It’s been 32 years since David Byrne’s directorial debut True Stories first arrived in theaters, and this November the film will be revisited to the tune of brand-new audio and visual restorations. Master film restorers The Criterion Collection are slated to release True Stories on Blu-ray and DVD on November 27. On the music front, Todomundo Records and Nonesuch have announced an expanded soundtrack album, True Stories, A Film By David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack, due on CD, 2-LP, and digital November 23.
True Stories was loosely based on headlines culled from local tabloids. The film starred Byrne, John Goodman (who sings “People Like Us” in the film), and Annie McEnroe (whose “Dream Operator” also features), among others. Once described by Byrne as being “like 60 Minutes on acid,” the tale of late-capitalism features many vignettes that follow a stranger (Byrne) as he wanders into Virgil, Texas just in time for their Celebration of Specialness. Each vignette is tied together with songs and music cues which have never been collected together before.
Aside from the actors’ singing spots, the film also includes songs from Byrne’s band, Talking Heads. The group recorded versions of songs from the film on their 1986 album (also entitled True Stories) which included the No. 25 hit, “Wild Wild Life.” While no contemporaneous cast recording or Original Motion Picture Soundtrack was assembled for the film, Byrne did release an album called Sounds from True Stories: Music for Activities Freaks, which collected various music cues.
David Byrne recently said, “I always imagined that the music written for True Stories should be heard as it is in the film. It makes the most sense that way.” Now, the time has come. True Stories, A Film By David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack marks the first-ever release of the comprehensive soundtrack presented in film sequence. The 23-track set features many songs that are unavailable on CD or digital, including John Goodman and Annie McEnroe’s songs, and 14 tracks from Byrne’s Sounds from True Stories album which was only ever available on LP and cassette. The full soundtrack will arrive on CD, 2-LP, and digital on November 23 courtesy of Todomundo Records and Nonesuch Records.
It’s worth noting that on November 27, movie lovers can purchase The Criterion Collection’s new 4K restoration of the film, featuring a 5.1 surround mix, bonus documentaries, deleted scenes, and — in the case of the Blu-ray configuration — the full CD soundtrack as described above. The CD is not included with Criterion’s DVD set of the film.
Those who purchase the standalone soundtrack from Nonesuch Records’ website will also receive a 12″ print of a production photo taken by Byrne, along with an MP3 download of the album.
You can find a full track listing and pre-order links for True Stories, A Film By David Byrne: The Complete Soundtrack and check out the trailer for the album below.
True Stories: A Film By David Byrne – The Complete Soundtrack (Todomundo/Nonesuch, 2018 – original film released 1986)
CD: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Nonesuch website (bundle with print and MP3 download)
2-LP: Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada / Nonesuch website (bundle with print and MP3 download)
- Road Song – David Byrne & Meredith Monk
- Freeway Son – David Byrne
- Disco Hits! – David Byrne
- Cocktail Desperado – Terry Allen & The Panhandle Mystery Band
- Wild Wild Life – Talking Heads
- City Of Steel – Talking Heads & Tommy Morrell
- Mall Muzak – Carl Finch
- Dream Operator – Talking Heads & Annie McEnroe
- Love Theme From True Stories – David Byrne
- Brownie’s Theme – David Byrne
- Dinner Music – David Byrne & The Kronos Quartet
- Puzzlin’ Evidence – Talking Heads with John Ingle & The Bert Cross Choir
- Glass Operator – David Byrne
- Hey Now – Talking Heads & The St. Thomas Aquinas Elementary School Choir, Dallas, TX
- I ♥ Metal Buildings – David Byrne
- Love For Sale – Talking Heads
- Soy de Tejas – Steve Jordan
- Buster’s Theme – Carl Finch
- Festa Para Um Rei Negro – Banda Eclipse
- Radio Head – Talking Heads with Tito Larriva, Steve Jordan & Los Vampiros
- Papa Legba – Talking Heads & Roebuck “Pops” Staples
- People Like Us – Talking Heads & John Goodman
- City Of Dreams – Talking Heads
Tracks 1-4, 7, 9-11, 13, 15 and 17-19 from Sounds From True Stories: Music For Activities Freaks – Sire 25515, 1986
Tracks 5, 12, 16 and 23 from True Stories – Sire 25512, 1986
Track 8 previously unreleased. Version without Annie McEnroe vocal appeared on True Stories
Track 14 from “Love For Sale” single – Sire 28497, 1986
Track 20 from “Radio Head” U.K. double 7″ single – EMI PSR 497, 1987
Track 21 from True Stories reissue – Sire/Rhino R2 76455, 2006
Track 22 from “Wild Wild Life” single – Sire 28629, 1986