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True Stories, A Film By David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack

  • 574181

News & Reviews

  • David Byrne, who has begun his American Utopia arena tour of the UK and Ireland, was a guest on BBC Newsnight on Friday. He spoke with Kirsty Wark about the American Utopia album and tour, the forthcoming release of the complete True Stories soundtrack, and his collaborations with St. Vincent and Fatboy Slim. He also strongly encourages US voters to turn out for the November 6 midterm elections!

  • David Byrne brings the American Utopia tour back to the UK and to Ireland for eight arena shows starting at the First Direct Arena in Leeds this Sunday and including concerts at the O2 Arena in London, Manchester Arena, Hydro in Glasgow, 3Arena in Dublin, and more. Benjamin Clementine will be Byrne’s special guest for the UK and Irish dates. The tour will then make stops in Amsterdam and Paris before heading to Hong Kong, New Zealand (where Kimbra will be special guest), and Australia. "If you only go to one gig this autumn [or spring, depending]," says the Independent's i, "make it this: David Byrne’s imaginative, breathtaking show is a work of art."

  • About This Album

    In conjunction with The Criterion Collection’s special-edition DVD and Blu-ray release of David Byrne’s 1986 film True Stories, Nonesuch and Todomundo Records release a comprehensive soundtrack, collected for the first time in one package and in film sequence: True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack is available on vinyl LP, CD, and digital formats on November 23, 2018. The CD also is included with Criterion’s Blu-ray of the film. Nonesuch Store pre-orders of the soundtrack include an exclusive, limited-edition 12” print of a production photo taken by Byrne originally included in the 1986 True Stories photo book. 

    David Byrne was inspired by tabloid headlines to make his sole foray into feature-film directing, an ode to the extraordinariness of ordinary American life and a distillation of what was in his own idiosyncratic mind. Byrne plays a visitor to Virgil, Texas, who introduces us to the citizens of the town during preparations for its Celebration of Specialness. As shot by cinematographer Ed Lachman, Texas becomes a hyper-realistic late-capitalist landscape of endless vistas, shopping malls, and prefab metal buildings. In True Stories, Byrne uses his songs to stitch together pop iconography, voodoo rituals, and a singular variety show.

    Byrne calls the record “An immersive audio voyage into the little town of Virgil, Texas, in the mid-eighties.” He continues, “I always imagined that the music written for True Stories should be heard as it is in the film. It makes the most sense this way. Me singing the song that was written for John Goodman’s character, Louis Fine, always felt weird to me. It was written for that character, not for me.”

    True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack includes twenty-three songs, many of which are on CD and digital formats for the first time:

    • one previously unreleased version of Talking Heads’ “Dream Operator,” from the film, with Annie McEnroe on lead vocals;
    • three songs from the film that have previously been released only on the Talking Heads sets Dual Brick or Bonus Rarities & Outtakes;
    • five songs from the companion 1986 Talking Heads studio album True Stories;
    • fourteen songs from the 1986 film soundtrack album Sounds from True Stories: Music for Activities Freaks—previously released only on LP and cassette—performed by a wide range of artists from Kronos Quartet to Meredith Monk to Pops Staples to John Goodman.

    The full album track list is below. More information about the Criterion release—which features a new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Byrne and cinematographer Ed Lachman, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, supervised by Byrne, along with several other rare items—is available at criterion.com.

