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Talking Heads — Life During Wartime (Live)
Album: Stop Making Sense
Avg rating:
7.5

Your rating:
Total ratings: 1385









Released: 1984
Length: 5:45
Plays (last 30 days): 2
Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some grave sites out by the highway
A place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire off in the distance
I'm getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, I lived in the ghetto
I've lived all over this town

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Transmit the message to the receiver
Hope for an answer some day
I got three passports, couple of visas
Don't even know my real name
High on a hillside trucks are loading
Everything's ready to roll
I sleep in the daytime, I work in the nightime
I might not ever get home

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
This ain't no mudd club, or C.B.G.B.
I ain't got time for that now

This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain't got time for that now

Heard about Houston? heard about Detroit?
Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
You oughta know not to stand by the window
Somebody might see you up there
I got some groceries, some peanut butter
To last a couple of days
But I ain't got no speakers, ain't got no headphones
Ain't got no records to play

Why stay in college? why go to night school?
Gonna be different this time?
Can't write a letter, can't send a postcard
I can't write nothing at all
This ain't no party, this ain't no disco
This ain't no fooling around
I'd love you hold you, I'd like to kiss you
I ain't got no time for that now

Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock
We blended in with the crowd
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines
I know that ain't allowed
We dress like students, we dress like housewives
Or in a suit and a tie
I changed my hairstyle so many times now
Don't know what I look like
You make me shiver, I feel so tender
We make a pretty good team
Don't get exhausted, I'll do some driving
You ought to get you some sleep
Burned all my notebooks, what good are notebooks?
They won't help me survive
My chest is aching, burns like a furnace
The burning keeps me alive
Comments (197)add comment
Wild song, wild movie, and wild memories! A friend and I had fallen in love with this amazing band in and through our High School Daze, and we had a reunion for the occasion of this movie's release. We snuck a bunch of beers and a couple of joints into the theater where it was playing, and wow, we were not disappointed! This, along with PF's Live at Pompeii, are perhaps the two most incredible concert films ever made. Immersive and Immortal!
imagine not being able to hear this played? not ever again?



that wouldn't be so bad
 Far wrote:

The video of the concert is rated one of the best.  Good production values for the time.


I need to watch again. Epic! David Byrne wore me out watching his performance.
 ziakut wrote:

David Byrne has worn so thin over the years. My ears don't like him the way they used to. What used to sound "hip" and "prevalent" now sounds whiny and stupid. 


Sounds like the years have not been kind to your ears, rather than Mr. Byrne's vocals.
A couple of new live releases are popping up on Tidal and Qobuz from the late 70's/Early 80's. I've been impressed - great concerts when they were in their emerging prime. Worth checking out.
 Chongo1959 wrote:

Saw them at the Heatwave Festival northeast of Toronto in August, 1980. Great Show, only no show was Dexy's, not allowed through customs!



I was there too, what a great line up
 xcranky_yankee wrote:
 deltaindia wrote:

When I hear it "Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go". I'm scared because I understand the relevance of these words. I think Byrne is a genius. 10 for me, this song will forever be in my heart. Greetings from Ukraine.

continuing to pray for you all...kazoo was Ukrainian and we have flown a flag for years. 
 
Add my best of, most Americans are cheering for you.
 danmc wrote:

Love the big suit pic (and the ticket!), too.


don't forget the high-waist trousers
 deltaindia wrote:

When I hear it "Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go". I'm scared because I understand the relevance of these words. I think Byrne is a genius. 10 for me, this song will forever be in my heart. Greetings from Ukraine.

continuing to pray for you all...kazoo was Ukrainian and we have flown a flag for years. 





 deltaindia wrote:

When I hear it "Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go". I'm scared because I understand the relevance of these words. I think Byrne is a genius. 10 for me, this song will forever be in my heart. Greetings from Ukraine.




I have no words. May peace find you.
 jjbchansen159 wrote:

Bernie Worell on keys. 



Keven on imaginary drums?
Bernie Worell on keys. 
When I hear it "Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go". I'm scared because I understand the relevance of these words. I think Byrne is a genius. 10 for me, this song will forever be in my heart. Greetings from Ukraine.
EXCELLENT!!! Chair dancing time!!!  
 KaiT wrote:

Talking Heads. An acquired life-long taste. 

Like Frank Zappa.

And olives. 




I Agree!! On Both counts!!  I would also like to add: Guiness Stout, IPA, Clams & oysters on the half shell!!  
Talking Heads. An acquired life-long taste. 

Like Frank Zappa.

And olives. 
 RabbitEars wrote:

I heard the line "we've got computers" and thought at the time, that would have been a a rarity. Read the lyrics and thought, "what the hell?" I never gave a thought to what this was about, it just sounds great. 

 

In David Bowman's book This Must Be the Place: The Adventures of Talking Heads in the Twentieth Century Byrne is quoted as describing the genesis of the song:

David wrote nine of the album's eleven tracks. Two numbers came out of jamming. The first would be called "Life During Wartime." David's lyrics describe a Walker Percy-ish post-apocalyptic landscape where a revolutionary hides out in a deserted cemetery, surviving on peanut butter. "I wrote this in my loft on Seventh and Avenue A," David later said, "I was thinking about Baader-Meinhof. Patty Hearst. Tompkins Square. This a song about living in Alphabet City."[4]

and people think the last 5 years have been crazy... some things change, some things stay the sane. insanity knows no bounds and never has

Saw them at the Heatwave Festival northeast of Toronto in August, 1980. Great Show, only no show was Dexy's, not allowed through customs!
 justin4kick wrote:


1st July 1982. What a day that was!


Talking Heads AND the Tom Tom Club... you lucky Bar Steward... must have been a great gig! Wait... +U2,  +The Alarm ...?
I heard the line "we've got computers" and thought at the time, that would have been a a rarity. Read the lyrics and thought, "what the hell?" I never gave a thought to what this was about, it just sounds great. 

 

In David Bowman's book This Must Be the Place: The Adventures of Talking Heads in the Twentieth Century Byrne is quoted as describing the genesis of the song:

David wrote nine of the album's eleven tracks. Two numbers came out of jamming. The first would be called "Life During Wartime." David's lyrics describe a Walker Percy-ish post-apocalyptic landscape where a revolutionary hides out in a deserted cemetery, surviving on peanut butter. "I wrote this in my loft on Seventh and Avenue A," David later said, "I was thinking about Baader-Meinhof. Patty Hearst. Tompkins Square. This a song about living in Alphabet City."[4]


Love the big suit pic (and the ticket!), too.
 justin4kick wrote:


1st July 1982. What a day that was!
 

Wow - lucky you! I regret never having seen them live. Interesting to see special guest U2!

Vector effect.


1st July 1982. What a day that was!
talking heads chapel hill

One of the top 5 shows of my life - Wartime or Peace. (1983 btw)

The video of the concert is rated one of the best.  Good production values for the time.
See, this is why RP is such a wonderful place to spend your time.  I listen to a set which, to my ears, is a whole line of duds.  Other folks love them, though, so all is sweet.  Then this comes on and my swede starts rocking about again.  Who could ask for more?  Thanks, Mr & Mrs G.  I hope you live forever.
Should be the theme song for The Walking Dead.
an eleven for the background singers and the rythm section
This reworked live version is a lot of fun.
When he's live, at least it doesn't sound like keening.
Meh, the studio version is better IMO. I give this a '6'.

Genius.

 
 musikluvr wrote:
One of the bright spots of the '80's {#Bananasplit}

 
"One of?"  Really?
 msymmes wrote:
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines

I know that ain't allowed

{#Dancingbanana_2} 

 

Come on people.  I said this a month ago !!!!
We got computers, we're tapping phone lines

I know that ain't allowed

{#Dancingbanana_2} 
Paradigm shift!
1 9 8 4 !
{#Bananapiano}{#Drummer}{#Bananapiano}{#Drummer}  O U T S T A N D I N G
One of the bright spots of the '80's {#Bananasplit}
....no words
{#Bananapiano}{#Dancingbanana}{#Bananajam} 
My favorite album of 1985 BAR NONE!!! 10
TEN !
 
