Tom Tom Club - Tom Tom Club - Review
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critics' view

When Talking Heads David Byrne and Jerry Harrison embarked on solo projects in 1981, rhythm section Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz were encouraged to pursue their own side project. Roping in touring guitarist Adrian Belew, Tina’s sisters Laura and Lani, plus assorted Compass Point studio alumni, the newly-named Tom Tom Club cooked up funky grooves and quirky vocals to make their eponymous debut album. Singles Wordy Rappinghood and Genius Of Love took off beyond expectations, the former hitting the UK Top 10 while the latter’s irresistible groove caused pandemonium in clubs, becoming much sampled by hip-hop outfits including Grandmaster Flash and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde.

Now a major act in their own right, the group followed with an album, here with Bsides and extended remixes. Tina and Chris repeated the exercise in 1983 with Close To The Bone, which refined the formula with tighter song structures and melodies (strangely recalling Big Audio Dynamite). That’s also here, for the first time on CD, with extended versions and dubs of singles Pleasure Of Love and The Man With The 4-Way Hips. The synths might have dated but the sense of fun and the innate funk is contagious as ever.

Kris Needs
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