Unknown Contributor Roles: Twyla Tharp; John Chernoff; Adrian Belew; Richard Horowitz; David Byrne; Doug Gray.
David Byrne's first solo project--not counting his collaboration with Brian Eno, MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS--is a score for a ballet by Twyla Tharp which was commissioned in an unusual way. Tharp gave Byrne a tape of edits of existing music, which the troupe had been using in initial rehearsals, and told him to write new music which matched the length, tempo, and mood of what was on the tape.
As a result, THE CATHERINE WHEEL has an odd, occasionally disjointed effect, with short segues and instrumental interludes appearing between what are basically Talking Heads-style pop songs. In fact, this album's best track, "What a Day That Was," was performed by the Heads on the STOP MAKING SENSE tour. So basically, this was not nearly as much of a departure for Byrne as it was claimed to be at the time.