 BigIslandBlues wrote:
Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver in the early 1980's. Dave in the big suit. It was a memorable concert.
 
That show is still on my top 5 list!!!  Bought the t-shirt and wore it proudly
Love it...I got some peanut butter.
The heads are tearing it up on this one, laughing at the negative feedbacks ......{#Sunny}
 rosedraws wrote:
I love the Talking Heads — except Live
 
Agree. Love their recorded stuff. Saw a tribute band in a pub once, better than the real guys live? Perhaps I got them on a bad night? 
 CamLwalk wrote:
Going to see Start Making Sense...a TH tribute band
 
{#Clap}  good one ! 

You funny
One of their best - definitely and 8 or 9.  "Burning Down the House" is the only one better.
Going to see Start Making Sense...a TH tribute band on Friday May 18th at Jillian's in Albany.  Seen them a couple of times before, they're amazing!
I love the Talking Heads — except Live
Quirky and cerebral - the heads kickin down in their prime. Never tire of these guys. STILL sounds fresh.
College memories swirl -
The world is better for david byrne's presence.
i wonder if the kids on 'occupy wall street' are listening to TH
maybe they got michael franti live
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgdFHU7hraM&feature=share
I started out hating Talking Heads because I found it hysterical and too much, now years later I like it, it just kept growing, and the thing is that a friend of mine told me that I would eventually start liking it, funny :)
I don't understand the revisionist history by former TH "fans"..  this stuff ROCKS!!! {#Dancingbanana_2}
Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver in the early 1980's. Dave in the big suit. It was a memorable concert.
Rent "A Boy and His Dog" on DVD. Written by Harlan Ellison. Don Johnson in his first "major" role. Eve Arden before she became one of Jehovah's Witnesses. Jason Robards, sinister as ever.  And a very prophetic view of what would happen if WWWhatever happened and someone dropped the bomb.

It's hysterically funny, but also bone-chillingly real.  I love this song.
 run4more wrote:
A great concert does not always translate into a great recording. Just saying I prefer the original....and it's probably not a favorite of mine in either context.

 

I'm with you.
A great concert does not always translate into a great recording. Just saying I prefer the original....and it's probably not a favorite of mine in either context.

Hate TH... Talking Heads and Tokio Hotel... and Tonia Harding... :)
{#Hearteyes}{#Good-vibes}
David Byrne has worn so thin over the years. My ears don't like him the way they used to. What used to sound "hip" and "prevalent" now sounds whiny and stupid. 
 reason06 wrote:


It amounts to the same thing. If you don't want some action taken, then why post at all?
 

It's what we do around here.
 DaveInVA wrote:
{#Puke}{#Puke}
 
You're just right, buddy.

{#Puke}{#Puke}
I went to the Hollywood show when this was recorded from!!!  The Pantages Theatre I think, security tried to keep us from dancing in the aisles...TRIED{#Dancingbanana}
 Fooboy wrote:

Talking Heads is kicked to death on RP... and for those of us who "don't appreciate" them, it gets kinda' repetitive ....

 
I have a suggestion - You should learn to appreciate them, then your life would be a little sunnier {#Sunny}
 jjbix wrote:
no, no, no not again!
 
Talking Heads is kicked to death on RP... and for those of us who "don't appreciate" them, it gets kinda' repetitive ....

no, no, no not again!
I  member seein um on MTV ......ago...same as it ever was!!!{#Bananasplit}  water flowing underground....once in a lifetime./.....{#Heartkiss} keeeppp itt  coomminnngg!!!
 oufason wrote:
I remember seeing this tour, and it still ranks as one of the best shows I have ever seen.
 

