TALKING HEADS - SARATOGA SPRINGS 1983

December 10, 2009 – 2:11 pm

BERNIE WORRELL R.I.P. 1944-2016

Bernie Worrell, the keyboardist, songwriter and synthesizer pioneer who served as co-founder of Parliament-Funkadelic and a key Talking Heads collaborator, died on June 24, 2016 after a battle with cancer, according to his Facebook page. He was 72. Diagnosed with stage four lung cancer in January, Worrell was the guest of honor at a massive benefit concert last April, with the likes of George Clinton, Questlove, David Byrne and Meryl Streep performing and paying tribute. In mid-June, however, his wife Judie Worrell announced his health had taken a turn, writing, “Bernie is now heading ‘Home.’”

As a member of Parliament-Funkadelic, Worrell’s synth playing provided the funk innovators with some of their most distinctive and immediately recognizable elements, which subsequently became signature sounds of the more futuristic strains of R&B, and the bedrock of hip-hop’s West Coast “g-funk” wave, with Dr Dre in particular sampling Worrell’s music almost religiously.

Shortly after his departure from the P-Funk universe in 1981, Worrell was recruited by Jerry Harrison, guitarist for the art-rock/New Wave group Talking Heads, whom Worrell had never heard. Though he found their earlier music “stiff,” Worrell joined the group as a session musician, contributing synthesizers to 1983 album “Speaking in Tongues,” which would go on to become the Heads’ highest-charting release. He toured with the group for years, and his importance to their live sound is made abundantly clear in the Jonathan Demme-directed 1984 concert film, “Stop Making Sense.” During the ‘80s, Worrell also recorded with Keith Richards, Fela Kuti, and Jack Bruce, and after the breakup of Talking Heads, he released a spate of solo albums in the early-‘90s. (1991’s “Funk of Ages” is the clear standout.) - Variety

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Click on the panels for a better view or to download artwork.

TALKING HEADS
Saratoga Springs 1983 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY, August 5, 1983. Very good soundboard. (This show has also been listed as August 3, 1983.)

If you are one of those who liked Talking Heads’ Stop Making Sense and wondered why didn’t they release a complete concert instead of a truncated show, this one’s for you.

Creatively, Talking Heads peaked during Remain In Light (1980) and Speaking In Tongues (1983) though some would probably say it was their debut album, Talking Heads: 77, that laid the groundwork. Musically it’s hard to beat the pulsating beats and polyrhythms of Light and Tongues. With the Renaissance Man of New Wave/Rock on stage, this is one party that is visually arresting and dares anyone to sit still. And Jonathan Demme has captured it all on film.

Various versions of this show have circulated among fans, some versions whose audio quality seems worse than others (static and drop outs). Thanks then to gilde who shared this lossless version on the Dime site. glide noted: “The tapes been sitting in my vault for 24 years and I did not think to investigate until an old buddy of mine happened to mention that it was superior to all other circulating copies. That led me to do a new transfer.” Thanks also to angela for the artwork.

To cop a line from Rob Tannenbaum’s review of Little Creatures in Rolling Stone, “It brings to mind a comment Pete Townshend made to RS three years ago: ‘I like New York, but I don’t see a hell of a lot happening. David Byrne has got the weight of the whole thing on his shoulders’.” Guess that’s why Byrne got the white suit with the big shoulders.

Note: Click on the highlighted tracks to download the MP3s (these are high quality MP3s - sample rate of 192 kbps). As far as we can ascertain, these tracks have never been officially released on CD.

Due to the size of some of the files, please be very patient when downloading the tracks. It could be that the server was very busy. Please try again later. Kindly email us at [email protected] if you encounter persistent problems downloading the files.

Disc 1 (Set 1):
Track 101. Psycho Killer (7.2MB)
Track 102. Heaven (5.7MB)
Track 103. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel (3.2MB)
Track 104. Building On Fire (4.3MB)
Track 105. Book I Read (6.7MB)
Track 106. Slippery People (7.7MB)
Track 107. Cities (6.9MB)
Track 108. Big Blue Plymouth (Eyes Wide Open) (6.7MB)
Track 109. Burning Down The House (5.7MB)
Track 110. Life During Wartime (7.8MB)

Disc 2 (Set 2):
Track 201. Making Flippy Floppy (8.4MB)
Track 202. Swamp (7.0MB)
Track 203. What A Day That Was (8.9MB)
Track 204. This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) (7.3MB)
Track 205. Once In A Lifetime (7.5MB)
Track 206. Big Business (7.5MB)
Track 207. I Zimbra (4.1MB)
Track 208. Houses In Motion (9.4MB)
Track 209. Genius Of Love (Tom Tom Club) (10.6MB)
Track 210. Girlfriend Is Better (8.6MB)
Track 211. Take Me To The River (11.5MB)
Encore:
Track 212. Crosseyed And Painless (9.9MB)

Lineup:
David Byrne – guitar
Chris Frantz – drums
Tina Weymouth – bass
Jerry Harrison – guitar
Bernie Worrell – keyboards
Steve Scales – percussion
Ednah Holt – backing vocals
Lynn Mabry – backing vocals
Alex Weir – guitar

Click here to order Talking Heads albums.

