Sunday, September 21, 2014

Records (CDs) Re-visited 2 - Remain in Light by the Talking Heads

I bought this album on vinyl when I was around 15 I think. It was released in 1980, so I guess I bought it the next year. I remember that I bought it from Rumbelows in Thetford, which was largely an electrical appliance shop that, for some reason, also sold albums. I played this album incessantly after I bought it, but for some reason didn't purchase another Talking Heads album until a few years later - and that was Stop Making Sense.

Remain in Light has remained my favourite Talking Heads album, and is one of those few albums that has a fresh sound even now, over 30 years since its release. It is clear listening to it that The Talking Heads have had a strong influence on many bands that came after them.  I remember how groundbreaking their sound was back in the 1980s. I am not knocking the 1980s - I own a great many albums from that era - but usually you can tell immediately they start which era they are from. They have that particular 1980s sound/flavour - mostly I think it is to do with the way synth is used, but it probably also has a lot to do with the way that they are produced. Remain in Light, for some reason, just does not have that immediately recognisable 1980s flavour. It has a full sound but everything about it - the vocals, the guitars, and everything else marks it out as different. It even has some rap and some spoken poetry! It is also one of the very few albums in my collection where I don't skip tracks - and those are few and far between these days!

As to favourite tracks I am hard pushed to choose a favourite - but if I had to I would go for The Great Curve (which has great backing vocals) closely followed by Once in a Lifetime.

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