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The other Talking Heads

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It was David Byrne who, all on his own, pronounced Talking Heads in December, though not before the band had resurrected four half-finished tracks laid down for previous albums and slapped them onto — what else? — an upcoming greatest-hits compilation, Sand in the Vaseline.

Meanwhile, husband-wife rhythm section Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth lead the pop-dance outfit Tom Tom Club, which, after early ’80s success with hits like ”Genius of Love,” has floundered commercially. The couple found better luck as a production team, twiddling knobs for Ziggy Marley and recently landing a très hip gig producing Manchester ecstatic dance rockers Happy Mondays. A fourth Tom Tom Club album, Dark Sneak Love Action, is due this spring.

Heads’ multi-instrumentalist Jerry Harrison concedes that dismal sales of his band, Casual Gods, put him in the producer’s chair more than he’d hoped. But the producer jobs he lands can be prestigious, including Mental Jewelry, by the group Live, a current college-radio smash.

Harrison perks up when he talks about reuniting a seminal group he was in the before the Heads — the Modern Lovers, with faux-naïf singer Jonathan Richman. ”And if Talking Heads ever decide they want to make another record.” he adds wistfully, ”that would be fine by me.”

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