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Baker's Dozen

Genius Of Lovers: Tom Tom Club's Favourite Albums
Paul Smith , February 19th, 2013 07:11

The former Talking Heads and husband and wife duo Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth whittle their record collection down to 13 all-time favourites

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The Harder They Come soundtrack
CF: That was our intro to reggae music. Before we'd heard Jonny Nash’s ‘I Can See Clearly Now’, but we hadn’t really heard down and funky reggae music like Toots and everybody else on that record. There was a movie that went with it, which was fascinating. And later on we got to meet some of these people when we played a show with Toots and the Maytals on December 7 for Toots’s 70th birthday. Tom Tom Club had the honour of being the opening act. We have a lot of fondness for reggae music and not just Bob Marley.

TW: Every one of those songs has deep meaning. It was a revelation to us. I just loved the slight off-key singing sometimes on the background singing. At the same time it was so deep and soulful and expressed so much in such a more interesting way to me than the blues did anymore. The blues was as American as watercolour painting, it was part of us. But this reggae was all new. This was a mystery! How did they put this together?

Much later, when we were putting together our first Tom Tom Club record, we were talking to Steven Stanley, our engineer. He said that his theory was that we were listening to jazz coming over the airwaves, that reggae is these two bars of jazz repeated. I’m not sure if it’s correct but I loved that he saw it that way. Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, brought reggae to the world and his first love of music is also jazz. So it all makes sense when you look at it from that perspective.

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Feb 19, 2013 2:15pm

Third full paragraph, "Talking," not "Taking."

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Feb 19, 2013 3:58pm

It's weird, I read that Talking Heads book "Fa fa fa fa fa fa" and thought the guy writing it was blowing the 'Tina's obssession with David Byrne' angle out of proportion but wow, she really doesn't help herself does she?

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Feb 19, 2013 4:41pm

"Chris Blackwell, the founder of Island Records, brought reggae to the world"

Er no, Jamaicans brought reggae to the world


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Feb 19, 2013 6:01pm

In reply to Chris:

Jamaicans created reggae. Island records brought reggae to the western record buying world.

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Feb 19, 2013 6:53pm

Brooklyn is in the western world, as is Toronto, and Jamaicans brought reggae to both places...

Boring band, boring list of OK records, +1 point for repping cajun, -1 for being friends with Lou Fucking Reed, and "Loaded" sucks too.

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Feb 19, 2013 9:06pm

They do seem like such stereotypical upper middle class white arty types, don't they? I still love Talking Heads, though.

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Feb 19, 2013 10:26pm

al green is brilliant. the harder they come, too. pressure drop, draw your brakes... good list, nuggets as well. fafafa fafa fafa fafa

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Feb 19, 2013 10:28pm

What's with all the bitter dislike of wealthy people in the comments section on this site? What does income have to do with anything? And it should be pointed out that everyone commenting on this site, from a global and historical perspective, is FUCKING RICH.

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Feb 20, 2013 10:37am

In reply to kennydojo:

No, Jamaican emigres brought the music to the western world.

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Feb 24, 2013 11:47am

Good lord they are such luvvies.

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