The Best of Talking Heads

by: Talking Heads

Rhino's -- or, more accurately, Sire/Warner/Rhino's -- Best of Talking Heads follows 2003's box set Once in a Lifetime by a year, and it features the same remastering from that set. It also shares part of a title with the 1992 U.K. compilation The Best of Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime, which was released the same year as the American double-disc overview Popular Favorites: Sand in the Vaseline. Given the similar titles, similar release dates, and similar track listings, it's easy to get confused at first, but all you need to know is that if you're looking for a comprehensive collection, get the Rhino box, and if you want a disc of hits, get this single-disc Rhino collection. Not that the 2004 Best of Talking Heads has every hit or well-known song -- "I Zimbra," "Born Under Punches," "Crosseyed and Painless," "Swamp," and "Stay Up Late" could all have been here and all are missed -- but at 18 tracks, this is a generous compilation and draws a better portrait of the band than not just the 1992 single-disc compilation, but arguably the patchwork Popular Favorites as well. For the casual fan, this is likely all they'll need to have, and for others, it's a good place to get acquainted with the band. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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