Record #16

Remain In Light

Talking Heads

Released – 8th October 1980

Label – Sire Records

Track listing

Side 1

1. Born Under Punches

2. Crosseyed & Painless

3. The Great Curve

Side 2

1. Once in a Lifetime

2. Houses in Motion

3. Seen & Not Seen

4. Listening Wind

5. The Overload


My copy of “Remain in Light” was bought at the fabulous RPM Record shop in Newcastle upon Tyne a couple of years ago for around £7.

“Remain in Light” is the fourth studio album by American new wave band the “Talking Heads” and was released in October 1980.  The album was recorded at Compass Point Studios in the Bahamas and finished in Philadelphia at Sigma Sound Studios.

Following their successful third record “Fear of Music”  the band set out to create a different sound drawing on influences from African funk and electronic music and in particular Nigerian musician ” Fela Kuti”. David Byrne and the band began to record simple loops and samples of groovy beats and electronic sounds before sitting down with their long time collaborator and producer “Brian Eno” to start creating tracks. The lyrics to many of the tracks began as a struggle for Byrne however words soon began to flow.

Being the experimentalist that Eno was, he introduced the band to new production techniques and technology including an effects unit that was used on most of the albums tracks. The result was a unique sound for that era of music and one that attracted a lot of media attention. The lead single from the record was “Once in a Lifetime” which went on to be one of the bands most recognisable songs. It became a staple on MTV and one of the most played music videos ever. It also received a number of accolades including a place in the top 100 most important songs ever released.

20170512_181411The inner sleeve with reversed colours from the cover sleeve

The cover art for “Remain in Light” was conceived by band member Tina Weymouth with the help of the Computer Departments at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The sleeve was designed by graphic designer Tibor Kalman using portraits of the band and computerising the portraits adding a red filter over the images. He also came up with the idea of inverting the letter “A” on the name of the band.

20170512_181349Remain in Light on Sire Records

“Remain in Light” attained widespread acclaim from critics upon its release, with many critics labelling it as one of the best albums you can dance to! It was named the album of the year by many critics. It has also been listed in many lists of “Greatest Albums Ever…”

So why should you own this record?

Picking a single Talking Heads record to own is difficult, as they all offer something different musically, however, “Remain in Light” in my opinion is the most experimental and can be argued that it was one of the albums that took music another step forward. This is a fantastic record to introduce you to the music of the Talking Heads.

16 Remain In Light


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