Tom Tom Club
The Tom Tom Club was created by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1981. Graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1974, they moved to New York City where they founded Talking Heads as a trio with David Byrne in 1975. Chris played drums, Tina played bass and David sang and played guitar. In November of 1976 they signed to Sire Records and released their first singles. In 1977 they were joined by Jerry Harrison (of the original Modern Lovers) from Boston. Jerry played guitar and keyboards. It was in early 1981, that Chris and Tina were encouraged by Jerry and David, who had each left the group to make solo albums, to do likewise. So they signed with Island Records, then owned by industry legend Chris Blackwell, one of the first people to fully appreciate the value of a great rhythm section in and of itself. In March 1981 they flew down to Compass Point Studios, Bahamas, to record.
When legendary reggae producer Lee "Scratch" Perry failed to show up for the scheduled recording sessions, Blackwell allowed Chris and Tina to produce the album themselves with Jamaican engineer Steven Stanley, just 23, at the controls. First they laid down the basic tracks of drums, bass, keyboards and guitar. Then they asked a young Bahamian, Monte Brown, to play guitar on "Wordy Rappinghood" and "Genius of Love." In the studio next door, Chris Blackwell was producing Grace Jones making her classic Nightclubbing album that featured an array of great musicians. So when overdubbing hand claps to "Genius of Love," Chris and Tina thought it would be fun to invite Jamaica's famous "Riddem Twins" of drums and bass, Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare, to clap with them. When asked to describe the eclectic hybrid of music, Chris and Tina thought to call the funky blend "fresh" and "freestyle." On the spot, those tags became part of the dance and hip-hop nomenclature of the day.