David Byrne discography

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David Byrne discography
David Byrne 2006.jpg
David Byrne speaking at the 2006 Future of Music Policy Summit hosted by the McGill University Schulich School of Music in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Studio albums9
Live albums5
Soundtrack albums12
Remix albums1

This article contains a comprehensive collection of information related to recordings by Scottish-American composer, musician, and producer David Byrne, former singer for Talking Heads.


Talking Heads

Byrne appeared on every release by Talking Heads, including their studio albums:

YearAlbum details
1977 Talking Heads: 77
  • Released: September 16, 1977
1978 More Songs About Buildings and Food
  • Released: July 14, 1978
1979 Fear of Music
  • Released: August 3, 1979
1980 Remain in Light
  • Released: October 8, 1980
1983 Speaking in Tongues
  • Released: May 31, 1983
1985 Little Creatures
  • Released: July 15, 1985
1986 True Stories
  • Released: October 7, 1986
1988 Naked
  • Released: April 3, 1988

And the live albums:

YearAlbum details
1982 The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads
  • Released: March 24, 1982
1984 Stop Making Sense
  • Released: October 15, 1984

Solo career

While recording with Talking Heads, Byrne started working on collaborations and albums without the band.

Studio albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsNotes
1981 My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
  • Released: February 1981
  • Labels: Sire
444729Recorded with Brian Eno. Re-released in 2006 with bonus tracks.
1989 Rei Momo 719652
1992 Uh-Oh 1256726
1994 David Byrne
  • Released: 1994-05-24
  • Labels: Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.
1997 Feelings
  • Released: 1997-06-17
  • Labels: Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.
15591Cover art by Stefan Sagmeister
2001 Look into the Eyeball
  • Released: 2001-05-08
  • Labels: Virgin
12058Re-released with bonus tracks. First album with Mauro Refosco.
2004 Grown Backwards
  • Released: 2004-03-16
  • Labels: Nonesuch/Warner Bros.
2008 Everything That Happens Will Happen Today
  • Released: 2008-08-18
  • Labels: Self-released
66153With Brian Eno. Cover art by Stefan Sagmeister.
2012 Love This Giant
  • Released: September 10, 2012
  • Labels: 4AD, Todo Mundo
2340Recorded with St. Vincent.
2018 American Utopia
  • Released: March 9, 2018
  • Label: Nonesuch

Soundtracks and music for theater

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsNotes
1981 The Catherine Wheel
  • Released: December 1981
  • Labels: Sire
104Music for the 1981 Twyla Tharp dance production of the same name.
1985 Music for "The Knee Plays"
  • Released: May 1985
  • Labels: ECM
141Music for Philip Glass and Robert Wilson's play The Civil Wars: A Tree Is Best Measured When It Is Down. Re-released as The Knee Plays in 2007.
1986 Sounds from True Stories
  • Released: 1986
  • Labels: Sire
Soundtrack to the film True Stories .
1987 The Last Emperor
  • Released: 1987
  • Labels: Virgin
152Score to the film The Last Emperor , composed with Ryuichi Sakamoto and Cong Su.
1991 The Forest
  • Released: June 1991
  • Labels: Luaka Bop/Warner Bros.
Music for the 1988 Robert Wilson theatre piece of the same name.
1999Your Action World
  • Released: 1999-01-01
  • Labels: Self-released
Music for Byrne's art presentation of the same name.
1999 In Spite of Wishing and Wanting
  • Released: 1999
  • Labels: Self-released
Music for the Ultima Vez dance production of the same name.
2003E.E.E.I. (Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information)
  • Released: 2003-07-02
  • Labels: Self-released
Music for Byrne's speaking tour and PowerPoint presentation of the same name.
2003 Lead Us Not into Temptation Soundtrack to the film Young Adam .
2008 Big Love: Hymnal Soundtrack to the second season of Big Love .
2010 Here Lies Love 9676With Fatboy Slim. A disco song cycle occasionally given staged performances.
2019American Utopia on Broadway Original Cast RecordingOriginal cast recording of the Broadway production of American Utopia.

