True Stories (album)

True Stories (album)

True Stories is the seventh album released by Talking Heads in 1986; it was released at the same time as the David Byrne film of the same name, True Stories.

The album does not contain the actors' performances from the film, and as such is not considered a true soundtrack album. Byrne stated in an interview that the decision not to release these unique renditions (including performances by John Goodman and Pops Staples) is a major regret. Instead, this is a Talking Heads studio album featuring recordings of songs from the film. While an original cast recording for this movie was never released, several of the film performances did appear on single releases of several songs from the album.

Later, lead singer Byrne released the album Sounds from True Stories containing incidental music from the soundtrack.

The single "Wild Wild Life" became the big hit from the album, accompanied by its video airplay on MTV. The "Wild Wild Life" video won two MTV Video Music Awards in 1987: "Best Group Video", beating U2 and Crowded House, and "Best Video from a Film". (The video is in fact an extended sequence lifted directly from the film itself). A video for "Love for Sale" was created for use in the film (during a sequence when a woman watches the video on TV), and an extended version was later released as a video in its own right.

In 2006, it was re-released and remastered by Warner Music Group on their Warner Bros./Sire Records/Rhino Records labels in DualDisc format, with three bonus tracks on the CD side (an extended mix of "Wild Wild Life," "Papa Legba" with vocal by Pops Staples, and "Radio Head" with vocals by Tito Larriva). The DVD-Audio side includes both stereo and 5.1 surround high resolution (96 kHz/24bit) mixes, as well as a Dolby Digital version and the videos of "Wild Wild Life" and "Love for Sale." In Europe, it was released as a CD+DVDA two disc set rather than a single DualDisc. The reissue was produced by Andy Zax with Talking Heads.

Track listing

All songs written by David Byrne:

  1. "Love for Sale" – 4:30
  2. "Puzzlin' Evidence" – 5:23
  3. "Hey Now" – 3:42
  4. "Papa Legba" – 5:54
  5. "Wild Wild Life" – 3:39
  6. "Radio Head" – 3:14
  7. "Dream Operator" – 4:39
  8. "People Like Us" – 4:26
  9. "City of Dreams" – 5:06

Of the above, "Love for Sale", "Wild Wild Life" and "City of Dreams" are the only recordings that actually appear in the film. On screen, the other songs are performed by the film actors.


Talking Heads

Additional musicians

  • Bert Cross Choir – vocals on "Puzzlin' Evidence"
  • Tommy Camfield – fiddle on "People Like Us"
  • Paulinho Da Costapercussion on "Papa Legba", "Radio Head", and "People Like Us"
  • Steve Jordanaccordion on "Radio Head"
  • St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir – vocals on "Hey Now"
  • Tommy Morrell – pedal steel guitar on "People Like Us" and "City of Dreams"

Recording personnel

  • Charles Brocco – assistant mixing
  • Paul Christiensen – overdubbing engineer on "Puzzlin' Evidence"
  • Nick del Ray – assistant engineers
  • Mick Guzauski – mixing on "Wild Wild Life"
  • Lee Herschburg – mixing on "People Like Us"
  • Robin Laine – assistant mixing
  • Michael McClain – overdubbing engineer on "Hey Now", "Radio Head", "People Like Us", and "City of Dreams"
  • Tom Nist – assistant mixing
  • Jack Skinner – mastering
  • Eric Thorngren – engineer, mixing, overdubbing
  • Melanie West – assistant engineers


  • British band Radiohead took their name from the song "Radio Head" on this album. They also name Talking Heads as a big influence in their music.
  • In the novel American Psycho, this Talking Heads album is the one that Patrick Bateman plays throughout the start of the story.

Chart performance

Year Chart Position
1986 UK Albums 7
Year Single Chart Position
1986 "Wild Wild Life" UK Singles 43
1987 "Radio Head" UK Singles 52

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