Little Creatures is the sixth studio album by Talking Heads, released in June 1985.
The freewheeling and quirky album examines themes of Americana and incorporates elements of country music and swampy blues, with many of the songs featuring steel guitar.
It was voted as the best album of the year in The Village Voice critics poll and is the band’s biggest-selling studio album, with over two million copies sold in the US.
Little Creatures is Talking Heads’ most immediately accessible album. Instrumental tracks were worked up from riffs and grooves, after which David Byrne improvised melodies and lyrics.
The songs on the album, most of which were credited to Byrne alone (with the band credited only with arrangements), had extra musicians used for specific ‘effects’ rather than playing along as an ensemble.
Byrne, who was singing in his natural range for once, frequently was augmented with backup singers. The overall result = ear candy!
It was a pop album, and an accomplished one, by a band that knew what it was doing. And even if Byrne’s impulses remained strange — “I wanna make him stay up all night,” he declared about a baby (presumably not his own) in “Stay Up Late” — he retained his charm and inventiveness.
Little Creatures was, in a sense, Talking Heads lite. It was hard to think of this as the same band that produced “Psycho Killer.”
But for the band’s expanding audience, who gave them their second platinum album, that was okay. And their popularity was being accomplished -without losing their creativity.
Evan Lublinski wrote in review of the album for Allmusic,
”…this actually seems like a natural direction for the band to take; the sonic explorations of the Eno epoch were over, and the quirky pop style of Little Creatures hearkens back to the band’s sound on their debut, albeit far more polished.
Without Eno the foundation of the group reverted to Byrne’s impeccable songwriting, and in this regard the album is largely an extension of where the band would be if they had never crossed paths with the father of new wave.”
Join PodCloud1 as we revisit a classic in its entirety originally released 33 years ago, Little Creatures by Talking Heads.
(click player to revisit a classic!)
1. And She Was
2. Give Me Back My Name
3. Creatures Of Love
4. The Lady Don’t Mind
5. Perfect World
6. Stay Up Late
7. Walk It Down
8. Television Man
9. Road To Nowhere
The cover art was created by artist Howard Finster, and was selected as album cover of the year by Rolling Stone magazine.
A different album is featured every month on PodCloud1’s Revisiting The Classics