In addition to the scores and soundtracks that have been released as albums, Byrne has written music for several other productions:

Live albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsNotes
1993Between the Teeth
  • Released: 1993
Released on VHS
2001 David Byrne Live at Union Chapel
  • Released: 2004-10-26
  • Labels: Nonesuch
Released on DVD.
2007 Live from Austin, Texas Recorded on 2001-11-28 for Austin City Limits . Released on DVD and Compact Disc.
2009 Everything That Happens Will Happen on This Tour – David Byrne on Tour: Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Recorded in 2008 during the Songs of David Byrne and Brian Eno Tour. Released on Compact Disc and digitally.
2012 Live at Carnegie Hall
  • Released: 2012-03-12
  • Labels: Nonesuch
Recorded in 2004 with Caetano Veloso.
2018'"...The Best Live Show Of All Time" —NME
  • Released: December 11, 2018
  • Labels: Nonesuch, Todo Mundo
Recorded at Brooklyn’s Kings Theatre in September 2018

Remix albums

YearAlbum detailsPeak chart positionsNotes
1998 The Visible Man
  • Released: 1998
  • Labels: ?
Remixes of songs from Feelings.



1978Dinosaur"Kiss Me Again" singleGuitar
1980 Love of Life Orchestra "Extended Nicities" singleGuitar
Robert Fripp God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners Vocals on "Under Heavy Manners"
1984 The Staple Singers "Slippery People" singleGuitar, Talking Heads cover version
1986 Philip Glass Song from Liquid DaysLyrics on "Liquid Days" and "Open the Kingdom"
1988 Tom Tom Club Boom Boom Chi Boom Boom Vocals on "Femme Fatale"
Tom Tom Club"Femme Fatale"Vocals, also features Marshall Jefferson remix
1990 Margareth Menezes ElegibôVocals and production on "Canto pra Subir" and "Abra a Boca"
Bernie Worrell Funk of Ages Co-writing and vocals on "Sing"
1992 Richard Thompson An Acoustic EveningRecorded live at St. Ann & The Holy Trinity, Brooklyn Heights, March 24, 1992. (Red Phantom: RPCD 1100)
Balanescu Quartet Byrne/Moran/Lurie/TorkeComposition on "High Life for Strings"
Tom Zé Brazil Classics, Vol. 5: The Hips of Tradition Vocals and guitar on "Jingle do Disco", released on Luaka Bop
1995 Selena Dreaming of You Vocals, co-writing, and production on "God's Child (Baila Conmigo)"
1996 Café Tacuba Avalanche de ExitosVocals on "No Controles"
2000 Peret and Carol CTributo a PeretVocals on "Si Fulano"
2001 Vinicius Cantuária Vinicius Lyrics and vocals on "Rio"
2002 X-Press 2 Lazy (X-Press 2 song) Co-writing and vocals, later released on Grown Backwards
2004 10,000 Maniacs Campfire Songs: The Popular, Obscure and Unknown Recordings Vocals "Let the Mystery Be", originally recorded for 1993's MTV Unplugged , along with cover versions of "Dallas" and "Jolene"
Thievery Corporation The Cosmic Game Lyrics and vocals on "The Heart's a Lonely Hunter"
2005 Fischerspooner Odyssey Lyrics on "Get Confused"
2006 Forro in the Dark Bonfires of São JoãoVocals on "Asa Branca" and "I Wish (Bundle of Contradictions)"
La Portuaria La PortuariaLyrics and vocals on "Hoy no le temo a la muerte"
2007 Baby Elephant Turn My Teeth Up!Vocals on "How Does the Brainwave?"
Marisa Monte Universo Ao Meu RedorVocals on "State of Liberty"
David Shrigley Worried NoodlesVocals on "For You"
Paul Van Dyk In Between Vocals on "Fall with Me"
2008 The BPA and Dizzee Rascal "Toe Jam"Vocals
2009N.A.S.A. The Spirit of Apollo Vocals on "The People Tree" and "Money"
Brazilian Girls "I'm Losing Myself"Vocals
2010 If By Yes "Salt on Sea Glass"Vocals on "Eliza"
Maximum Balloon "Maximum Balloon"Vocals on "Apartment Wrestling"
2011 Arcade Fire The Suburbs (Deluxe Edition) Vocals on "Speaking in Tongues"
2013 Jun Miyake Lost Memory Theatre - act-1Vocals on "A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes"
2014 Anna Calvi Strange Weather Vocals on "I'm the Man, That Will Find You (Connan Mockasin)" and "Strange Weather (Keren Ann)"
2016 De La Soul "Snoopies" (song)Vocals

Compilation appearances

1982Music and Rhythm"His Wife Refused"
1989The 20th Anniversary Album"America Is Waiting"
Like a Girl I Want You to Keep Coming"Song for the Trees (or) I Know Sometimes the World Is Wrong"
1990 Red Hot + Blue "Don't Fence Me In"
1993Caged/Uncaged: A Rock/Experimental Homage to John Cage"Cage and the Long Island Expressway" and "Enlightened Whistler"
1994Beat the Retreat: Songs by Richard Thompson"Just the Motion", originally by Richard Thompson
1995 Blue in the Face soundtrackCo-wrote "Mi Barrio", performed by La Casa, released by Luaka Bop
Afro-Peruvian Classics: The Soul of Black Peru "Maria Lando", released by Luaka Bop and compiled by Byrne
1996 Red Hot + Rio "Waters of March" with Marisa Monte
Offbeat: A Red Hot Soundtrip "It Goes Back"
1997Red Hot + Latin"Yolonda Niguas" with Café Tacuba
1998Red Hot + Lisbon"Dreamworld: Marco de Canavezes" with Caetano Veloso
2000Mantra Mix"Ain't Got so Far to Go"
2002The Only Blip Hop Record You Will Ever Need, Vol. 1"Pocket Monster"
Hear Music Volume 7: Waking "Walk on Water"
2004 In Good Company soundtrack"Glass, Concrete & Stone"
Future Soundtrack for America "Ain't Got so Far to Go"
The Wired CD "My Fair Lady"
2005 The Wired CD: Ripped. Sampled. Mashed. Shared. "My Fair Lady"
2007Plum"Ex-Guru", originally by The Fiery Furnaces
The Simpsons: Testify "Everybody Hates Ned Flanders" medley
2009 Dark Was the Night "Knotty Pine", with Dirty Projectors
2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps "Sleeping Up", "Tiny Apocalypse", and "Lazy"; "Home", "I Feel My Stuff", "Life Is Long", "My Big Nurse", and "Strange Overtones" with Eno; and "This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody)" by Talking Heads


Talking Heads produced or co-produced all their own music; in addition, Byrne has produced:

1982 The B-52's Mesopotamia
1983 Fun Boy Three Waiting
1986Various artists Something Wild Co-produced, also co-write and sang on "Loco de Amor"
1990 Margareth Menezes Elegibô"Canto pra Subir" and "Abra a Boca" also performs vocals
1995 Selena Dreaming of You "God's Child (Baila Conmigo)" also performs vocals and co-wrote

Other projects

Byrne has released a handful of books, including Arboretum, a collection of sketches of some of his favorite trees, and The New Sins, a work about sin in the 21st century. He has also made several public art installations, speaking engagements on art and technology, and PowerPoint presentations. In addition to a recording career as a solo artist, he also founded the record labels Luaka Bop and Todo Mundo.

Related Research Articles

Talking Heads American rock band

Talking Heads were an American rock band formed in 1975 in New York City and active until 1991. The band was composed of David Byrne, Chris Frantz (drums), Tina Weymouth (bass), and Jerry Harrison. Described as "one of the most critically acclaimed bands of the '80s," the group helped to pioneer new wave music by integrating elements of punk, art rock, funk, and world music with avant-garde sensibilities and an anxious, clean-cut image.

David Byrne Scottish-American musician and former frontman of Talking Heads

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<i>More Songs About Buildings and Food</i> 1978 album by Talking Heads

More Songs About Buildings and Food is the second studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, released on July 14, 1978, by Sire Records. It was the first of three albums produced by collaborator Brian Eno, and saw the band move toward a danceable style, crossing singer David Byrne's unusual delivery with new emphasis on the rhythm section composed of bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz.

<i>Remain in Light</i> 1980 studio album by Talking Heads

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<i>Fear of Music</i> 1979 studio album by Talking Heads

Fear of Music is the third studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, released on August 3, 1979 by Sire Records. It was recorded at locations in New York City during April and May 1979 and was produced by the quartet and Brian Eno. The album reached number 21 on the Billboard 200 and number 33 on the UK Albums Chart, and spawned the singles "Life During Wartime", "I Zimbra", and "Cities".

