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Talking Heads - Stop Making Sense

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Stop Making Sense

Talking Heads

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While there's no debating the importance of Jonathan Demme's classic film record of Talking Heads' 1983 tour, the soundtrack released in support of it is a thornier matter. Since its release, purists have found Stop Making Sense slickly mixed and, worse yet, incomprehensive. The nine tracks included jumble and truncate the natural progression of frontman David Byrne's meticulously arranged stage show. Cries for a double-album treatment -- à la 1982's live opus The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads -- were sounded almost immediately; more enterprising fans merely dubbed the VHS release of the film onto cassette tape. So, until a 1999 "special edition" cured the 1984 release's ills, fans had to make do with the Stop Making Sense they were given -- which is, by any account, an exemplary snapshot of a band at the height of its powers. Even with some of his more memorable tics edited out, Byrne is in fine voice here: Never before had he sounded warmer or more approachable, as evidenced by his soaring rendition of "Once in a Lifetime." Though almost half the album focuses on Speaking in Tongues material, the band makes room for one of Byrne's Catherine Wheel tunes (the hard-driving, elliptical "What a Day That Was") as well as up-tempo versions of "Pyscho Killer" and "Take Me to the River." If anything, Stop Making Sense's emphasis on keyboards and rhythm is its greatest asset as well as its biggest failing: Knob-tweakers Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison play up their parts at the expense of the treblier aspects of the performance, and fans would have to wait almost 15 years for reparations. Still, for a generation that may have missed the band's seminal '70s work, Stop Making Sense proves to be an excellent primer.
© Michael Hastings /TiVo

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Stop Making Sense

Talking Heads

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1
Psycho Killer Live
00:04:24

Tony Bongiovi, Producer - Greg Calbi, Mastering Engineer - Rod O'Brien, Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Piano, Backing Vocals, Synthesizer - ED STASIUM, Mixing Engineer - Brian Eno, Assistant Engineer - Kooster McAllister, Engineer - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Writer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Bass Guitar, Percussion, Backing Vocals, Writer, Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Butch Jones, Assistant Mixing Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer, Arranger - Jeff Shaw, Mastering Engineer - Clive Brinkwood, Mastering Engineer - David Hewett, Audio Engineer - Katshuiko Sato, Engineer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

2
Heaven Live
00:03:41

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

3
Thank You for Sending Me an Angel Live
00:02:09

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

4
Found a Job Live
00:03:15

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

5
Slippery People Live
00:04:00

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

6
Burning Down the House Live
00:04:06

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

7
Life During Wartime Live
00:05:51

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

8
Making Flippy Floppy Live
00:04:40

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

9
Swamp Live
00:04:30

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

10
What a Day That Was Live; Edit
00:06:00

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

11
This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) Live
00:04:57

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

12
Once in a Lifetime Live
00:05:25

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Brian Eno, Writer - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

13
Genius of Love (Tom Tom Club) Live
00:04:30

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Adrian Belew, Writer - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer - Steven J.C. Stanley, Writer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

14
Girlfriend Is Better Live
00:05:06

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

15
Take Me to the River Live
00:05:32

Mabon Hodges, Writer - Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Al Green, Writer - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

16
Crosseyed and Painless Live
00:06:11

Joel Moss, Recording Engineer - Bob Ludwig, Remastering Engineer - Nick Delre, Assistant Engineer - Robin Laine, Assistant Engineer - Ted Jensen, Mastering Engineer - Jack Skinner, Mastering Engineer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer, Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer, Guitarra - Brian Eno, Writer - Eric 'ET' Thorngren, Mixing Engineer - Gary Kurfirst, Executive Producer - Lynn Mabry, Backing Vocals - David Byrne, Producer, Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Guitarra - Chris Frantz, Producer, Drums, Vocals, Writer, Mixing Engineer - Tina Weymouth, Producer, Guitar, Bass Guitar, Vocals, Writer, Bass Synthesizer - Talking Heads, MainArtist - Alex Weir, Guitar, Vocals, Guitarra - Allen Chinowsky, Engineer - Brian K. Lee, Remastering Engineer - Ednah Holt, Backing Vocals - Glenn Rosenstein, Assistant Engineer - Linda Randazzo, Assistant Engineer - Steve Scales, Percussion - MARK WOLFSON, Recording Engineer - Lance Quinn, Producer - Bernie Worell, Keyboards - Gary Goetzman, Producer

1984, 1999 Sire Records Company & Talking Heads Films 1984 Sire Records Company

Album Description

While there's no debating the importance of Jonathan Demme's classic film record of Talking Heads' 1983 tour, the soundtrack released in support of it is a thornier matter. Since its release, purists have found Stop Making Sense slickly mixed and, worse yet, incomprehensive. The nine tracks included jumble and truncate the natural progression of frontman David Byrne's meticulously arranged stage show. Cries for a double-album treatment -- à la 1982's live opus The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads -- were sounded almost immediately; more enterprising fans merely dubbed the VHS release of the film onto cassette tape. So, until a 1999 "special edition" cured the 1984 release's ills, fans had to make do with the Stop Making Sense they were given -- which is, by any account, an exemplary snapshot of a band at the height of its powers. Even with some of his more memorable tics edited out, Byrne is in fine voice here: Never before had he sounded warmer or more approachable, as evidenced by his soaring rendition of "Once in a Lifetime." Though almost half the album focuses on Speaking in Tongues material, the band makes room for one of Byrne's Catherine Wheel tunes (the hard-driving, elliptical "What a Day That Was") as well as up-tempo versions of "Pyscho Killer" and "Take Me to the River." If anything, Stop Making Sense's emphasis on keyboards and rhythm is its greatest asset as well as its biggest failing: Knob-tweakers Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison play up their parts at the expense of the treblier aspects of the performance, and fans would have to wait almost 15 years for reparations. Still, for a generation that may have missed the band's seminal '70s work, Stop Making Sense proves to be an excellent primer.
© Michael Hastings /TiVo

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