Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: The Talking Heads were once too far ahead of their time.

It’s cool to be on the leading edge of technology, but sometimes you can be TOO far ahead.

In 1988, the Talking Heads released an album called Naked. It was advertised as being “graphics ready.” This meant that if you were to buy a CD player with a special decoder, you could watch the lyrics of the songs pass by in real-time on your television. You could also watch for a list of which instruments were playing when.

Unfortunately, these CD players were not available in 1988–and many people have totally forgotten about this. And come to think of it, technology and technological standards have changed so much since then, that there might not be a piece of consumer electronics that can properly decode this part of the Talking Heads disc.       

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37816 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Ongoing History Daily: The Talking Heads were once too far ahead of their time.

  • It’s just using the CD+G format which was commonly used in karaoke machines. Lots of game consoles and DVD players could decode it too. I think any computer disc drive can read them, but to your point, of course not many people have optical drives in their computers anymore.

    They can be ripped to MP3, preserving the graphics.


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