Tom Tom Club will be performing LIVE this Friday at our twelfth annual H'Art & Soul of Haiti Gala fundraiser! For more information and to purchase tickets for this year's event, click here!
On September 11th, Tom Tom Club released Downtown Rockers, their first new material in more than
decade. The EP features 6 new songs, and will be released digitally and
Downtown Rockers features Tom Tom Club’s characteristic upbeat fusion of electro and funk. Chris Frantz explains, "We recorded the basic tracks soon after Tom Tom Club toured with the Psychedelic Furs in
October of 2011 at our home studio. These tracks were built from
improvised jam sessions with Bruce Martin on keyboards and Pablo Martin
on guitar, Tina Weymouth on bass and Chris Frantz on drums. This is the
same way we began "Remain In Light" with Talking Heads.
This time our only instruction to the other players was to keep the
parts simple with lots of space like Booker T. and the MGs would do."
The title track from the new album pays tribute to the many bands that created the downtown music scene in New York City in the 70's from The Velvet Underground to the Talking Heads. The song was mixed by Ed Stasium, who also recorded and mixed Talking Heads '77 and umpteen Ramones classics.
Tom Tom Club was originally formed by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1981. Graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design, they moved to New York City where they founded Talking Heads as a trio with David Byrne.
Chris played drums, Tina played bass and David sang and played guitar.
In early 1981, Talking Heads took a hiatus after five years of touring
internationally and four studio albums, and Chris and Tina began the Tom Tom Club.
When legendary reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry failed
to show up for the scheduled recording sessions in the Bahamas,
Blackwell allowed Chris and Tina to produce the album themselves with
Jamaican engineer Steven Stanley. Tom Tom Club's first single was “Wordy Rappinghood,” an unusually original mix of schoolyard rap over a funky groove that went into the top of the charts in 17 countries. “Wordy Rappinghood” turned out to be seminal in bringing mainstream attention to the new spirit of hip-hop.
The group’s second single was the remarkable “Genius of Love.”
Released in the UK before North America, the track was bubbling up in
the underground with dozens of unsolicited remixes and versions--most
notably, Grandmaster Flash’s "It's Nasty/Genius of Love" in 1982—a massive hit in the clubs and on the R&B and dance charts, soon earning the Tom Tom Club debut a Gold sales award. In 1995, Mariah Carey hit #1 with “Fantasy,” her version of “Genius of Love” featuring Ol’
Dirty Bastard rapping over the original instrumental track. “Genius of
Love” continues to be frequently sampled by various artists, from Tupac Shakur to most recently, T.I. feat. Fergie and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas.
Tom Tom Club continues to celebrate more than thirty
years as a band. Last year, they performed their timeless classic
“Genius of Love” on NBC’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” It was a flashback to one of the group’s earliest career highlights
- playing the hit song on the highly popular TV show “Soul Train” back
in 1983 – at a time when it was in heavy rotation on urban radio
Last fall, Tom Tom Club rocked their first U.S. tour in 10 years and released ‘Genius of Live.’ The album featured select tracks from classic album ‘Live At The Club House’ as well as a various remixes by artists like Ozomatli, Kinky, Money Mark and The Pinker Tones.
In 2002, Frantz and Weymouth were inducted at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.