All My Favorite Songs #14: Once In A Lifetime

The centerpiece of Talking Heads' greatest album, 1980's Remain In Light, "Once In A Lifetime" is a studio tour-de-force, a headphone-friendly sonic epic. The composition itself represents one of the band's most infectious and unforgettable songs--David Byrne's "You may find yourself..." ponderings embedded in the national psyche, the "Letting the days go by" chorus insisting on listeners singing along, the wickedly insinuating 2-note bassline and intricately syncopated percussion carving out their own space in the dense music, the electric guitar outro briefly returning the band to their rock & roll roots. But the production gets a star turn as well, Brian Eno (making his second back-to-back appearance on this list) at the peak of his studio power, wielding a seemingly infinite sea of tracks and somehow making each instrument and vocal stand out while perfectly gelling into a whole.

And, of course, there's that video.

Incredibly, they were able to not just pull the song off live, but in some ways improve upon it.