Psycho Killer - Talking Heads
Psycho KillerStop Making Sense new wave 80s post-punk rock alternative
"Psycho Killer" is a song by Talking Heads from their 1977 album Talking Heads: 77, written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth. The band's "signature debut hit" features lyrics which seem to represent the thoughts of a serial killer. Allmusic calls it a "deceptively funky New Wave/No Wave song ... [with] an insistent rhythm, and one of the most memorable, driving bass lines in rock & roll." "Psycho Killer" was the only song from the album to appear on the Billboard charts, peaking at 92 among Billboard Pop Singles. It placed 32nd on the Triple J Hottest 100 in 1989. It almost made the top ten in the Netherlands, peaking at #11 in 1977. Lyrics According to the preliminary lyric sheets copied onto the 2006 remaster of Talking Heads: 77, the song started off as a semi-narrative of the killer actually committing murders. Byrne has said of the song: When I started writing this (I got help later), I imagined Alice Cooper doing a Randy Newman-type ballad. Both the Joker and Hannibal Lecter were much more fascinating than the good guys. Everybody sort of roots for the bad guys in movies. The bridge lyrics are in French and include the prominent chorus line, "Qu'est-ce que c'est ?", which translates in English to "What is it?". The rest of the French lyrics are: Ce que j'ai fait ce soir-là Ce qu'elle a dit ce soir-là' Réalisant mon espoir Je me lance vers la gloire... OK What I did, that evening What she said, that evening Fulfilling my hope Headlong I go for glory... OK An early demo version of the song, recorded at CBS Studios, and also performed at CBGB had different lyrics after the first chorus: Listen to me, now I’ve passed the test I think I’m cute, I think I’m the best Skirt tight, don't like that style Don’t criticize what I know is worthwhile Later releases A live version was released on The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads in 1982. Two years later, another live version was included on the soundtrack for Stop Making Sense, the band's 1984 concert movie. The film opens with Byrne alone onstage, announcing "'Hi. I've got tape I want to play'...[and] strumming maniacally like Richie Havens", playing an acoustic version of "Psycho Killer", backed only by a Roland TR-808 drum machine whose sound appears to be issuing from a boom box. The drum machine "fires" machine gun riffs that causes Byrne to stagger "like Jean Paul Belmondo in the final minutes of 'Breathless,' a hero succumbing, surprised, to violence that he'd thought he was prepared for." The song also appears on their 1992 compilation album Sand in the Vaseline: Popular Favorites and over a decade later on another compilation album, The Best of Talking Heads. The game Rock Band 2 features "Psycho Killer" The film Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon features "Psycho Killer" over its end credits. The Simpsons' "Treehouse of Horror XIX" features the song as Homer goes on a killing spree. "Psycho Killer" was playing in the background at the diner scene in the Spike Lee film Summer of Sam. The song appeared in the "Building 26" episode of Heroes when Sylar turns on the radio. The character is in fact, a psycho killer.
Talking Heads were a new wave band which formed in 1974 in New York City, New York, United States. The band originally consisted of David Byrne (vocals, guitar), Tina Weymouth (bass) and Chris Frantz (drums), who had met while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. The band added Jerry Harrison (keyboards & guitar) in early 1977. The band released eight studio albums before disbanding in 1991. Talking Heads were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. Show more ...
I'm tense and nervous and I
I can't sleep 'cause my bed's on fire
Don't touch me I'm a real live wire
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Run run run run run run run away
Qu'est-ce que c'est
Run, run, run, run, run, run, run, away
You start a conversation you can't even finish it.
You're talking a lot, but you're not saying anything.
When I have nothing to say, my lips are sealed.
Say something once, why say it again?
Ce que j'ai fait ce soir là
Ce qu'elle a dit ce soir là
Réalisant mon espoir
Je me lance vers la gloire, OK
We are vain and we are blind
I hate people when they're not polite
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh