"This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody)" is a song by New Wave band Talking Heads, released as the second single from their fifth album Speaking in Tongues. The lyrics were written byDavid Byrne, and the music was written by Byrne and the other members of the band, Chris FrantzTina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison.

Composition[edit source | editbeta]Edit

In the "Self Interview" on the DVD of the concert film Stop Making Sense, Byrne states that it is a love song, a topic he tends to avoid because it is "kinda big." He also said of the song:[2]

That's a love song made up almost completely of non sequiturs, phrases that may have a strong emotional resonance but don't have any narrative qualities. It's a real honest kind of love song. I don't think I've ever done a real love song before. Mine always had a sort of reservation, or a twist. I tried to write one that wasn't corny, that didn't sound stupid or lame the way many do. I think I succeeded; I was pretty happy with that.

According to the Stop Making Sense commentary track, the title "Naive Melody" refers to the music. On the track, the guitar part and the bass part are doing the same thing throughout the whole song. According to David Byrne, many professional musicians would not play a song written in that fashion, and that is what makes the melody naive. Byrne played the lead keyboard solo.

Stop Making Sense[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The song is featured in Stop Making Sense (1984), a concert film featuring Talking Heads and directed by Jonathan Demme. Throughout the Stop Making Sense version, Byrne and his bandmates perform by a standard lamp, while close-up images of various body parts are projected onto a screen behind them. When the song reaches a bridge, the musicians step back and Byrne dances with the lamp, a reference to Fred Astaire's similar dance with a coat-rack in the film Royal Wedding.

The Stop Making Sense version was released as single in 1986, peaking at #100 on the UK Singles Chart.[3]

Music video[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The music video depicts the band members and their session musicians watching light-hearted home movies, before going down into the basement and playing their instruments.

In other media[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The name of the song serves as the title of a 2011 drama film starring Sean Penn as an aging rock star. In one scene, the main character attends a concert in which David Byrne performs the song. During the performance, a staged setting of a sixties-style living-room behind the band is gradually suspended perpendicular to the floor and crosses the concert hall towards the camera. The musicians all bow at the same time not to be hit by the stage with a very theatrical effect.[clarification needed]

The song was featured in the 2007 film Lars and the Real Girl during a party scene.

It was also featured in the Oliver Stone 1987 film Wall Street, starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen, as well as the 2010 sequel, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.

In 2011 the song briefly appears in the Steve Carell romantic-comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.

The song is briefly played in the 2009 romantic-comedy He's Just Not That into You.

The song briefly appears on a radio in the Once Upon a Time episode Welcome to Storybrooke.

Covers[edit source | editbeta]Edit

The song was covered live by the Montreal-based band Arcade Fire, and is featured as the B-side to their single "Neighborhood #3 (Power Out)". Their version features David Byrne on guest vocals.

The song is sampled in the song Mama by the Spice Girls. The song has also been covered by In Wilderness, The LumineersHotel XShawn ColvinPerpetual GrooveMGMT, Mysteries of Life, Animal Liberation OrchestraThe String Cheese IncidentGunnar MadsenCounting Crows, the Ryan Montbleau BandMiles FisherTim Bowness/Samuel SmilesWeatherbox, Youthless, Kyp MaloneCornmeal, Euforquestra, Logger and the Fatties, Alex Mills & Alex Patten, Hidden Ballroom [4], and the Swedish band, Gloria.[5]

Charts[edit source | editbeta]Edit

Original version
Chart (1983) Peak


UK Singles Chart[3] 51
US BillboardHot 100[6] 62
Live version

Chart (1986) Peak


UK Singles Chart[3] 100
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.