    True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack

    1. Road Song – David Byrne, Meredith Monk *
    2. Freeway Son – David Byrne *
    3. Disco Hits! – David Byrne *
    4. Cocktail Desperado – Terry Allen and The Panhandle Mystery Band *
    5. Wild Wild Life – Talking Heads **
    6. City of Steel – Talking Heads and Tommy Morrell *
    7. Mall Muzak – Carl Finch *
    8. Dream Operator (feat. Annie McEnroe) – Talking Heads, Annie McEnroe ***
    9. Love Theme from True Stories – David Byrne *
    10. Brownie’s Theme – David Byrne *
    11. Dinner Music – David Byrne, Kronos Quartet *
    12. Puzzlin’ Evidence – Talking Heads, John Ingle and the Bert Cross Choir **
    13. Glass Operator – David Byrne *
    14. Hey Now – Talking Heads, St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir, Dallas, Texas **
    15. I ♥ Metal Buildings – David Byrne *
    16. Love for Sale – Talking Heads **
    17. Soy De Tejas – Steve Jordan *
    18. Buster’s Theme – Carl Finch*
    19. Festa Para Um Rei Negro – Banda Eclipse *
    20. Radio Head (feat. Tito Larriva, Steve Jordan with Los Vampiros) – Talking Heads, Tito Larriva, Steve Jordan with Los Vampiros ****
    21. Papa Legba (feat. Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples) – Talking Heads, Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples ****
    22. People Like Us (feat. John Goodman) – Talking Heads, John Goodman *****
    23. City of Dreams – Talking Heads **

    * Originally on Sounds from True Stories: Music for Activities Freaks
    ** Originally on True Stories
    *** First time released (song originally appears on True Stories with David Byrne, lead vocals)
    **** Song originally on True Stories; this version included on 2005 Talking Heads Brick set
    ***** Song originally on True Stories; this version included on 2006 Talking Heads Bonus & Rarities set

    Credits

    MUSICIANS
    David Byrne, bass (3, 15), guitar (3, 5, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20–23), backing vocals (8), vocals (16, 23)
    Tina Weymouth, bass (5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23), backing vocals (5, 8, 16, 20–23)
    Chris Frantz, drums (5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23)
    Jerry Harrison, guitar (5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23), piano (5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23), backing vocals (5, 8, 16, 20–23)
    Greg Barber, bassoon (1)
    Jim Pukey, clarinet, bass clarinet (1)
    Charlie McCarthy, flute, alto flute, piccolo (1)
    Robin May, oboe (1)
    Rich Girard, bass (2, 10)
    Steve Mitchell, drums (2, 10)
    Steve Erquiaga, guitar (2, 10)
    Joe Goldmark, pedal steel (2, 15)
    Michael Spiro, percussion (2, 3)
    Phil Aaberg, piano (2, 10)
    Dick Bright, violins (2, 13)
    Prairie Prince, drums (3, 15)
    Charles Judge, keyboards (3, 15)
    Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band, all (4)
    Gloria Loring, backing vocals (5, 16, 20–23)
    Tommy Morrell, pedal steel (6, 22, 23)
    Carl Finch, all (7, 18)
    Annie McEnroe, vocals (8)
    Paul Groff, concertinas (9)
    Marcella De Cray, harp (9)
    Fernando Torres, pan flutes (9)
    Kronos Quartet (11): David Harrington, violin; John Scherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello
    Marcella De Cray, harp (11)
    John Ingle and the Bert Cross Choir, vocals (12)
    Charles Judge, emulator cello (13)
    Terry Hinely, glasses (13)
    St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir – Dallas, vocals (14)
    Paulinho Da Costa, percussion (14, 20–23)
    Esteban "Steve" Jordan, vocals (17, 20), accordion (17, 20), guitar (17), bass (17)
    Steve Jordan, Jr., drums (17)
    Michael McClain, keyboards (17)
    Banda Eclipse, all (19)
    Tito Larriva, vocals (20)
    Los Vampiros, vocals (20)
    Roebuck "Pops" Staples, vocals (21)
    John Goodman, vocals (22)
    Tommy Camfield, fiddle (22)

