David Byrne / Grown Backwards 2LP

David Byrne’s 2004 album Grown Backwards will be released on vinyl for the first time next month. Even better, it’s a 2LP set and expanded with bonus tracks.

This album has only ever been issued on CD and according to Nonesuch Records it saw Byrne working “from the ‘top down,’ humming melodies into a micro-cassette recorder and later unscrambling them to create songs — a significant change from his usual practice of starting with improvised textures and grooves and later adding tunes.”

The album features Lazy, Byrne’s collaboration with X-Press 2, although technically it was always listed as a bonus track and not part of the album proper.

The reissue features six bonus tracks, all on the fourth side of the second LP. Byrne says “some of these bonus tracks were deemed not right for this record as they didn’t fit in with the flow and feel of the original album. Now I’m not so sure record sequence matters so much and some hold up OK, so here they are.”

The new 2LP set has been mastered by Greg Calbi at Sterling Sound and is pressed on two 140g vinyl records. It’s packaged in a metallic sleeve, which might account for why it’s relatively expensive.

The Grown Backwards 2LP set is issued on 15 March 2019.

Side 1
1. Glass, Concrete & Stone
2. The Man Who Loved Beer
3. Au fond du temple saint
4. Empire
5. Tiny Apocalypse

Side 2
1. She Only Sleeps
2. Dialog Box
3. The Other Side of This Life
4. Why
5. Pirates

Side 3
1. Civilization
2. Astronaut
3. Glad
4. Un di felice, eterea
5. Lazy

Side 4
1. Strange Enough
2. 50212
3. Ausencia
4. Dreamworld
5. Show and Tell
6. The Bumps

SuperDeluxeEdition.com helps fans around the world discover physical music and discuss releases. To keep the site free, SDE participates in various affiliate programs, including Amazon and earns from qualifying purchases.


Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
elliott buckingham

but seriously cover copied


Great news!!
Ordered, thank you very much Paul!


1. I find David Byrne’s solo output to be hit-or-miss, but this is one of the good ones. “Glass, Concrete & Stone” and “Astronaut” are favorites of mine. I have the CD, but I don’t feel the need to buy it again on vinyl. I do wonder what the bonus tracks will sound like, though.

2. The DualDisc-era Talking Heads remasters were excellent sound-quality wise. I didn’t buy the “brick,” but I did buy each album separately, and I’ve been lucky enough to not have an issue playing them. (I just don’t bring them in the car.) Each one has some good bonus material, too. No complaints there.

3. I’m pretty sure every Talking Heads album has been reissued on vinyl some time in the last ten years or so. They weren’t part of a single reissue campaign, though.


Ok Michel, I’m not talking about the sound quality but the material left aside. I sure Rhino can do a much better job that had been done.


My apology, Isaias, as I thought you were making a criticism about the sound quality of this box set.

I would also enjoy seeing Rhino make SDE expanded versions of many TH albums, especially if they included unreleased live material. It would be of particular interest to see an SDE of “Speaking in Tongues” with the limited edition album jacket that featured overlapping photo-collage artwork printed on movable clear plastic discs. The artwork and design for the original limited edition of “Speaking in Tongues” was created by the late artist, Robert Rauschenberg, who I was friends with.


“Grown Backwards” as a 2-LP expanded release is welcome news! Everything David Byrne has released with the Talking Heads, collaborative works with Brian Eno, Robert Fripp and Annie Clark (a/k/a St. Vincent), AND his solo albums are all wonderfully off-tilt and fascinating.

I have to disagree with the other SDE blogger, as some years ago I bought “The Brick,” the white plastic box that contained all the Talking Heads’ albums on 5.1 surround sound dual-discs; and the sound quality of those Rhino remastered albums is sensational!


I think the original comment was about it being horrible because of the choice of going with dual-discs, which were a difficult format to work with. Often, it was impossible to get the CD side to play properly on many players, because the discs weren’t to CD specifications. It would be great if they would re-issue Brick as double CD/DVD sets.


As far as I’m aware it was a US only release. There was no other variant than the DualDisc version or even a release outside US (bought mine as import).
Agree with other’s comments re the awkwardness of the disc format but also that it is good sounding despite that. Also I’m glad to say I’ve never had any issues with playing the CD side thankfully!


As Paul mentions – these were released in the UK as CD+DVD issues. I bought them all even though I already had the White Brick (because I hate DualDiscs – even though I own quite a few of them).


I didn’t like the dual disc format either. Luckily I didn’t have any problems with my players, but I did copy both sides onto CD-Rs and DVD-Rs to avoid any future problems. What a stupid format!

Michael Terr

Yes – I have the White Brick myself, but hate DualDiscs so I opted to also get the CD+DVD versions from the UK – I have the whole set of CD+DVD issues of the Heads release.


That’s correct. Even though I already had the originals on LP and CD, I bought all the Talking Heads albums individually on Amazon about 12 years ago as they were cheaper than the box set (approx £7 per CD/DVD). I wanted to listen to the albums with 5.1 surround sound. As you said, these were CD/DVD and released by EMI in Europe. And they sound great.

In the US, it was Rhino (Talking Heads had been signed originally by Sire in the US and distributed by Warner) and Rhino opted for a dual-disc version (instead of CD/DVD). In the US, both Brick box set and individual CDs were released as dual-discs.


I’m still waiting for Talking Heads descent remaster albums reissue. The box released some years ago was horrible with dual discs!!! I hope Rhino makes justice giving TH the treatment the band deserves.


As Paul stated, in the US they were dual-discs. In the EU they were two-disc sets, one CD and one DVD.

I’ll also say – the Surround mixes are astonishingly good. I hate to say it, but you’ve not heard those albums until you’ve heard the Surround mixes. Fear of Music – and especially the track Drugs – is phenomenal.

That said, the CD remasters were a mixed bag. Most were brickwalled. As such, if you have the original CD issues, then you have the best CD versions. The only reason to buy the sets is a) Bonus tracks; b) The Surround.

Dual discs were an unmitigated disaster, imo.

Finally – Grown Backwards is a great album, although I’m not doing Vinyl (and hell, that price is horrendous). If you’ve not heard it, one track is not sung in English, and another is an operatic song – so just be aware. I’d place the album in the top 5 of what he’s done. But not at these prices.

Rare Glam

If I might step sidways on this, why have the Talking Heads albums not been remastered in years or SDL’d? Is it a licensing / rights ownership thing? The Japanese mini LP CD editions from years ago are heniously expensive these days and so is the duo disc cube set from even longer ago. They seem only to be available as boring individual jewel case editions other than this, unless you go the way of the (again older) rectangular ‘Once In A Lifetime’ bookset which I might have to settle for. I love the Talking Heads albums but I just can’t get no satisfaction as far as packaging / presentation goes.

Brian Smith

2004 not 1994.