I second that sentiment. The house was jumpin' !!
It was the perfect mix of theater and music.
Watch the movie if you've never seen it.
 dionysius wrote:
The original studio version on Fear Of Music was dark, taut, tense, frightening, funny. Funky, but not a party tune. The live Stop Making Sense version, though, is trying too hard to be Parliament/Funkadelic, celebratory, get-down partytime. This song doesn't work like that. Give me the original, ten times over.

Original: 10. This gets a 7.

 

I think it's because they push the chorus so hard in the live version. It makes it sound more like a pop song that way. Watch people at concerts.  most of them will sing along with the choruses and either blah-blah the verses or not sing along with them at all. But they can remember that part that repeats over and over.


dionysius wrote:
The original studio version on Fear Of Music was dark, taut, tense, frightening, funny. Funky, but not a party tune. The live Stop Making Sense version, though, is trying too hard to be Parliament/Funkadelic, celebratory, get-down partytime. This song doesn't work like that. Give me the original, ten times over.

Original: 10. This gets a 7.



I remember thinking I'd upload the version from TNOTBITH but a search said they already have it. Unfortunately the track listing for that album links back to this.

I ran into the same problem with alt. takes of Psycho Killer. Hmm.

 dionysius wrote:
The original studio version on Fear Of Music was dark, taut, tense, frightening, funny. Funky, but not a party tune. The live Stop Making Sense version, though, is trying too hard to be Parliament/Funkadelic, celebratory, get-down partytime. This song doesn't work like that. Give me the original, ten times over.

Original: 10. This gets a 7.

 
That is funny,  I was in college when Fear came out and it was a party tune to us.  Maybe we we were just dark, taut, tense, frightening...
I remember seeing this tour, and it still ranks as one of the best shows I have ever seen.

The original studio version on Fear Of Music was dark, taut, tense, frightening, funny. Funky, but not a party tune. The live Stop Making Sense version, though, is trying too hard to be Parliament/Funkadelic, celebratory, get-down partytime. This song doesn't work like that. Give me the original, ten times over.

Original: 10. This gets a 7.

I know these guys were innovative.  Tight stuff—absolutely no doubt.  Most worthwhile stuff for the RP play list.

But for some funny reason, it just doesn't work for me.   I also respect people who cannot stand old favourites of mine:  Neil Young, for example, or admittedly bombastic Moody Blues or Yes.

What is it?  Context?