    PRODUCTION CREDITS
    Produced by David Byrne (1–4, 6–7, 9–11, 13, 15, 17–19), Talking Heads (5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23)
    Recorded by Jack Leahy at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, assisted by Jeffrey Kliment, Gary Clayton, and Samuel Lehmer (1–3, 9–11, 13, 15); Don Caldwell at Caldwell Studios, Lubbock, TX (4); Eric "E.T." Thorngren at Sigma Sound, New York, assisted by Melanie West and Nick Del Re (5, 8, 12, 16, 21); Michael McClain at Studio Southwest, Sunnyvale, TX (6–7, 14, 17, 19–20, 22–23); David Rosenblad at Prodigal Sound, Denton, TX (18)
    Mixed by Roy Halee at Sigma Sound Studios, New York, assisted by Mark Roule (1–4, 6–7, 9–11, 13, 15, 17–19); Mick Guzauski at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood (5); Pat Dillett at Reservoir Studios, New York, 2018 (8, 12, 14, 20–22); Eric "E.T." Thorngren at the Village Recorder Studios, Westwood, CA, assisted by Robin Laine, Charles Brocco, Tom Nist (16, 23)
    Overdubs recorded by Eric "E.T." Thorngren at O'Henry Studios, Toluca Lake, CA, assisted by Kathy Botich

    Originally mastered digitally by Jack Skinner at Sterling Sound, New York
    Remastered 2018 by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York

    Paulinho Da Costa courtesy of Pablo Records; Phil Aaberg courtesy of Windham Hill Records
    Archival management: Steph Smith
    Package design by Eric Skillman, based on original concepts by Tibor Kalman/M & Co.
    Photos and stills courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment and Mark Lipson
    Special thanks to David Whitehead, Kim Hendrickson, and LeeAnn Rossi

    All songs written by David Byrne except track 1 melody composed by Meredith Monk, arranged by David Byrne; track 4 co-written by Terry Allen; tracks 7, 18 written by Carl Finch; track 11 arranged by Dick Bright; track 17 written by Esteban "Steve" Jordan; track 18 written by Zuzuca, arranged by Jeff Barnes

More From

nonesuch's picture
on October 3, 2018 - 9:41am
Artist Name: 
David Byrne
Various Artists
Release Date: 
Friday, November 23, 2018 (All day)
DescriptionExcerpt: 

On True Stories (1986), his sole foray into feature-film directing, David Byrne was inspired by tabloid headlines to make an ode to the extraordinariness of ordinary American life, using his songs to stitch together pop iconography, voodoo rituals, and a singular variety show. This comprehensive soundtrack contains 23 songs, collected for the first time in one package, in film sequence. "I always imagined that the music written for True Stories should be heard as it is in the film," says Byrne. "It makes the most sense this way. Me singing the song that was written for John Goodman's character always felt weird to me. It was written for that character, not for me." Nonesuch Store pre-orders include an exclusive, limited-edition 12" print of a production photo taken by Byrne.

Description: 

In conjunction with The Criterion Collection’s special-edition DVD and Blu-ray release of David Byrne’s 1986 film True Stories, Nonesuch and Todomundo Records release a comprehensive soundtrack, collected for the first time in one package and in film sequence: True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack is available on vinyl LP, CD, and digital formats on November 23, 2018. The CD also is included with Criterion’s Blu-ray of the film. Nonesuch Store pre-orders of the soundtrack include an exclusive, limited-edition 12” print of a production photo taken by Byrne originally included in the 1986 True Stories photo book. 

David Byrne was inspired by tabloid headlines to make his sole foray into feature-film directing, an ode to the extraordinariness of ordinary American life and a distillation of what was in his own idiosyncratic mind. Byrne plays a visitor to Virgil, Texas, who introduces us to the citizens of the town during preparations for its Celebration of Specialness. As shot by cinematographer Ed Lachman, Texas becomes a hyper-realistic late-capitalist landscape of endless vistas, shopping malls, and prefab metal buildings. In True Stories, Byrne uses his songs to stitch together pop iconography, voodoo rituals, and a singular variety show.

