Question: What sitcom’s theme song exulted: “We’ve finally got a piece of the pie”?
Last Question: What was the only Talking Heads single to reach the top 10?
Answer: Burning Down the House
The members of the Talking Heads, David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, were alumni of the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, Rhode Island. It was there that they formed a band called “The Artistics” in 1974. They dissolved their band and moved to New York. They played their first gig as “Talking Heads” opening for the Ramones at CBGB on June 8, 1975.
The band’s New Wave style, which combined elements of punk rock, avant-garde, pop, funk, world music and art rock, was not exactly radio friendly in the ’70s. But, in 1980, the band released the album, Remain in Light. The album’s first single, “Once in a Lifetime“, made the top 20 in the U.K., and gained them more attention and fame. Then the album, Speaking in Tongues was released in 1983. The band scored their biggest hit, and only top-10 hit, with “Burning Down the House”. It didn’t hurt that the video for the song got heavy airplay on MTV.
Three more albums followed: 1985’s Little Creatures (which featured the hit singles “And She Was” and “Road to Nowhere“), 1986’s True Stories (Talking Heads covering all the soundtrack songs of Byrne’s musical comedy film, in which the band also appeared), and 1988’s Naked.
After the album Naked, the band went on hiatus and eventually broke up for good.
The band tried reuniting without David Byrne, and called themselves The Heads. But they were nowhere nearly as successful as they had been.
Here are a couple of facts about “Burning Down the House” from Songfacts.com:
– Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz is a fan of Funk, and it was a P-Funk show in New York City that inspired this track. When he heard the crowd imploring the band to “Burn Down The House” (this is before “The Roof Is on Fire”), he got the idea for the title. As he explained in a 1984 interview with National Public Radio (NPR), he and Talking Heads bassist Tina Weymouth, who is also his wife, created the original track in a jam, then took it to the band where they refined the groove. To form the lyrics, they picked words that fit the rhythms, which is why the words don’t make a lot of sense. This is common practice in the world of Funk, where you don’t want the lyric to get in the way of the groove on a feel good song.
– With a lot of help from MTV, who gave the video a lot of play, this song became Talking Heads biggest hit. It didn’t get a great deal of radio play at the time, but has endured as an ’80s classic and is often used in movies and TV shows, including Gilmore Girls, 13 Going on 30, Six Feet Under, Revenge of the Nerds and Someone Like You. Talking Heads also performed it in their 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense.