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Remain In Light [CD]

Talking Heads Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: 6.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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At the start of their career, Talking Heads were all nervous energy, detached emotion, and subdued minimalism. When they released their last album about 12 years later, the band had recorded everything from art-funk to polyrhythmic worldbeat explorations and simple, melodic guitar pop. Between their first album in 1977 and their last in 1988, Talking Heads became one of the most critically ... Read more in Amazon's Talking Heads Store

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Remain In Light + Speaking In Tongues + More Songs About Buildings And Food
Price For All Three: 17.56

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Product details

  • Audio CD (24 April 1984)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Sire Records
  • ASIN: B000002KO3
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,499 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Born Under Punches
2. Crosseyed And Painless
3. The Great Curve
4. Once in a Lifetime
5. Houses In Motion
6. Seen And Not Seen
7. Listening Wind
8. The Overload

Product Description


Way back in 1980, the original wave of Talking Heads fans were pleasantly stunned to hear Remain in Light, produced and co-written by Brian Eno, on which Byrne and company are joined by guitar god Adrian Belew, and funk legends Bernie Worrell (keyboards) and Steven Scales (percussion), among others, for a fuller, funkier sound nobody imagined they had in them. The first three songs are long, layered, full-body dance parties, with incessantly repeated phrases (musical and lyrical), and increasingly catchy melodic hooks that won't let go for days. "Once in a Lifetime" was the big hit, but the rockingest track is the third, "The Great Curve", after which the songs get more linear and subdued. It's still great stuff, right through to the especially Eno-like droner, "The Overload", but the second half is maybe better to sleep to than dance to. Which is fine: after the exuberance of the first three songs, you'll need a little nap. --Dan Leone

BBC Review

There’s a chance, slim though it may be, that you haven’t yet listened to Remain in Light. Please, find and play it now. Feet tapping, and fingers clicking? That’s to be expected. Soon, exquisite textures come into focus. Brilliant, isn’t it? An album that sounds as fresh in 2012 as it ever has.

Each time Remain in Light’s 40 minutes pass you by there’s likely to be something new to hear. Fidgety opener Born Under Punches is one of a handful of cuts that seems to get itself locked into an infinite loop – a good thing. It, like the equally muscular, equally wired The Great Curve, utilises club-land repetition mapped to Afrobeat-at-double-speed architecture to create an end product that’s utterly hypnotic.

Remain in Light wasn’t the first time Talking Heads, helmed by the inimitable David Byrne, had worked with producer Brian Eno. Nor was it the first time they’d incorporated elements of "world" music: debut set Talking Heads: 77’s opener, Uh-oh, Love Comes to Town, features steelpan sounds from the Caribbean. But it was (is!) the indubitable zenith of both the band’s Eno collaborations and their explorations beyond art/post-punk and new wave templates.

Whilst Byrne and bandmates’ intentions from the outset were framed by the desire to experiment, Remain in Light is a perfectly accessible affair, never losing sight of the following Talking Heads had attracted via minor single hits like Psycho Killer and their cover of Al Green’s Take Me to the River.

This mainstream-savvy sensibility is encapsulated by Once in a Lifetime. Far from Remain in Light’s most riveting moment, it’s nevertheless the ideal introduction to this set: Eno’s introduction of Fela Kuti-inspired rhythms lends the track a savant edge, but Byrne’s aspiration-meets-realism lyricism connects with a universal audience. With MTV offering support come the station’s 1981 launch, the track was Talking Heads’ best-known song until it was out-radio-played by 1985’s Road to Nowhere.

Road to Nowhere’s parent LP, Little Creatures, can’t match Remain in Light’s bravado, though. This fourth album illustrates how keen ambition could gel with commercial nous, with results that dazzle. Even in its darker turns - closer The Overload the obvious example -these eight tracks continue to fascinate over 30 years after their creation.

In short: same as it ever was, same as it ever was…

--Noel Gardner

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magical record 2 Oct 2007
Format:Audio CD
If anyone needs to be persuaded why Talking Heads were just a great band, not merely a great new wave band or a great post-punk band but a band up there with anyone else, 'Remain In Light', their ineffably spooky and moving masterpiece, is surely the evidence required.

The band's singer and chief songwriter David Byrne was, by his own admission, suffering writer's block around 1980. He had just written the bulk of three increasingly brilliant and increasingly dark Heads albums - '77', 'More Songs About Buildings And Food' and 'Fear Of Music' - and was understandably a little burned out. Producer Brian Eno and he were forming a close friendship and working partnership that other members of the band, chiefly bass player Tina Weymouth, felt was becoming over-intellectual and elitist. The band had various goes at making this album, in various studios, and ended up splicing bits of jams together to make something like songs. Byrne and Eno wrote odd bits of lyrics to sing over the top, and session players like Adrian Belew and Jon Hassell were brought in to provide tasteful (or in Belew's case, fabulously untasteful) musical embellishment. Other people have tried the same method since. It has almost never worked.

Whatever the unhappy circumstances of its making, 'Remain In Light' was a combination of the Heads rhythm section's exceptionally funky drive, Byrne's worry and paranoia, Eno's benign world-music inclusivity, and some special extra ingredient that lifts the whole thing into a frankly mystical level of trancelike intensity and directness. The whole album is laced with gossamer-fine overdubs, so that every time you listen to it you hear something you hadn't heard before.
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49 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent remastering of a brilliant record. 24 Jan 2006
By Christopher Hunter VINE VOICE
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A fantastic re-mastering of this fine, fine record. I have heard this so many times I never thought I'd find something else but this remastering has brought new colour to this record.
This record spent 3 months on my turntable after it was released! I still return to it again and again. The first three tracks are one of the few musical experiences which have moved me to tears several times and if 'Crosseyed and Painless' and 'The Great Curve' don't inspire some sort of urge to dance.....you're probably dead!
'Remain in Light' is Talking Heads at their creative peak. 'Fear of Music' is also fantastic but where 'Fear of Music' is paranoid, prickly and taut, 'Remain in Light' is wreckless, wild and moving to all the horizons. Brian Eno is a massive influence here. Rumour has it, apart from Byrne, the other band members were incresingly resentful of his influence in the band but it's unlikely anything as wonderful as this record would have been created without his huge input.
The key track is 'The Great Curve'. The depth and construction of the vocal tracks is staggering. I've listened to it hundreds of times and still hear new patterns emerging. A real highlight in popular music.
What was originally the second side of the original LP is a different beast to the first three tracks. Again, the African influence is dominant but the themes are darker, such as resistance to Western domination, self doubt, questioning of life purpose and choices. It's a heady mix which fits as a wonderful counter-point to the head on mania and uplifting surges of the first side. All in all a wonderful record which everyone should hear.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! 18 Jan 2006
Format:Audio CD
I was always disappointed in the orignial CD releases of Talking Headss albums, however, I did have hope after the remastered editions of Stop Making Sense and The Name of this Band... were released. Now the waiting is over with these exceptional CD DVDA remastered editions. The CD of Remain In Light sounds wonderful and the bonus tracks are of genuine interest. The DVD audio sounds even better on a 5.1 system with some low key but beautiful graphics and the added bonus of videos. The live version of Once in a Lifetime is great. Seeing David Byrne in particular having such fun performing is heart warming and the seeming effortless ease of Adrian Belews guitar playing explains why he was in such demand at the time ( he was asked to and did join the bands of Frank Zappa, David Bowie, Talking Heads, The Tom Tom Club and King Crimson) and we can all hear the unique contribution he made in each case. I will no doubt be replacing the rest of my Talkiing Heads collection with thesewonderfuls quality and great values editions. Don'y hesitate buy it!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Abnormally brilliant... 22 Jan 2004
Format:Audio CD
Containing some of the most infectiously bizarre dance music ever made, "Remain in Light" defies normal analysis or comparison: a totally controlled musical nightmare in which a troupe of Afro-Cuban drummers, a post-punk rock band, a demented preacher, a group of Benedictine monks and an electronic gizmo freak meet behind the mixing desk of a New York disco to produce one of the most unusual and innovative records of the last 20 years.
Underpinned by insidiously complex, multi-layered arrangements that combine percussion, instruments, electronic sounds, vocal chants, weird guitar breaks and "off the wall" lyrics into the jerky, high-tension poly-rhythms that underpin all but its depressingly dull final track, Talking Heads' masterwork will drive you forward into a unique and unforgettable musical landscape that stills sounds as fresh and different today as it did in 1980.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential listening
When I first bought this album in a second hand shop about 10 years ago, I did so based on the extremely positive reviews. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Charlie
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Album & a DVD-Audio thrown in for free!
Stupendous surround sound bargain, a really brilliant album from the quirky Talking Heads, showing Mr Byrne's unique way of communicating...
Published 1 month ago by The Rocker Rests
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Have for Talking Heads Fans
Excellent Remaster! Everything you loved in the old one, but more-so!
Deeper Bass, more three dimensional sound, less flat. Still snappy and awesome. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible LP
I bought this LP off the back of listening to a Thom Yorke of Radiohead interview a few years ago. He said it is all he listened to while recording a radiohead album. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Mr. W. J. Lynch
5.0 out of 5 stars Love it!
Again, another masterpiece. This one has become my all time favourite and I have all their music ... listen to it at least once a week. My desert island disc, definitely.
Published 3 months ago by MTM
5.0 out of 5 stars Remain In Light
Bought this on cassette in a carboot years ago, but it's become very hissy with time and my old Sony cassette player is rather dodgy. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Kerry
3.0 out of 5 stars Ive gotten muddled
Their album Once in a lifetime was fantastic, this album I had purchased by mistake
Could not quite get into this
Published 11 months ago by Dr Paul Rhoads' Littell
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic Talking Heads
... possibly even the classic. Finally replaced my vinyl copy. This still sounds as fresh as it did in my bachelor flat - way back...
Published 11 months ago by magiclanternman
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic must have for any cool living being ;)
Other than making me sentimental looking back to my 1980s a great album!
Timeless, classic must have for any cool living being
Published 11 months ago by Annette
5.0 out of 5 stars Remain In Light
A wonderfull album I first heard at college in the late seventies, Brian Eno really stands out as an influence.
Published 12 months ago by Darryl Hunt
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