2011 is a celebratory year for The Tom Tom Club - it marks their 30th year as a band. Conceived during downtime from Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth’s other band, Talking Heads, the group celebrates their anniversary this year by playing shows around the world, reinforcing why their funky musical style has been a staple of the dance music world since the early eighties. The Tom Tom Club was formed by Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth in 1981. Graduates from the Rhode Island School of Design, they moved to New York City where they founded the Talking Heads as a trio with David Byrne in 1975. Chris played drums, Tina played bass and David sang and played guitar. In early 1981, the Talking Heads took a hiatus after five years of touring internationally and four studio albums. Chris and Tina began the Tom Tom Club and signed with Chris Blackwell and Island Records.
When legendary reggae producer Lee “Scratch” Perry failed to show up for the scheduled recording sessions in the Bahamas, Blackwell allowed Chris and Tina to produce the album themselves with Jamaican engineer Steven Stanley. The Tom Tom Club's first single was “Wordy Rappinghood,” an unusually original mix of schoolyard rap over a funky groove that went into the top of the charts in 17 countries. “Wordy Rappinghood” turned out to be seminal in bringing mainstream attention to the new spirit of hip-hop. The group’s second single was the remarkable “Genius of Love.” Released in the UK before North America, the track became a huge hit, going to #1 on the charts and inspiring dozens of unsolicited remixes and versions--most notably, Grandmaster Flash’s "It's Nasty/Genius of Love" in 1982—a massive hit in the clubs and on the R&B and dance charts, soon earning the Tom Tom Club debut a Gold sales award. In 1995, Mariah Carey hit #1 with “Fantasy,” her version of “Genius of Love” featuring Ol’ Dirty Bastard rapping over the original instrumental track. “Genius of Love” continues to be frequently sampled by various artists, from Tupac Shakur to most recently, T.I. feat. Fergie and will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas. Tina and Chris were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and have continued to play and tour the Tom Tom Club ever since. In 2010, Nacional Records released a new, live double-album that featured select tracks from classic album Live At The Club House as well as a Latin alternative remix tribute to the smash hit, “Genius Of Love” by such artists as Ozomatli and Money Mark.