Remain in Light

Remain in Light

by Talking HeadsTalking Heads


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Ladies and Gentlemen, meet the Talking Heads big band. Although not orchestral in lineup, this 1980 release dwarfed its predecessors in scope. It built on the African influences of Fear of Music's first track, "I Zimbra" and foreshadowed future hits like "Burning Down the House." The first four tracks -- "Born Under Punches," "Crosseyed and Painless," "The Great Curve," and "Once in a Lifetime" -- are densely layered and danceable, and the lyrics are equally intense and infectious. "Once in a Lifetime" includes the now popular refrain, "Same as it ever was," and begins with Byrne announcing "This is not my beautiful house." "Crosseyed and Painless" notes that "facts are useless in an emergency." The slower tracks are fine examples of early electronica. With Remain in Light, Talking Heads went from being one of the most important bands of the new wave/punk movement to being one of the most important American bands ever.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann

The musical transition that seemed to have just begun with Fear of Music came to fruition on Talking Heads' fourth album, Remain in Light. "I Zimbra" and "Life During Wartime" from the earlier album served as the blueprints for a disc on which the group explored African polyrhythms on a series of driving groove tracks, over which David Byrne chanted and sang his typically disconnected lyrics. Remain in Light had more words than any previous Heads record, but they counted for less than ever in the sweep of the music. The album's single, "Once in a Lifetime," flopped upon release, but over the years it became an audience favorite due to a striking video, its inclusion in the band's 1984 concert film Stop Making Sense, and its second single release (in the live version) because of its use in the 1986 movie Down and Out in Beverly Hills, when it became a minor chart entry. Byrne sounded typically uncomfortable in the verses ("And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife/And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?"), which were undercut by the reassuring chorus ("Letting the days go by"). Even without a single, Remain in Light was a hit, indicating that Talking Heads were connecting with an audience ready to follow their musical evolution, and the album was so inventive and influential, it was no wonder. As it turned out, however, it marked the end of one aspect of the group's development and was their last new music for three years.

Product Details

Release Date: 10/25/1990
Label: Warner Records
UPC: 0075992609524
catalogNumber: 6095
Rank: 4520

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