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

Submitted by nonesuch on Wed, 10/03/2018 - 09:41
Release Date
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."

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 released 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 on vinyl LP, CD, and digital formats on November 23, 2018. The CD also is included with Criterion’s Blu-ray of the film.

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

Nonesuch Selection Number

574181

ns_album_releasedate
Album Status
Artist Name
David Byrne
Various Artists
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)

Cover Art
UPC/Price
Label
2LP+MP3
Price
22.00
UPC
075597927641
Label
CD+MP3
UPC
075597927634
Label
96/24 HD FLAC
Price
16.00
UPC
075597927672
Label
FLAC
UPC
075597927658
Label
MP3
Price
14.00
UPC
075597926453
  • 574181

News & Reviews

  • David Byrne is on the Talk Easy podcast hosted by Sam Fragoso. They discuss his show American Utopia, which marks its last few weeks on Broadway and which Fragoso calls “dazzling … remarkable,” the celebratory nature of performing the show for audiences as people have begun to congregate again, and much more. You can hear it here.

  • David Byrne was on NBC's The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon to talk with Fallon about his famed suit from Stop Making Sense, writing music from a rental car, performing American Utopia on Broadway, and his new book of drawings, A History of the World (in Dingbats). He was joined by his cast mates to perform "Like Humans Do." Byrne joined Tariq from The Roots to face off against fellow guest Renée Zellweger and Fallon in a game of The Jinx. You can watch all of the above here.

  • 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 released 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 on vinyl LP, CD, and digital formats on November 23, 2018. The CD also is included with Criterion’s Blu-ray of the film.

    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

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