Tom Tom Club American rock band

Tom Tom Club is an American new wave band founded in 1981 by husband-and-wife team Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz as a side project from Talking Heads. Their best known songs include "Wordy Rappinghood", "Genius of Love", and a cover of The Drifters' "Under the Boardwalk", all released on their 1981 debut album Tom Tom Club.

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<i>Stop Making Sense</i> 1984 American film by Jonathan Demme

Stop Making Sense is a 1984 American concert film featuring a live performance by American rock band Talking Heads. Directed by Jonathan Demme, it was shot over the course of four nights at Hollywood's Pantages Theater in December 1983, as the group was touring to promote their new album Speaking in Tongues. The film is the first made entirely using digital audio techniques. The band raised the budget of $1.2 million themselves.

<i>Speaking in Tongues</i> (Talking Heads album) 1983 studio album by Talking Heads

Speaking in Tongues is the fifth studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, released on June 1, 1983 by Sire Records. After their split with producer Brian Eno and a short hiatus, which allowed the individual members to pursue side projects, recording began in 1982. It became the band's commercial breakthrough and produced the band's sole US top-ten hit, "Burning Down the House".

<i>Naked</i> (Talking Heads album) 1988 studio album by Talking Heads

Naked is the eighth and final studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, released on March 15, 1988 by Sire Records. The band dissolved shortly after the album's release, but did not announce their breakup until 1991.

<i>True Stories</i> (Talking Heads album) 1986 studio album by Talking Heads

True Stories is the seventh studio album by American rock band Talking Heads. It was released on September 15, 1986, by Sire Records, around the same time as lead singer David Byrne's film of the same name.

<i>My Life in the Bush of Ghosts</i> (album) 1981 album by Brian Eno and David Byrne

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts is a studio album by Brian Eno and David Byrne, released in February 1981. It was Byrne's first album without his band Talking Heads. The album integrates sampled vocals and found sounds, African and Middle Eastern rhythms, and electronic music techniques. It was recorded before Eno and Byrne's work on Talking Heads' 1980 album Remain in Light, but problems clearing samples delayed its release by several months.

<i>The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads</i> 1982 live album by Talking Heads

The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads is a double live album by American new wave band Talking Heads, originally released in 1982. The first LP featured the original quartet in recordings from 1977 and 1979, and the second LP featured the expanded ten-piece lineup that toured in 1980 and 1981. The album contains live versions of songs that appear on their first four studio albums: Talking Heads: 77, More Songs About Buildings and Food, Fear of Music, and Remain in Light. The cassette edition of the album included "Cities", a bonus track not included on the vinyl edition, which also appeared on the subsequent CD release.

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Once in a Lifetime (Talking Heads song) 1981 single by Talking Heads

"Once in a Lifetime" is a song by the American rock band Talking Heads, produced and cowritten by Brian Eno. The lead single from Talking Heads' fourth studio album, Remain in Light (1980), it was released on February 2, 1981, through Sire Records.

Burning Down the House 1983 single by Talking Heads

"Burning Down the House" is a song by new wave band Talking Heads, released in July 1983 as the first single from their fifth studio album Speaking in Tongues.

<i>Stop Making Sense</i> (album) 1984 live album by Talking Heads

Stop Making Sense is a live album by Talking Heads, the soundtrack to the film of the same name. It was released in September 1984 and features nine tracks from the movie, albeit with treatment and editing. The album spent over two years on the Billboard 200 chart. It was their first album to be distributed by EMI outside North America.

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<i>Everything That Happens Will Happen Today</i> 2008 studio album by David Byrne and Brian Eno

Everything That Happens Will Happen Today is the second collaborative studio album by David Byrne and Brian Eno, released on August 18, 2008, by Todo Mundo. Marking Byrne's eighth studio effort overall and Byrne and Eno's first joint project in nearly 30 years, the album explores themes of humanity versus technology and optimism in spite of bleak circumstance through the blending of electronic and gospel music. Critical reception was largely positive and the album received awards for both the musical content as well as the packaging and technical production.

Houses in Motion 1981 single by Talking Heads

"Houses in Motion" is the second and final single from Remain in Light, the fourth studio album by American new wave band Talking Heads. An alternate mix of the song was released in vinyl form on 5 May 1981 and peaked at number 50 on the UK Singles Chart.


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