I'm still waiting on the Sand in the Vaseline compilation but I picked up a couple of Talking Heads live albums (The Name of This Band Is Talking Heads and Stop Making Sense) and I am enjoying them. I didn't think they had this much funk in their sound, I guess I thought they were more "art rock."
Maybe I am hearing something that isn't there but it seems like they may have been an influence on Prince. Up to about 1985 he had a relatively small band (five members, excluding himself) but with the Parade tour he added horns, a second guitarist and backing vocalists kind of how the Talking Heads augmented their sound circa 1980-1981.
I suppose they were, but perhaps to call them "art funk" would be more appropriate. Perhaps they had some influence on Prince although I think that Sly & the Family Sone, Funkadelic and Graham Central Station were more obvious influences. I think there's a "world music" component about Talking Heads as well.