Talking Heads – Blind (1988)

Talking Heads – Blind (1988)

“Blind” is a song by American rock band Talking Heads. It was written by David Byrne, the band’s lead singer and guitarist, and produced by Steve Lillywhite with the rest of the band. The track is on the band’s eighth and final studio album, Naked.

The track was released as a single with the B-side “Bill”, which was not available on the original vinyl album but was released on the compact disc and cassette.

Directed by Annabel Jankel and Rocky Morton, the music video for “Blind” is unusual among Talking Heads’ videography in that it portrays an elaborate narrative over the course of the song. Apparently lampooning the 1988 United States presidential election, the video portrays a group of Americans (among them a literal Bible thumper) electing a sentient, malevolent monkey wrench into public office. At its victory rally, the wrench, shown bearing human teeth, continuously shouts and spits into a jubilant crowd as his aides smugly watch on. However, as the video progresses, the crowd becomes more aware of the wrench’s malevolence, with their joy turning into confusion, fear, and eventually distress. And the wrench can later be seen with an aid arguing then biting off the aid’s ear (check at 1:58).

Midway through the video, a group of people at the front of the crowd investigate a dragon’s-head faucet at the face of the wrench’s podium; an aide then fires his gun into the faucet, only to be blown back into the crowd behind him.

Eventually, the wrench is overthrown by both the crowd and his own lackeys, being uprooted from his podium and thrust into the distance. The wrench shrinks in size as this goes on, eventually reaching the size of a toy before being caught by a smiling infant. The video ends with a freeze-frame shot of the infant’s fist clutching the once-malevolent tool.

At various points, the video intercuts to footage of a shirtless David Byrne against a solid black background, singing and gesticulating at the camera. Several of these interludes utilize masking effects to superimpose either duplicates of Byrne’s face or the faces of his bandmates against his own.

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