The legacy of Talking Heads is one of almost complete and total reverence. The music David Byrne and his band mates created over the course of their career (not to mention in Byrne’s own storied solo career) was unrivaled in terms of authenticity, uniqueness and a refusal to stick to one ‘genre’, so to speak.
It is of the opinion of this website that one of Byrne’s absolute best compositions is “This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody),” a track included in the band’s seminal live album/experience Stop Making Sense.
The studio version was released a single in 1983, off the Speaking in Tongues record, but the Stop Making Sense recording had an added warmth and soul to it that really helped set it apart:
As time has progressed and a new generation of musicians have discovered the Talking Heads, so, too, have they grown to love “Naive Melody.” A quick check around the internet led us to several great covers of the song, from a wide array of acts spanning genres – a testament, of course, to the band’s wide-ranging appeal.
Kishi Bashi, whom we spotlighted in a Turn Me On entry in the past, recorded a take of the song with a string quartet:
While noted amphitheater-filling jam band the String Cheese Incident play an extended version of the song live once in a while:
The Lumineers, owners of the smash hit single “Ho Hey,” added their interpretation of the song to the end of their breakout record:
Arcade Fire are unabashed Byrne fans, and have covered the song as well over the years:
Sean Hayes turned in a jammed-out version himself during a tour stop in Oakland, California in 2010:
The Postmodern Jukebox, aided by a gifted singer named Sara Niemetz, re-imagined the song as a lounge standard (something that makes perfect sense considering the horns and overall tone of the original):
And before becoming indie/rock darlings with “Kids” and “Electric Feel,” MGMT played the song at their college campus.
This is but a small handful of re-recordings of the song that help demonstrate just how influential it is – and, after all these years, how much the music of Byrne and the Talking Heads continues to be appreciated and beloved, even if there isn’t a reunion on the horizon anytime soon.
But hey, at least we have solo renditions of the song from Byrne!