Hannio wrote:
Indeed I do use the mute button whenever I hear David Byrne's music. That doesn't mean I won't hate it the next time I hear it. One thing I don't do is demand that it be dropped from the playlist, like some people.
It amounts to the same thing. If you don't want some action taken, then why post at all?
reason06 wrote:
How can you hate someone that you have the power to listen to or not, just use your mute, volume button or walk away. Dont waste you energy.
Indeed I do use the mute button whenever I hear David Byrne's music. That doesn't mean I won't hate it the next time I hear it. One thing I don't do is demand that it be dropped from the playlist, like some people.
Fun version of a classic Talking Heads song. Works for me....
Hannio wrote:
I have come to hate David Byrne.
How can you hate someone that you have the power to listen to or not, just use your mute, volume button or walk away. Dont waste you energy.
Uncle_Fenester wrote:
But he always says such nice things about you.
I highly doubt that based on my last conversation with him.
The lyrics of this song tell a really cool, weird story... Trouble in transit, got through the roadblock we blended in with the crowd We got computers, we're tapping phone lines I know that ain't allowed We dress like students, we dress like housewives or in a suit and a tie I changed my hairstyle so many times now don't know what I look like
Alpine wrote:
Logged on here just to give this a ONE.
You might want to temper your ratings a bit, giving a 1 to 20% of what you rate does not communicate as much about the music as about you...
Logged on here just to give this a ONE.
Hannio wrote:
I have come to hate David Byrne.
i know what you mean, but True Stories is still one of my favorite movies
Saw the Stop Making Sense concert movie at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor a couple of times while in college - great memories!!
I want a big suit.
stinky wrote:
way overplayed, indeed! Sorry to say it, but things are in need of little freshening at RP. Quite a few of these sequences of songs have been around for quite a while.
Sorry to say it, but some listeners at RP are in need of little refreshing their taste.
Good band, good song.
RP, DB, TH
stinky wrote:
way overplayed, indeed! Sorry to say it, but things are in need of little freshening at RP. Quite a few of these sequences of songs have been around for quite a while.
Ok, some artists/songs are in heavy rotation on RP, but as long as I'm discovering something new nearly every day I can't see the point to ask for refreshing the set.
way overplayed, indeed! Sorry to say it, but things are in need of little freshening at RP. Quite a few of these sequences of songs have been around for quite a while.
When I was hanging out at the Mudd Club and CBGBs I also got to see the Heads on New Year's Eve 1978/9. Great show and great time for the birth of a new musical sensibility. The bands were all very different, both those that had long careers, T Heads, Patti Smith, Ramones, Television, Blondie and those that slipped into obscurity Richard Hell and the Voidoids, the Fast, the Heartbreakers (not Tom Petty), the Dead Boys.
Always like it when the emoticons are in time with the music...
The best Talking Heads song ever.
stinky wrote:
way overplayed.
Agreed. If I ever hear this again, it will be too soon.
betterdaze wrote:
Always happy to hear the Talking Heads!
Ditto
Hannio wrote:
I have come to hate David Byrne.
But he always says such nice things about you.
Deadwing wrote:
I absolutely love the Talking Heads but I can see how some people would flat out just not get them. They have always been very unconventional and have never given half a shit what people thought of them
Very Good Point! All you talking heads detractors. No one cares. Shut it! The originality and unconventional spirit of the David Byrne and the Talking Heads trumps all your negative crap.
Always happy to hear the Talking Heads!
I have come to hate David Byrne.
jjbix wrote:
2 much byrne on Radio Talking Heads!! he's good but his voice & songs get monotonous . . . . (and this version of the song is especially irritatingly long and annoying!)
Bill loves Byrnin' down the house.
I absolutely love the Talking Heads but I can see how some people would flat out just not get them. They have always been very unconventional and have never given half a shit what people thought of them
way overplayed.
As a big T Heads fan - even I must admit - RP plays too much of them and D. Byrne
2 much byrne on Radio Talking Heads!! he's good but his voice & songs get monotonous . . . . (and this version of the song is especially irritatingly long and annoying!)
A classic!!!
People... people - can't we just get along? It's just music. Talking Heads was never intended to be taken so seriously. In contrast, Arvo Part's Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten is serious.
Flying_Donut wrote:
Somebody posted that "Gimme Shelter" by the Stones would be the song as the credits rolled for the September 11 movie. I disagree. This song would be better.
Amother Talking Heads song would work better for 9-11: Psycho Killer
Alpine wrote:
I'm with you. I think I'll give it a one on my way to the mute button.
Good idea! I'll do the same.
I am officially sick of this song, in all forms.
jagdriver wrote:
Not HIM again...(mute)
Oh, not THAT ANTI-TALKING HEADS comment again....
Art_Carnage wrote:
This is the "that" of which is doesn't get better than.
Yep, best song of an impressive catalog.
Probably the greatest rock concert movie ever. David Byrne is a visionary genius.
jagdriver wrote:
Not HIM again...(mute)
I'm with you. I think I'll give it a one on my way to the mute button.
Not HIM again...(mute)
Is that your party? Hell Yes It is ... Ain't got NO Headphones!
I love those last few slaps on the synthesizer. Funky and weird.
milehighYinzer wrote:
Heard about Houston? Heard about Detroit? Heard about Pittsburgh, PA?
When I lived in Pittsburgh, it was such a big deal hearing the place mentioned in this still-fun song!