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Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

Talking Heads – Psycho Killer

It was June 20, 1975, and the Talking Heads – just one-year-old as a band – was opening for the Ramones with just ten guests in the audience, so it’s said. They took the stage at the famous CBGBs in Manhattan and picked out a riff that secured their place in pop history. “Psycho Killer”, released two years later in 1977, became their first-ever hit and the band’s signature song per se.

Four years earlier, Scottish-born frontman David Byrne met Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth at the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. “Psycho Killer” turned into THE classic New Wave anthem, filling dance floors with its strange funky grooves and a bridge sung in French. Byrne had picked French to signify the delusion of a psychotic killer who “would imagine himself as very refined and use a foreign language to talk to himself”.

The French lyrics were supplied by Tina Weymouth. According to Frantz, “I told David that Tina’s mother is French and that they always spoke French in the home. Tina agreed to do it and just sat down and did it in a little over an hour.”

Ce que j’ai fait, ce soir-là (What I did, that evening) – ce qu’elle a dit, ce soir-là (what she said, that evening) – réalisant mon espoir (realizing my hope) – je me lance vers la gloire… (I’m heading for glory…)

Psycho Killer, qu’est-ce que c’est? C’est comme ça!

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