Talking Heads

Road to Nowhere

Composed by David Byrne / Chris Frantz / Jerry Harrison / Tina Weymouth

Song Review by

The first single from 1985's Little Creatures, "Road To Nowhere" is gimmicky almost to the point of novelty. Starting with an earnest gospel-like a cappella introduction -- more in the austere four-square Methodist style of church singing than the flashier choirs -- the song slides into a thumping, accordion-led shuffle influenced by but not particularly beholden to traditional zydeco. Over this, David Byrne sings, in a nearly disinterested deadpan, lyrics that balance spirituality and nihilism in much the same way as the earlier "Heaven," but in a much less chilly and remote fashion. Indeed, "Road To Nowhere" is downright cheerful in the way it introduces a little Camus-style cosmic desperation into what otherwise would be a church camp jamboree staple. Perhaps if it had been a bigger hit, it would have made that leap of general misapprehension the way that the Police's stalkerish "Every Breath You Take" was roundly interpreted as a love song.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Little Creatures 1985 Sire 4:19
No Image 1988 Warner Reprise Video 0:00
Best of 1980-1990 1990
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:21
Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand in the Vaseline 1992 Sire 4:19
Best of Talking Heads: Once in a Lifetime 1992 EMI Music Distribution 4:20
1985: 20 Original Chart Hits 1997
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:20
Spirit of America [Crimson] 1998
Various Artists
Crimson Productions
Dance Club Retro, Vol. 4: Pop Beats 1998
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:22
Now: 1985 [2 CD] 1999
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 4:50
Greatest Hits of the 80's [1999 Disky] 1999
Various Artists
Disky 4:03
Music of the Millennium, Vol. 1 [Universal] 1999
Various Artists
Universal International 4:03
Pop & Wave, Vol. 6 2000
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution 4:20
Pop at Planet Earth 2000
Various Artists
Planet Earth Recordings 4:21
Number One 80's 2000
Various Artists
PolyGram 4:21
The Best Pub Jukebox in the World...Ever! 2000
Various Artists
Virgin 4:19
Rough Trade Shops: 25 Years 2001
Various Artists
Mute 4:22
Music of the Millennium, Vol. 2 [Virgin Import] 2001
Various Artists
Virgin 4:04
Twogether Pop 2002
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:19
Platinum 80s 2002
Various Artists
Warner Music 4:21
Dark Side of the 80s 2003
Various Artists
Telstar TV Records 4:18
Once in a Lifetime 2003 Rhino / Sire / Warner Reprise Video 4:20
The Best of Talking Heads 2004 Rhino / Warner Bros. 4:20
Dad Rocks! [Virgin UK 2005] 2005
Various Artists
Virgin 4:01
Driving Songs 2006
Various Artists
Virgin 4:02
The Collection [EMI] 2007 EMI 4:21
101 80's Hits [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
Virgin / EMI 4:01
The Original 80s Box Set 2007
Various Artists
EMI 4:03
Pure: 80s [EMI] 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:02
Pure: Soft Rock 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:02
Top of the Pops 1985 [EMI] 2008
Various Artists
EMI 4:01
101 Driving Songs 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 4:01
Religulous 2008
Original Soundtrack
Lionsgate
80's Top 100 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 4:20
Smash Hits Years: 1985 2009
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Original Hits: Eighties 2009
Various Artists
EMI / EMI Music Distribution 4:03
101 Running Songs, Lap 2 2010
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 4:03
No Image 2011
Various Artists
EMI
The Other Side of the 80's [Rhino] 2016
Various Artists
Rhino
Classic Driving Songs
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 4:01
Drive Time [Dino]
Various Artists
Dino Entertainment
No Image EMI
Massive Hits!: Driving Rock
Various Artists
EMI 4:01
Mega 50: Die 80er Jahre
Various Artists
Electrola 4:20
Running Hits, Vol. 1: Feel The Beats
Various Artists
ZYX Music 4:21