Still Life (Talking)

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Still Life (Talking)
Studio album by Pat Metheny Group
Released July 7, 1987 (1987-07-07)
Recorded March–April 1987
Studio The Power Station, New York City
Genre Jazz, jazz fusion, Latin jazz
Length 42:30
Label Geffen
Producer Pat Metheny
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4.5/5 stars[1]

Still Life (Talking) is an album by the Pat Metheny Group that was released in 1987 on Geffen Records. It won the Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance and was certified gold by the RIAA on July 2, 1992.[2]

This was the Group's first album to be released by Geffen. It combines Brazilian jazz-influenced harmonies and rhythms with jazz, folk, and pop.


Group co-founders Pat Metheny and Lyle Mays joined the Geffen Records label in 1985. After recording and releasing the album Song X and Mays' eponymous debut as a solo bandleader, they hired multi-instrumentalists David Blamires and Mark Ledford for the Group. "They were like super-musicians", Metheny said in the album's podcast retrospective. "They could play just about anything." Metheny held percussion auditions in Brazil, where he hired Armando Marçal.

Metheny stated that while he has no negativity toward ECM Records nor the way the Group's ECM albums were recorded, the label had a very stringent policy: "You recorded for two days, you mixed for a day, that was your record. For better or worse...whether you liked it or not, that was your record." The Group recorded Still Life (Talking) in approximately two weeks, creating a greater opportunity, Metheny continued, to refine the sound for the album.

Since the recording of their album As Falls Wichita, so Falls Wichita Falls, one of Metheny and Mays' goals was to make the recording studio an instrument. To accomplish this for Still Life (Talking), Metheny recorded with a microphone on his guitars to create deeper and more intimate sounds. Additionally, the opening track, "Minuano (Six-Eight)", was created to establish that mantra for the entire album.

Reception and legacy[edit]

Still Life (Talking) was widely acclaimed and won the 1988 Grammy for Best Jazz Fusion Performance. It remains one of the Pat Metheny Group's most popular albums, the first to sell over 500,000 copies and therefore certified gold by the RIAA. Most of the album's songs continued to be played by the Group in concert long after the album's original release, especially, "Minuano (Six-Eight)".

An edited version of the track "Last Train Home" was released as a single to radio. "Last Train Home" was also used in a Christmas commercial by the Florida-based supermarket chain Publix, featuring relatives traveling to Florida by train for Christmas. Metheny jokingly refers to the piece as "The Publix Song" when performing in Florida, as the commercial aired every holiday season from 1987 to 1996. The NPR radio show Radio Deluxe with John Pizzarelli uses the tune as its closing theme.[citation needed]

In 2015, the song served as the end theme of the anime adaptation JoJo's Bizarre Adventure during the second half of the show's Stardust Crusaders arc, and it later became the focus of Essential Collection Last Train Home, a JoJo-themed compilation album for the Pat Metheny Group. The composition has also been featured during The Weather Channel's Local on the 8s playlist since the late 1980s. The retail bedding manufacturer Sleep Train, which operates primarily in California, used the track for their television commercials.[citation needed]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written by Pat Metheny except where noted.

No. Title Length
1. "Minuano (Six Eight)" (Metheny/Mays) 9:28
2. "So May It Secretly Begin" 6:25
3. "Last Train Home" 5:41
4. "(It's Just) Talk" 6:17
5. "Third Wind" (Metheny/Mays) 8:37
6. "Distance" (Mays) 2:45
7. "In Her Family" 3:17



Album - Billboard (1987)

Chart Position
Jazz Albums 1
Black Albums 43
Pop Albums 50


Grammy Awards

Year Winner Category
1988 Pat Metheny Group Grammy Award for Best Jazz Fusion Performance


  1. ^ Henderson, Alex (2011). "Still Life (Talking) - Pat Metheny Group | AllMusic". Retrieved 19 July 2011. 
  2. ^ "Gold & Platinum - RIAA". RIAA. Retrieved 19 May 2017.