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UK vinyl single
|Single by Talking Heads|
|from the album Fear of Music|
|Genre||Post-punk, new wave, worldbeat, art punk|
|Writer(s)||David Byrne, Brian Eno, Hugo Ball|
|Talking Heads singles chronology|
The song's lyrics are an adaptation of Dadaist Hugo Ball's poem "Gadji beri bimba". According to Sytze Steenstra in Song and Circumstance: The Work of David Byrne from Talking Heads to the Present, the music draws heavily on the African popular music Byrne was listening to at the time.
The lyrics contain these lines:
- Gadji beri bimba clandridi
- Lauli lonni cadori gadjam
- A bim beri glassala glandride
- E glassala tuffm I zimbra
In an interview, Jerry Harrison named "I Zimbra" as his favorite Talking Heads song, and pointed out that the style of the group’s next album, Remain in Light, was indebted to the song’s innovations.
We also knew that our next album would be a further exploration of what we had begun with "I Zimbra".
- - Jerry Harrison, Liquid Audio, 1997 
|US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play||28|
- David Byrne – guitars, lead vocals
- Jerry Harrison – keyboards, backing vocals, guitars
- Tina Weymouth – bass guitar, backing vocals
- Chris Frantz – drums
- Brian Eno – electronic treatments, backing vocals
- Robert Fripp – guitar
- Gene Wilder – congas
- Ari – congas
- Hassam Ramzy – surdo
- Abdou M'Boup – djembe, talking drum
- Assane Thiam – percussion
- Julie Last – backing vocals
Deleted film footage
The song was one of three songs (along with "Cities" and "Big Business") that were cut from the theatrical release of the 1983 concert film Stop Making Sense but were restored as a bonus feature for the 1999 DVD release.
- Steenstra, Sytze (2010). Song and Circumstance: The Work of David Byrne from Talking Heads to the Present. New York: Continuum. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-8264-4559-9.
- T A L K I N G - H E A D S . N E T
- "Talking Heads > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
- New York Times/Allmovie