  1. 25 Responses to “TALKING HEADS - SARATOGA SPRINGS 1983”

  2. Great! Bernie Worrell on keyboards too.

    By Jonathan on Dec 10, 2009

  3. My girlfriend at the time asked me what I wanted for my birthday and I said tickets to this show. When I got my present it was a wallet, no tickets. By then the show was sold out. Thanks for the memories, Big O!

    By Reg on Dec 10, 2009

  4. Saw this show in Nashville TN. Stunning, inventive, and musical!

    By Mark Desmet on Dec 10, 2009

  5. wasn’t Adrian Belew in this tour’s band?

    By elroy on Dec 10, 2009

  6. This aint no fooooolin’ arooouuund.

    By Timmy on Dec 11, 2009

  7. This was the most amazing show. My wife still references it. Can’t wait to hear this. Thanks and Happy Holly Daze to all!

    By mystere on Dec 11, 2009

  8. Hey, BigO! Another great show! Thanks!

    Elroy, I dont think Belew was in the band at that time. As far as I remember, Belew was there for the previous Tour, for the “Remain in Light” album. In the “Speaking in Tongues” Tour, (from where “Stop Making Sense” and this gem came out)he was no longer part of the band.

    Anyways, please do the same I am doing right now: Enjoying this wonderful recording.

    No doubt, this is a Gem!

    Cheers! Happy Holidays!

    By Boschini on Dec 11, 2009

  9. hey bigo, thanks! i’m such a fan of the syracuse 77 show i got this one too. it’s real good. i’m playing it now. it’s actually the book i read.

    best,
    ed

    By Ed Saad on Dec 11, 2009

  10. This is great…I thought that the expanded CD of “Stop Making Sense” was complete but some of my favorites weren’t included…”Cities”, “Eyes Wide Open” and “Houses In Motion” among them. Thanks a lot.

    By ken w on Dec 11, 2009

  11. Saw the tour open in Portland, Maine. Still the best live show I’ve seen. THANKS

    By Eric on Dec 12, 2009

  12. Was at Portland, Maine as well, then out on Cape Cod, MA. Wonderful shows, but recall Burning Down the House repeated as an encore as well.

    Belew was already gone, touring with King Crimson at this time.

    By David on Dec 15, 2009

  13. Saw this tour at Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, Maryland. It remains in my top-ten favorite concert experiences. Wasn’t “Busta” Cherry Jones there as a 2nd bass player? The repeat of “Burning Down the House” happened at this show also. I always found that odd, but fun!
    Thanks for this.

    By Vaughn on Dec 15, 2009

  14. I was feeling sentimental and looked up one of the Heads concerts I went to in the day. Summer of 1983 at SPAC. Here is an album of it. So cool. Played so much early 1980’s frisbee with high powered stereo speakers pointed out dorm room windows cranking Talking Heads.

    By jon on Sep 24, 2011

  15. Just as a note, they did release a full concert of this recently; the original “Stop Making Sense” was expanded to include the whole show. However that set didn’t include a large amount of the songs here, making this another spectacular download

    By Alastair Grimley on Dec 16, 2011

  16. Thanks for sharing, this was one of the most memorable road trip experiences of my life with three of my dearest friends. The show itself is no doubt in my top 3 of all time. Here’s to you Dewey, Bull and Cono. Are we really turning 50?

    By Booch on Feb 27, 2012

  17. I saw this tour at Pine Knob in Clarkston, MI- AMAZING!!!

    One of the best concerts experiences of my life, and the only concert I ever went with my younger sister too!

    One could only wish that David Byrne could one day “see the light” and decide to put this band together again.

    By Evil dr.Louie on May 4, 2013

  18. @Evil Dr. Louie - uhuh you said “knob” uhuh

    By Fecal O' Sharkey on May 4, 2013

  19. Great memories - or should I say mammories - we got it on in the parking lot after this show - Talking Heads drives the girls wild! I was with a college chick from Vermont, just up the road - Green Mountain College - aka “Green Mattress” - this was some show!

    By Adam Dean on May 31, 2013

  20. Sorry to report that tracks 107 and 209 won’t download. Any suggestions?

    By 321howard on Jun 5, 2013

  21. was just sitting here so i tried , 321 howard and they worked fine for me.

    By sluggo on Jun 5, 2013

  22. Hello, there’s a ‘Http 404 Not Found’ message on Track 110 and Track 205. Any help, as always, is greatly appreciated.

    By carsmile2 on Mar 11, 2015

  23. Guess ‘da boyz’ must have fixed it carsmile2 yes? Both tracks download fine from here . . . . .

    By swappers on Mar 11, 2015

  24. Sure did as usual, thanks for the post informing me though and thanks BigO.

    By carsmile2 on Mar 12, 2015

  25. I was just telling my wife about this concert (saw it at the GW Snith Center) and here it is! fa fa fa fa fa fafa fafa fa fa

    By nokesvillejr on Mar 16, 2015

  26. such n amazing venue to see this particular line-up of the band. God they were on fire. We danced till we couldn’t walk..
    I always wondered if my memory was deceiving me, but listening to the recordings, this really was an amazing show.
    Thank you very much!

    By peter on Feb 23, 2016

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