TUESDAY TUNES | PSYCHO KILLER | TALKING HEADS

Posted on October 7, 2014 by Trace

J u k e b o x
— TALKING HEADS —
PSYCHO KILLER
written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and first played by their band ‘The Artistics’ in 1974, and as new wave band Talking Heads in 1975.

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The name Talking Heads originated from: “A friend had found the name in the TV Guide, which explained the term used by TV studios to describe a head-and-shoulder shot of a person talking as ‘all content, no action.’ It fit.” 

Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. They combined elements of punk rock, art rock, avant-garde, pop, funk, world music and Americana.
Frontman and songwriter David Byrne contributed whimsical, esoteric lyrics to the band’s songs, and emphasized their showmanship through various multimedia projects and performances.

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The song features lyrics which seem to represent the thoughts of a serial killer actually committing murders. 

In the liner notes of ‘Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads’, Byrne says:

“When I started writing this (I got help later), I imagined Alice Cooper doing a Randy Newman-type ballad. Both the Joker and Hannibal Lecter were much more fascinating than the good guys. Everybody sort of roots for the bad guys in movies.”

Part of the chorus and the bridge are in French. The verse translates to :
“What I did, that evening, what she said, that evening fulfilling my hope I throw myself towards glory.”

The chorus lyric “Qu’est-ce que c’est?” means : “What is this?”
The lyrics were inspired by the character Norman Bates in the movie Psycho.

In 1984, another live version was included on the soundtrack for Stop Making Sense, the band’s concert movie.
The film opens with Byrne alone onstage, announcing “‘Hi. I’ve got a tape I want to play’…[and] begins strumming maniacally. Playing an acoustic version of “Psycho Killer” backed only by a Roland TR-808 drum machine whose sound appears to be issuing from a boom box. [See the Live video above, its entertaining!]

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LYRICS
I can’t seem to face up to the facts

I’m tense and nervous and I can’t relax
I can’t sleep ’cause my bed’s on fire
Don’t touch me I’m a real live wire

Psycho killer
Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run away

You start a conversation you can’t even finish it
You’re talkin’ a lot but you’re not sayin’ anything
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed
Say something once, why say it again?

Psycho killer
Qu’est-ce que c’est?
Fa fa fa fa fa fa fa fa far far better
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run away

Ce que j’ai fait ce soir la
Ce qu’elle a dit ce soir la
Realisant mon espoir

Je me lance vers la gloire, okay
We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they’re not polite

Source: a diluted version of wiki


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