Heaven

Album: Fear Of Music (1979)
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Songfacts®:

  • Most songs about Heaven are about the people who will be there, typically significant others, or in the case of "Rock And Roll Heaven," rock stars. This "Heaven" isn't so simple.

    They lyric was written by David Byrne, the socially awkward but brilliant Talking Heads frontman. The song is set in a bar, where his favorite song is always playing - the bar is heaven. It's a place where "nothing ever happens," which seems pretty bleak, but he decides he likes it:

    It's hard to imagine that nothing at all
    Could be so exciting, could be so much fun


    Could Heaven be an exquisite loop of infinite nothing? Possibly. As many books, movies and TV series have pointed out, a heaven where our desires are sated indefinitely gets old after a while.
  • Talking Heads guitarist Jerry Harrison is credited as a writer on this track along with David Byrne. Speaking to ZigZag about his contribution, he said: "With that one David had two ways of it going and I sort of put them together by changing keys and changing the way it fitted together."
  • This is one of the most enduring tracks on Talking Heads' third album, Fear of Music, which was produced by Brian Eno. He got even more involved with the band on their next album, Remain In Light, where he is credited as a songwriter on the tracks.
  • Not everyone gets this song, including Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz. "I didn't relate to the idea that heaven is a place where nothing ever happens," he said in a Songfacts interview. "I understand it's kind of a zen thing, but I didn't really connect with it. I did like the chord changes - it reminded me of a Neil Young song."
  • In the 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, David Byrne performs the first song, "Psycho Killer," by himself, then is joined by bass player Tina Weymouth for "Heaven." Drummer Chris Frantz enters for the next song, "Thank You For Sending Me An Angel," then guitarist Jerry Harrison comes on for "Found A Job."

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