Remain in Light

Label
Warner
Release date
1984
Running length
12 tracks
Running time
58:45

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Tracklist

    Track     Duration Listeners
1 Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) 5:48 138,023
2 Crosseyed and Painless 4:44 169,277
3 The Great Curve 6:27 114,956
4 Once in a Lifetime 4:19 361,516
5 Houses in Motion 4:33 142,054
6 Seen and Not Seen 3:24 109,996
7 Listening Wind 4:43 105,674
8 Overload 6:10 639
9 Fela's Riff (unfinished outtake) 5:14 7,577
10 Unison (unfinished outtake) 4:49 7,082
11 Double Groove (unfinished outtake) 4:27 6,892
12 Right Start (unfinished outtake) 4:07 7,355

About this album

Remain in Light is the fourth studio album by American new wave band Talking Heads, released on October 8, 1980 on Sire Records. It was recorded at locations in the Bahamas and the United States between July and August 1980 and was produced by the quartet’s long-time collaborator Brian Eno. The album peaked at number 19 on the Billboard 200 in the US and at number 21 on the UK Albums Chart. Two singles were released from Remain in Light: “Once in a Lifetime” and “Houses in Motion” as well as promotional single “Crosseyed and Painless”. The record was certified Gold in the US and in Canada during the 1980s.

The members of Talking Heads wanted to make an album that dispelled notions of frontman and chief lyricist David Byrne leading a back-up band. They decided to experiment with African polyrhythms and, with Eno, recorded the instrumental tracks as a series of samples and loops, a novel idea at the time. Additional musicians were frequently used throughout the studio sessions. The lyric writing process slowed Remain in Light’s progress, but was concluded after Byrne drew inspiration from academic literature on Africa. The artwork was crafted with the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computers and designing company M&Co. Following the album’s completion, Talking Heads expanded to nine members for promotional concerts.

Remain in Light was widely acclaimed by critics. Praise centred on its cohesive merging of disparate genres and sonic experimentation. The record has featured in several publications’ lists of the best albums of the 1980s and the best albums of all time. It is often considered Talking Heads’ magnum opus.

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