Byrne calls the record “An immersive audio voyage into the little town of Virgil, Texas, in the mid-eighties.” He continues, “I always imagined that the music written for True Stories should be heard as it is in the film. It makes the most sense this way. Me singing the song that was written for John Goodman’s character, Louis Fine, always felt weird to me. It was written for that character, not for me.”

True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack includes twenty-three songs, many of which are on CD and digital formats for the first time:

  • one previously unreleased version of Talking Heads’ “Dream Operator,” from the film, with Annie McEnroe on lead vocals;
  • three songs from the film that have previously been released only on the Talking Heads sets Dual Brick or Bonus Rarities & Outtakes;
  • five songs from the companion 1986 Talking Heads studio album True Stories;
  • fourteen songs from the 1986 film soundtrack album Sounds from True Stories: Music for Activities Freaks—previously released only on LP and cassette—performed by a wide range of artists from Kronos Quartet to Meredith Monk to Pops Staples to John Goodman.

The full album track list is below. More information about the Criterion release—which features a new, restored 4K digital transfer, supervised by director Byrne and cinematographer Ed Lachman, with 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack, supervised by Byrne, along with several other rare items—is available at criterion.com.

True Stories, A Film by David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack

1. Road Song – David Byrne, Meredith Monk *
2. Freeway Son – David Byrne *
3. Disco Hits! – David Byrne *
4. Cocktail Desperado – Terry Allen and The Panhandle Mystery Band *
5. Wild Wild Life – Talking Heads **
6. City of Steel – Talking Heads and Tommy Morrell *
7. Mall Muzak – Carl Finch *
8. Dream Operator (feat. Annie McEnroe) – Talking Heads, Annie McEnroe ***
9. Love Theme from True Stories – David Byrne *
10. Brownie’s Theme – David Byrne *
11. Dinner Music – David Byrne, Kronos Quartet *
12. Puzzlin’ Evidence – Talking Heads, John Ingle and the Bert Cross Choir **
13. Glass Operator – David Byrne *
14. Hey Now – Talking Heads, St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir, Dallas, Texas **
15. I ♥ Metal Buildings – David Byrne *
16. Love for Sale – Talking Heads **
17. Soy De Tejas – Steve Jordan *
18. Buster’s Theme – Carl Finch*
19. Festa Para Um Rei Negro – Banda Eclipse *
20. Radio Head (feat. Tito Larriva, Steve Jordan with Los Vampiros) – Talking Heads, Tito Larriva, Steve Jordan with Los Vampiros ****
21. Papa Legba (feat. Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples) – Talking Heads, Roebuck ‘Pops’ Staples ****
22. People Like Us (feat. John Goodman) – Talking Heads, John Goodman *****
23. City of Dreams – Talking Heads **

* Originally on Sounds from True Stories: Music for Activities Freaks
** Originally on True Stories
*** First time released (song originally appears on True Stories with David Byrne, lead vocals)
**** Song originally on True Stories; this version included on 2005 Talking Heads Brick set
***** Song originally on True Stories; this version included on 2006 Talking Heads Bonus & Rarities set

ProductionCredits: 

PRODUCTION CREDITS
Produced by David Byrne (1–4, 6–7, 9–11, 13, 15, 17–19), Talking Heads (5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23)
Recorded by Jack Leahy at Russian Hill Recording, San Francisco, assisted by Jeffrey Kliment, Gary Clayton, and Samuel Lehmer (1–3, 9–11, 13, 15); Don Caldwell at Caldwell Studios, Lubbock, TX (4); Eric "E.T." Thorngren at Sigma Sound, New York, assisted by Melanie West and Nick Del Re (5, 8, 12, 16, 21); Michael McClain at Studio Southwest, Sunnyvale, TX (6–7, 14, 17, 19–20, 22–23); David Rosenblad at Prodigal Sound, Denton, TX (18)
Mixed by Roy Halee at Sigma Sound Studios, New York, assisted by Mark Roule (1–4, 6–7, 9–11, 13, 15, 17–19); Mick Guzauski at Conway Recording Studios, Hollywood (5); Pat Dillett at Reservoir Studios, New York, 2018 (8, 12, 14, 20–22); Eric "E.T." Thorngren at the Village Recorder Studios, Westwood, CA, assisted by Robin Laine, Charles Brocco, Tom Nist (16, 23)
Overdubs recorded by Eric "E.T." Thorngren at O'Henry Studios, Toluca Lake, CA, assisted by Kathy Botich

