 2022 [29 favorites]

The X-Ecutioners version with the Biz rewriting the "I'm gonna have some fun" line (saying the quiet part loud?) is a longtime personal fave.

The original "Genius of Love" is a top-ten-of-all-time pop song for me. I was mildly embarrassed at myself for not immediately remembering how "Fantasy" went when I read that Number Ones column this morning, but in my defense, I didn't listen to pop radio much in the mid-to-late 90s.
posted by May Kasahara at 5:50 PM on April 4, 2022

Lorelei was my fave track from the album.

Chris Frantz's recent memoir has plenty of interesting trivia and gossip about those days. It's a love story. Good descriptions of their times at Compass Point Studios.

In loosely related, Debbie Harry's recent memoir also has plenty of interesting trivia and gossip about those days as well.
posted by ovvl at 6:00 PM on April 4, 2022 [7 favorites]

I love this song so much. Hard to think of many songs that go off the rails lyrically so immediately as Genius of Love. An absolute masterpiece.
posted by saladin at 6:10 PM on April 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

Love the original track. Big Energy (the 2021 track, not the recent remix/collab) just now found its way onto my top 40 station, so aside from this post, I've had that pleasantly bouncy rhythm earworming in my brain lately. It's such a happy rhythm!

I think Latto's song is pretty great! But her rhymes and the slickly produced thirst trap video can never dethrone my primary association with that rhythm: those whimisical animations from the original video. It's such a happy rhythm on its own -- but layer on those delicate vocals,upside-down lyrics & especially those doodles-straight-from-the-notebook animations... it just puts me in a good mood.

Some nifty trivia about those animations: they were produced by Rocky Morton & Annabel Jankel -- who are better known as the co-creators of 80's 'celebrity' and New Coke pitchman Max Headroom. Jankel was a natural to produce the animations a new wave act: her brother Chaz Jankel was the songwriter for Ian Dury and the Blockheads, and Real Genius fans will easily recognize his work. (For my money, Jankel's solo work is at the top of the new wave mountain)

And, about 2:20 into the video, the lips start mouthing "Bohannon Bohannon Bohannon..." It's a shout-out to drummer Hamilton Bohannon, who went from an arranger in early Motown to a solo artist who had an absolute banger on the charts the same time as Genius came out. (For my money, his first album...)

Overthinking a hit pop song? Like I said, I love this track...

(On preview, I feel compelled to clarify that I do not drive a minivan or drink strawberry lemonade. But, I identify pretty well with the rest of ryasherard's story...)
posted by Theophrastus Johnson at 6:19 PM on April 4, 2022 [14 favorites]

Tom Tom Club unplugged in 2010 in an NPR Tiny Desk Concert.
posted by Jasper Fnorde at 6:32 PM on April 4, 2022 [4 favorites]

F 104, come in F 104…
posted by cybrcamper at 6:59 PM on April 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

Thanks for the Bohannon info Theophrastus Johnson!
posted by cashman at 7:23 PM on April 4, 2022 [1 favorite]

My favorite local musician (who is no longer local...because he bought the repeatedly-viral house in upstate NY that came with a beloved used bookstore) plays a folksy/bluesy cover of the Genius of Love/Fantasy mashup and it is such a jam in any format.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:36 PM on April 4, 2022 [3 favorites]

James Brown? James Brown!
posted by Nerd of the North at 8:41 PM on April 4, 2022 [8 favorites]

In the 1980s, I had a dream in which I was talking to Tina Weymouth. Not too long after that, I found myself in a room talking to Tina Weymouth for real, which is a peculiar sensation, let me tell you. Tina was very nice.
posted by The Half Language Plant at 10:12 PM on April 4, 2022 [9 favorites]

“The quiet part out loud “ :

Weymouth and Franz are why I ever listened to the Talking Heads.

This is terrific.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:36 AM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

The Half Language Plant: In the 1980s, I had a dream...

In the early 1970's, I would hang out at some early Talking Heads rehearsals (at that time the Artistics, Tina wasn't on bass yet, but was always sitting there reading a book), held in the loft of the janitor at RISD. I was with my friend David Anderson who was on rhythm guitar at the time.

I never spoke very much, other than hello, to Chris and Tina. I ran into them (separately) in NYC, at approximately 10 year intervals. Each time they would recognize me first, and say something like, "hey, how are you doing?"

It is safe to say both Tina and Chris are very nice and unpretentious people, not so much with that other guy.
posted by StickyCarpet at 3:38 AM on April 5, 2022 [11 favorites]

Another thing: around the time of "Genius of Love", spoke with Tina at an art opening, and asked, "What exactly makes something Hip Hop?". Tina said, "That's a good question, I honestly don't know."
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:40 AM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

Sometime in the mid-1990's I was at The Knitting Factory in NYC for a cd release party for Fantcha, a great Cape Verdean singer. At one point I noticed David Byrne leaning against the wall just a few feet away. I went up to him and complimented him on his music. He said nothing and walked away. I told this to Chris Frantz via social media and he said "I believe you."
posted by DJZouke at 5:16 AM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

I never have liked The Talking Heads. Byrne has always annoyed me a bit too. There's a bit of an immature art student vibe to everything he does. But Tom Tom Club is another story.

Genius of Love, both the music and the video, made a big impression on me when I was young. It was really out there, the funk and reggae beat, the harmonies, the strange lyrics. I was ecstatic that pieces of the song threaded themselves into early hip-hop and now happy to see that it is deeply embedded into music culture.
posted by vacapinta at 7:20 AM on April 5, 2022 [3 favorites]

What IS your favorite jean?
posted by mmrtnt at 9:03 AM on April 5, 2022

OK, The Talking Heads and the Tom Tom Club are probably my favorite band(s) of all time, and I'm just writing in to say this video, while wonderful, came years and years later.

Back in the day, we put our needle on the record or pushed Play on our boom box to hear this music and that is what got us through the first Reagan administration.

So far.
posted by Scarf Joint at 9:22 PM on April 5, 2022 [5 favorites]

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