Here’s some news that makes sense: the Talking Heads‘ legendary concert film “Stop Making Sense” will be returning to theaters!
The 1984 concert film has become a landmark moment in the band’s career. David Byrne, Chris Frantz, Tina Weymouth, and Jerry Harrison took the stage at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood during the latter half of 1983 to film a concert. The year had been a landmark one for the New York-based band, who got its start at CBGB’s in the mid-seventies. That summer, Talking Heads released their fifth album, “Speaking In Tongues,” which contained two of their most memorable songs: “Burning Down The House” and “This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody).”
With the late Jonathan Demme at the helm, David Byrne would swagger on stage wearing a giant suit that would go on to be an iconic aspect of Talking Heads’ image. “Stop Making Sense” would explore several new arrangements within the band’s catalog; those versions would eventually become as well-known as their original counterparts.
A “Stop Making Sense” soundtrack album was released to accompany the film, and the film would go on to be released in various formats over the next four decades. For its 40th anniversary, “Stop Making Sense” will be re-released in theaters courtesy of A24, with a 4k restoration!
Looking Back On Talking Heads’ Career-Defining Concert Film
Frantz sat down with Rolling Stone to commemorate the film’s 30th anniversary to reflect on its legacy.
The Talking Heads drummer had a sense that “Stop Making Sense” had electricity. It was a good thing; Franz reveals in the interview the band had invested their life savings into making the film!
He tells Rolling Stone, “…we got a loan from [their label] Warner Brothers but it was against our royalties so the band, the four of us, really coughed up the money. We didn’t have a lot of savings at the time, so we were basically putting our life savings into this movie, which we did, and I’m glad we did, because not only did we get it back, but we had a great movie.”
The film resonated with fans especially; Franz witnessed attendees dancing in the aisles of theaters and art houses! Talking Heads especially wanted to capture the smaller markets. Franz also shares they had purposely sent “Stop Making Sense” to small theaters and art houses.
“It was also the band’s decision to put it into very small college theaters and art houses across the country instead of open big,” Franz said. “That’s one reason that it succeeded as well as it did: it was able to have long runs at art theaters. The audience would keep coming back.”
The Theatrical Rerelease Is Commemorated With A New Trailer!
Audiences indeed keep coming back for the film! Byrne, himself, also makes a return to pick up his iconic suit in the new trailer for the “Stop Making Sense” re-release.
The 70-year-old “True Stories” director can be seen returning to a dry cleaners with an old ticket, telling the attendant, “It’s been here for a while!” Eagle-eyed fans might spot “A24” stamped in the corner of the ticket.
Byrne then rides his bike through the busy city streets of New York and tries on the engulfing suit at the end of the 40-second trailer.
The trailer’s release arrives alongside the news that the “Stop Making Sense” soundtrack will be rereleased on vinyl on August 18th via Rhino Records! According to Consequence, the 2 LPs will be produced by Harrison.
An official release date for the film has not been revealed as of this writing. “Stop Making Sense” was originally released in October of 1984.