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Talking Heads - Remain In Light CD (album) cover


Talking Heads


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4.19 | 233 ratings

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Chris S
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars The 80's started with a Bang! and so does the title track " Born Under Punches" In this reviewer's opinion the best piece ever written by the band, incredible keyboards, percussion and guitar riffs all splendidly backed by Byrne's vocals and voices by Belew, Nona Hendryx, Eno to name a few. It is so full of driving energy and the cutting lyrics...." Take a look at these hands, the hands of a government man....." create the image of an everyday worker just being pummelled day in day out trying to survive. A great social awareness piece! I think it is Belew's guitar breaks about 2 minutes in, either way such skill. Quite an exhausting start but any hopes of some respite quickley fade with the next track " Crosseyed and Painless"....." Lost my shape, trying to act casual......." How can so few words say so much...haha! In terms of identity awareness TH had never come closer to being the complete article. More hypnotic guitar pieces with relentless rythms. " The Great Curve" plays out the old side one and is six minutes of driving vocals, thumping percussions/horns and keys and great backing vocals from Nona Hendryx. This particular track has been a fans favourite live too. The KC axeman Mr. Belew doing what he does best here, with shades of neurotica in his playing, pardon the pun.

Side two comprises of more shorter works in general but they are all equally as incisive." Once In a Lifetime" relating to to that social alienation we at times reflect upon....." You may ask yourself, well how did I get here..." Musically very tight but taking more of a back seat here. " House In Motion" is next and succeeds in taking the album to new heights. Could it get any higher? You betcha! " Seen and not Seen" is an incredibly sermon like epiphony from the band all laid down in just over three minutes. Harrison's keyboards are haunting and the hypnotic clap/percussion all beautifully linked together by Eno's wizardry and Weymouth's great bass work. Byrne reminds me here of a southern baptist preacher reaching out to his flock only the lyrics are sad, reflective and plaintive, never demanding." Listening Wind" another fans favourite has some great connective synergy, lyrically pointing fingers as to why we should be playing as red indians as kids, not cowboys.....:" Wind in my heart, drive them away....." Ah yes the human condition has much to be ashamed of. It is great when artists can portray these emotions so poignantly. Last but not least the droning and top heavy " Overload" plays out RIL. This work not disimilar to " My Life In The Bush Of Ghosts" album by Eno/Byrne. Oh I have neglected to mention the great John Hassell providing horn arrangements and trumpet throughout, note " The Great Curve".

This work is arguably one of the finest albums to come out in the 20th century. There will be no disclaimer apologising for too much lavish praise by this reviewer for Remain In Light. It is a work of such grandeur even the late Richard Wright of Pink Floyd put this up in his top ten. That in itself speaks volumes really, along with many notable music publications listing it in the top 100 albums of all time. Without doubt TH's most progressive work too along with it's predecessor Fear Of Music.An essential lifetime experience.

Chris S | 5/5 |


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