"Psycho Killer" is a song written by David Byrne, Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth and first played by their band The Artistics in 1974, and as new wave band Talking Heads in 1975, with a later version recorded for their 1977 album Talking Heads: 77. "I'm glad," remarked Jerry Harrison in the liner notes for Once in a Lifetime: The Best of Talking Heads, "we persuaded Tony and Lance [Quinn] that the version with the cellos shouldn't be the only one."
The band's "signature debut hit" features lyrics which seem to represent the thoughts of a serial killer. Originally written and performed as a ballad, "Psycho Killer" became what Allmusic calls a "deceptively funky new wave/no wave song ... [with] an insistent rhythm, and one of the most memorable, driving basslines in rock & roll."
"Psycho Killer" was the only song from the album to appear on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, peaking at number 92. It reached number 32 on the Triple J Hottest 100 in 1989, and peaked at number 11 on the Dutch singles chart in 1977.
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