REMAIN IN LIGHT
RELEASED 8TH OCTOBER 1980
How can you tell when an album is a stone cold, broke the mold classic that continues to influence countless bands and artists years after its release? Well, you can start by looking at just how many bands have cited and continue to cite that album as a major influence on their musical output.
A cursory Google of ‘bands influenced by Remain In Light by Talking Heads’ turns up a list that includes but is in no way limited to: Blondie, XTC, R.E.M, Beck, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, Franz Ferdinand, St Vincent, LCD Soundsystem, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah and Friendly Fires. And that’s barely scratching the surface of the multitude of groups who have taken musical and artistic pointers from the quirky new wave band from New York.
Recorded four years before lead singer David Byrne donned a giant, box-shaped zoot suit in their Stop Making Sense live concert film, Remain In Light, their fourth full-length release, saw the band return to the studio with producer Brian Eno to create an experimental yet accessible record that blended polyrhythmic percussive elements with fidgety, funk-tinged grooves.
Listening back to it 35 years on, it sounds both ahead of its time and strangely timeless, thanks mainly to the pristine, detailed production of Eno and the danceable backbeats provided by Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz.
From the scratchy, bleep-blooping afro-funk of opener ‘Born Under Punches’ to the sparse but stirring slide guitar wonder that is ‘Listening Wind,’ there is just so much to savour in this record and you find yourself discovering tiny hidden nuances with almost every listen.
Nestled in the centre of the 40-minute long record, is, of course, one of their biggest singles ‘Once In A Lifetime’. Showcasing Byrne’s trademark spoken lyrical style, this anthem for the commodified man was only ever outsold by ‘Burning Down The House’ but was by far their greatest track. Remain In Light is as great today as it was 35 years ago. “Sames as it ever was, same as it ever was…”
AND here are some Spotify facts…
Remain in Light is most streamed in the US by an audience made up of 30% female, 70% male
It is popular with 28-34 year olds
The highest ever number of streams was on Fri 24 April 2015
“Once In A Lifetime” has the most streams on the album with 12,291,349 plays and counting