My Top 1000 Songs #364: Genius Of Love
For awhile, "Genius of Love" was one of those tunes with serious high school nostalgia vibes. The Tom Tom Club's 1981 self-titled debut LP (a side project from Talking Heads rhythm section Tina Weymouth & Chris Frantz) came out at the tail end of my freshman year, and was kind of inescapable that summer. Plus I was just getting really into Talking Heads at the time, so it was cool having a little Heads-related music during a brief between-record lull for the band.
And for awhile it was one of those fistful of tunes I couldn't disassociate with that certain period in my life. But then the song achieved a sort of second life as a go-to sample on a million R&B and hip-hop songs (I heard that tell-tale riff, with pre-King Crimson Adrian Belew's punchy staccato guitar, in the supermarket just a few days ago, part of some otherwise unrecognizable song). And, yeah, the hook is pretty much the perfect sample; it's the rare song where you can easily identify it within a millisecond. But it's a great song throughout, Chris & Tina enthusiastically paying homage to their R&B and soul and reggae heroes, something that works equally well as a funky party dance number or as a tune you crank up alone at home to get yourself into your happy place. It may be hard for me to hear it these days without thinking of high school beach parties, or maybe some film soundtrack where it made an obligatory appearance, but it always grabs my attention.Live version from Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense:Live on Conan, 2012:Some kids on YouTube... hope for the future!So many samples/remakes!