TALKING HEADS – ‘Remain in Light’ – Released 35 years ago, 8 October 1980
Their fourth album is definitely one of their best. The New York band combined funk, disco and African rhythms in an innovative, captivating and highly entertaining way. Brilliant compositions, songwriting of the best kind. The whole of side 2 of the LP (Once In A Lifetime / Houses In Motion / Seen An Not Seen / Listening Wind / The Overload) was just special, still is. Drummer Frantz said at the time: “We wanted to do something groundbreaking, but we didn’t want to get into fights about it. And a couple of times we did get into fights — musical fights — because somebody wanted to go one way and another person thought it shouldn’t sound like that.” Frontman/lyricist and control freak David Byrne described the album as: “A spiritual piece of work, joyous and ecstatic and yet it’s serious.”
Fun to know:
* David Byrne and producer Brian Eno studied voodoo and Afro-Atlantic cultures at the time. They both claimed afterwards that the influence of genuine African music on the album was minimal although the band experimented often with African polyrhythms in the studio according to the other members…
* Although artistically a stunning work ‘Remain In Light’ was the worst-selling Talking Heads record (#19 on UK albums chart / #21 in US)
* David Byrne explains: “What we heard was that it sounded too black for white radio and too white for black radio.”
* The working title for the LP was ‘Melody Attack’ throughout the studio process after watching a Japanese game show of the same name.
* The album cover, which features computer images over the faces of each band member, was conceived of by Frantz and Weymouth, who’d been experimenting on computers just for fun.
* Basic tracks were recorded in Compass Point Studios in Nassau, Bahama’s
* The band expanded to nine musicians for the tours in support of the album…
Here’s the diamond in full (deluxe cd edition – the last four tracks 9-12 were not on the original LP)