Talking Heads – ‘Once In A Lifetime’
  • Writers: Talking Heads and Brian Eno
  • Producer: Brian Eno
  • Recorded: 1980 at Compass Point Studios in Nassau, the Bahamas; Sigma Sound in New York City; and Eldorado Studios in Los Angeles, California
  • Released: November 1980
  • Players:
    David Byrne — vocals, guitar
    Tina Weymouth — bass
    Jerry Harrison — keyboards
    Chris Frantz — drums
    Brian Eno — vocals
  • Album: Remain In Light (Sire, 1980)
  • Also On:
    The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads (Sire, 1982)
    Stop Making Sense (Sire, 1984)
    Popular Favorites 1984-1992: Sand In The Vaseline (Sire/Warner Bros., 1992)
    and other compilations
  • The first single from Talking Heads‘ fourth album, “Once In A Lifetime” was a Top 20 hit in the U.K. in 1981, but it didn’t chart in the U.S. until 1986. That year, the live version from the film and album Stop Making Sense peaked at Number 91 on the Billboard Hot 100 after being included in the film Down And Out In Beverly Hills.
  • Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz said the song was always a band favorite: “We used to have so much fun playing this song live. It was a soaring feeling, and the audience was right there with us.”
  • The video for the song, which focused on spasmodically writhing frontman David Byrne, became popular on MTV.
  • The Remain In Light album was the last of the three consecutive Talking Heads albums produced by Brian Eno. Byrne described Eno as “Cool, had good ideas and genuine enthusiasm for our stuff. He ‘got’ it, unlike a lot of hot rock-and-roll producers. Has a sense of adventure and humor… was great to work with until the others and I sensed him wanting us to be his back-up band… his source for ideas… but he wasn’t really ‘writing the stuff.'”
  • Remain In Light reached Number 19 on the Billboard 200 and Number 33 on the U.K. chart.


  • Talking Heads stopped touring after the elaborate 1983 tour, though it continued to record until 1988.
  • David Byrne has maintained a successful solo career and also runs a world music label, Luaka Bop.
  • Jerry Harrison has released solo albums and has produced hit albums by the Verve Pipe, Live, and others.
  • Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz have continued their Heads project, the Tom Tom Club.
  • In 1996, Harrison, Weymouth and Frantz reunited as The Heads, though their album — recorded with several guest singers — was a commercial dud.
  • Talking Heads were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2003.