Few bands were as innovative, restless and influential as Talking Heads.

From their 1977 debut, which introduced them as slightly nervous, kinda nerdy art-school punks with a flair for jagged paranoia, to their final album 11 years later, a culture-hopping global party recorded in Paris with a bunch of brassy musicians, Talking Heads never stayed in one place, as you will see in our list of Talking Heads Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness.

Looking at the eight albums they released in their brief lifetime, it's pretty easy to see that the band simply refused to keep still. Their career was a constant evolution -- from artsy New Wave and jittery shots at soul music to global polyryhtms and pioneering uses of samples to rootsy Americana and pure pop experiments.

And while all of this points to a consummate studio band, note that Talking Heads were also an excellent live act who were the subject of one of the greatest concert films ever made, Stop Making Sense (which also yielded a terrific soundtrack album that we left off the above studio-records-only list).

There are a handful of great compilations available on the band, but you really need to sink into their original albums to get the full story. Early in their career, frontman David Byrne was worried about Talking Heads becoming a singles band, so he focused on making album-length statements. Almost every single one is worth hearing. Our list of Talking Heads Albums Ranked in Order of Awesomeness directs you at a starting point, but don't stop there.