Originally mastered digitally by Jack Skinner at Sterling Sound, New York
Remastered 2018 by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound, New York

Paulinho Da Costa courtesy of Pablo Records; Phil Aaberg courtesy of Windham Hill Records
Archival management: Steph Smith
Package design by Eric Skillman, based on original concepts by Tibor Kalman/M & Co.
Photos and stills courtesy of Warner Bros. Entertainment and Mark Lipson
Special thanks to David Whitehead, Kim Hendrickson, and LeeAnn Rossi

All songs written by David Byrne except track 1 melody composed by Meredith Monk, arranged by David Byrne; track 4 co-written by Terry Allen; tracks 7, 18 written by Carl Finch; track 11 arranged by Dick Bright; track 17 written by Esteban "Steve" Jordan; track 18 written by Zuzuca, arranged by Jeff Barnes

Cover Art: 
Nonesuch Selection Number: 

574181

ns_album_releasedate: 
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 09:45
Album Status: 
UPC/Price: 
Label: 
2LP+MP3+Print
UPC: 
075597927641
Price: 
22.00
Label: 
CD+MP3+Print
UPC: 
075597927634
Price: 
16.00
MusicianDetails: 

MUSICIANS
David Byrne, bass (3, 15), guitar (3, 5, 8, 12, 14, 15, 16, 20–23), backing vocals (8), vocals (16, 23)
Tina Weymouth, bass (5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23), backing vocals (5, 8, 16, 20–23)
Chris Frantz, drums (5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23)
Jerry Harrison, guitar (5, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23), piano (5, 6, 8, 12, 14, 16, 20–23), backing vocals (5, 8, 16, 20–23)
Greg Barber, bassoon (1)
Jim Pukey, clarinet, bass clarinet (1)
Charlie McCarthy, flute, alto flute, piccolo (1)
Robin May, oboe (1)
Rich Girard, bass (2, 10)
Steve Mitchell, drums (2, 10)
Steve Erquiaga, guitar (2, 10)
Joe Goldmark, pedal steel (2, 15)
Michael Spiro, percussion (2, 3)
Phil Aaberg, piano (2, 10)
Dick Bright, violins (2, 13)
Prairie Prince, drums (3, 15)
Charles Judge, keyboards (3, 15)
Terry Allen and the Panhandle Mystery Band, all (4)
Gloria Loring, backing vocals (5, 16, 20–23)
Tommy Morrell, pedal steel (6, 22, 23)
Carl Finch, all (7, 18)
Annie McEnroe, vocals (8)
Paul Groff, concertinas (9)
Marcella De Cray, harp (9)
Fernando Torres, pan flutes (9)
Kronos Quartet (11): David Harrington, violin; John Scherba, violin; Hank Dutt, viola; Joan Jeanrenaud, cello
Marcella De Cray, harp (11)
John Ingle and the Bert Cross Choir, vocals (12)
Charles Judge, emulator cello (13)
Terry Hinely, glasses (13)
St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir – Dallas, vocals (14)
Paulinho Da Costa, percussion (14, 20–23)
Esteban "Steve" Jordan, vocals (17, 20), accordion (17, 20), guitar (17), bass (17)
Steve Jordan, Jr., drums (17)
Michael McClain, keyboards (17)
Banda Eclipse, all (19)
Tito Larriva, vocals (20)
Los Vampiros, vocals (20)
Roebuck "Pops" Staples, vocals (21)
John Goodman, vocals (22)
Tommy Camfield, fiddle (22)

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