1979 performances of "Artists Only " from Saturday Night Live and "Take Me to the River" from American Bandstand show the frontman at his confident best. Although when Dick Clark tries to interview him and the other members of the band after their song, the only one who seems at ease is bassist, Weymouth. The phrase she's got for Byrne is "organically shy," but it seems just as applicable to Harrison and Frantz.
The performances for the rest of the DVD include a larger ensemble which varies on different tracks. Additional musicians include guitarists Adrian Belew and Alex Weir, Bernie Worrell and Busta Jones on keyboards, and Steven Scales on drums. Dolette McDonald, Belew, and later, Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt do background vocals.
Songs from 1980 include "Crosseyed and Painless" from a show in New Jersey, and "Animals" from a performance in Germany which has Byrne doing a little nerdy dancing. "Love → Building on Fire" is taken from an '82 California festival, and "Cities" is from the Montreux Festival in Switzerland. The band also does "Burn Down the House" on Late Night with David Letterman in '83. This was the year they stopped touring.
The DVD ends with the Talking Heads' performance at their induction ceremony for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They all look a little older, and gray hair looks good on Byrne. Harrison looks older, but either his hair has not aged or he's had it dyed. It's hard to tell about Frantz, although he looks older as well. Tina Weymouth looks like she hasn't aged a day. More importantly, they sound as good as they ever did—same as it ever was.
Talking Heads: Chronology gives you an interesting look at the different stages of one of the most innovative bands of their period. It gives you a real insight into how they developed as performers, while replaying some of their finest work. It may not be Stop Making Sense, but for real fans, to see them perform those songs once again is more than worth the price.