Acclaimed Albums – Remain in Light by Talking Heads

List item: Listen to the 250 greatest albums
Progress: 207/250Title: Remain in Light
Artist: Talking Heads
Year: 1980
Position: #34

Okay, so I know that’s previously said that I would end up diving into a 1990s album along the lines of Wu Tang Clan and I have ended up listening to one of the essential new wave albums instead. I just had this sudden urge to listen to ‘Once in a Lifetime’ and the rest is history. Also, having recently started 1978 for the songs list, I was just in the mood.

Other than the song I previously mentioned, I didn’t know what sort of music to expect from a Talking Heads album. The only other things I’d heard from lead vocalist David Byrne were his collaborative albums with St Vincent and Fatboy Slim. Neither of those, albeit recent, albums really gave an indication on what Remain in Light would be like. Then again, neither of those had Brian Eno acting as producer or were released as part of the post punk/new wave era.

When I think of the music I am listening to as part of the songs, it seems so unlikely that a record like Remain in Light with its genre blending and fusing of afrobeat sounds with more mainstream genres was on the horizon. Hell, it predates Graceland African-music fusion by about six years and I think that this is the better album.

What is probably the most surprising is just how moreish this album was. It’s this strange mix of genres but it’s catchy and incredible accessible just like a pop record. But this is decidedly not pop. In fact, I, not entirely sure what genre you’d want to put it under. Sure, the song I kept coming back to for repeats was ‘Once in a Lifetime’, but the album is a brilliantly cohesive whole that deserves to be played all the way through. Between this and Bruce Springsteen, I’m having a pretty good week for albums.

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