“I Want To Live” by Talking Heads
Sand in The Vaseline: Popular Favourites (1992 – album, 1975 – song)
“I Want To Live” is a dynamic but sparse track which is ultimately driven by an infectious base-line that binds everything together. The accompanying acoustic rhythms work perfectly with David Byrne’s slightly manic, but whimsical croon. The intermittent drum flourishes add that extra excitement which makes this song compelling even 40 years later.
Background on Talking Heads
Talking Heads are widely credited as one of the most influential new wave bands of all time. They are one of the few bands to successfully deliver socially relevant songs wrapped in an artistic, clever, and mysterious aesthetic. You can see and hear their influence in the music of many acclaimed bands including Violent Femmes, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Arcade Fire, and countless others.
The band was able to attain both critical and commercial success. Their popularity peaked in 1983 with the Top 10 hit “Burning Down the House” which included a unique video that received high rotation on MTV and MuchMusic.
In 1992, the band released a compilation album, Sand in The Vaseline: Popular Favourites, which included two discs. Disc one included songs from 1976-1983, and disc two included songs from 1984-1992. On disc one, fans were treated to two previously unreleased demos from 1975: “Sugar on My Tongue” and “I Want To Live”. These were not throwaways.