ARTIST: Talking Heads
TITLE: Remain in Light
YEAR RELEASED: 1980
CHART ACTION: #19 US, #21 UK
SINGLES: Once in a Lifetime (#103 US, #14 UK), Houses in Motion (#50 UK)
OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On), Crosseyed and Painless
LINEUP: David Byrne, Jerry Harrison, Tina Weymouth, Chris Franz, Brian Eno, Nona Hendryx, Adrian Belew, Robert Palmer, session percussion and horns.
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Never standing still, Talking Heads move into a groove-based rhythmic sound with plenty of room for experimentation and production tricks.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: Crafting the songs from jams, adding crucial elements like Nona Hendryx’ backing vocals and Adrian Belew’s out-there guitar, Talking Heads overcame David Byrne’s writers block and created a forward-thinking album that is still far beyond what many bands have done.
Using African music and rhythm as an inspiration, the Heads dove in to create an outwardly rhythmic and inwardly introspective album. Many songs feature element upon element of sound, yet the rhythm is always forward. There also couldn’t be two different grooves and sounds than “Crosseyed and Painless” and “The Overload” (a homage to Joy Division, even though no one in the band had heard them before), and they exist here on the same record by the same band.
The last part of the album seems to run out of steam, probably thanks to the joyous first part, yet it’s a crucial album in music because of its emphasis and inspiration.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: There were plenty of disputes between Byrne and the band, and Eno and some of the band related to credits and production.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: A few outtakes.
GRADE A: Bona-fide classics and lots of grooves to get lost in.