My attempt to blog all of the entries from the book 1001 Albums to Hear Before You Die
Brief Background: Remain in Light is the fourth album by Talking Heads. The album was recorded during July and August of 1980 in the Bahamas, with overdubs being added in Philadelphia. The album was produced by Brian Eno and consisted, initially, of instrumental loops that Byrne later added vocals to. Some of the effects used in the music and album art (we could do the cover in Paint in seconds, I can’t imagine the time it took to do it in 1980.) pushed what the processing power of computers at the time were able to achieve.
What I think: If you’ve followed my posts, you know that I am a really big Talking Heads fan, despite the fact that I’ve never been all that into any of their albums. This one is no exception, but I’ve spent a lot of time with it and that has really paid off.
You see, “Once in a Lifetime” has been one of my most favorite songs for as long as I can remember. To me it just maybe the coolest song of all time. It’s really weird, in music and lyrics, but it’s catchy as hell and that is a tough combination. I always wondered if that song was what it was like to get older. Now that I’m older I see for some people it is. I feel like I’ve been more reflective in my life, thinking about were I came from. Maybe having this song with me through out has helped with that.
So wanting to find more music like “Once in a Lifetime”, I’ve put this album on from time to time. It’s not an album that I took to instantly and it takes time to soak in. I feel like I’ve sort of absorbed it song by song, and pretty much in track order. I’ve really embraced about 7/8 tracks at this point (the final track that hasn’t grabbed me is them trying to sound like Joy Division, without ever hearing them. Just what they had read in music press. They do a pretty amazing job!) . I just love the roll it goes on, those repeated loops are just amazing and they bring such a cool vibe. The first side is basically a really difficult way of making a Funk album. The second is dark sounding, but as you listen closely really about the beauty of life. Every step of the process in creating this album was extremely calculated and that should make it stilted and dry. Instead it brings this amazing emotion and rhythm, it’s sort of hypnotic. I haven’t always been kind to Eno’s projects, but this is sort of the culmination of all of that experimentation. It brings everything he had been doing for a decade together here. I suggest concentrating on the first side… the most rhythmic and then just let it all come to you in its own time, you won’t be disappointed.
Do I agree or disagree with the writers as to this being an album you must listen to? I certainly agree that this should be here. It illustrates how this whole project is really just a lark. I listen to an album once or twice and review it. This has taken repeated listens to really embrace and I’m still working on it. I get that it doesn’t always make sense, I’m just having fun with it.
Rating (Out of 5) 4.5
Is this my first time hearing this album? No (111/476)
Amount that are new to me: 77%