Remain In Light (studio album) by Talking Heads

Remain In Light by Talking Heads
Year: 1980
Overall rank: 29th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
87/100 (from 2,177 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution   Average rating historyAverage rating history
Award Best album of 1980 (1st)
Award Top 10 albums of the 1980s (3rd)
Award Top 50 albums of all time (29th)
Product Details

Talking Heads Remain In Light CD Sire 1980 1532226 EX/EX
Condition: Very Good

Condition: New

Talking Heads Remain in Light (180 Gram Vinyl) Records & LPs New
Condition: New

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Talking Heads bestography

Remain In Light is ranked as the best album by Talking Heads.

Talking Heads album bestography « Higher ranked This album (29th) Lower ranked (235th) »
-Remain In LightFear Of Music

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Remain In Light track list

  Track ratingsTrack ratings The tracks on this album have an average rating of 87 out of 100 (all tracks have been rated).

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Remain In Light ratings

Average Rating: 
87/100 (from 2,177 votes)
  Ratings distributionRatings distribution Average Rating = (n ÷ (n + m)) × av + (m ÷ (n + m)) × AV
av = trimmed mean average rating an item has currently received.
n = number of ratings an item has currently received.
m = minimum number of ratings required for an item to appear in a 'top-rated' chart (currently 10).
AV = the site mean average rating.

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3 days ago SK747  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 5169/100
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05/30/2023 19:36 redanbarros  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 21287/100
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05/21/2023 22:22 FacundoRojas  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 598/100
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05/20/2023 02:35 Mercury  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 1,67081/100
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05/15/2023 22:14 nico101  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 5097/100

Rating metrics: Outliers can be removed when calculating a mean average to dampen the effects of ratings outside the normal distribution. This figure is provided as the trimmed mean. A high standard deviation can be legitimate, but can sometimes indicate 'gaming' is occurring. Consider a simplified example* of an item receiving ratings of 100, 50, & 0. The mean average rating would be 50. However, ratings of 55, 50 & 45 could also result in the same average. The second average might be more trusted because there is more consensus around a particular rating (a lower deviation).
(*In practice, some albums can have several thousand ratings)

This album is rated in the top 1% of all albums on This album has a Bayesian average rating of 87.2/100, a mean average of 85.9/100, and a trimmed mean (excluding outliers) of 87.2/100. The standard deviation for this album is 14.7.

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Remain In Light comments

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From 05/05/2023 22:22
This is a creative and unique listen but it just fails to captivate me every time I hear it. The group do a great job at combining several genres together and making a soundscape that I have never heard before. This definitely benefits from the production stylings of Eno and the voice of Byrne which gives the music this darker and edgier tone which is best evidenced on Listening Wind. Then you have the brilliant track that is Once In A Lifetime which is the groups best ever song in my opinion. Where the album struggles for me is that second side especially with the 6 minute final track which I would argue is skippable. There just isn't enough to hook me and keep me constantly engaged throughout the whole release. You get glimpses on several songs but then there are moments that feel insignificant and like a waste of time. Overall, the outstanding segments on here are let down by a few slower and weaker songs which hold it back in my opinion.
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From 05/03/2023 20:28

Real talk though this is the one album you can't even possibly comprehend which year and area it's from. Pretty much timeless.

Interesting soundwriting and really influential. Definitely front half heavy though.
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From 05/01/2023 05:21
If to be honest, it is one of the worst albums of 1980. 🤷🏻‍♂️
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (1 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 04/12/2023 23:06
I will make another assessment when I listen to this more, but his is what I’ve got after about 4 full listens in:

I was completely shocked at how enjoyable this album is. I always thought Talking Heads were way too weird for my taste. I knew “Once in a Lifetime” from when I was younger and thought David Byrne was very strange because of its music video, even though it always stuck with me. I knew “Psycho Killer” because of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia (which also made me aware of Tina Weymouth’s Tom Tom Club), and I always thought “Burning Down The House” was annoying. So that’s what I knew of this band before making a blind purchase of this album on CD.

However, I was immediately gripped by “Born Under Punches” and found this album to be both accessible and expansive, both expressive and intrinsic, both danceable and thought-provoking. I don’t know how the band was able to blend such different genres (in 1980, mind you) and come away with all the superlatives previously mentioned.

Byrne finds a great lane for himself by embodying a sort of preacher character on a lot of these songs, giving each cut a little extra personality. The loops recorded aren’t detracting from the bouncy instrumentation and add layers to each track. The audial tennis match between guitars and bass give the album a great, zooming pace (especially in the first half) and add layers to the quieter, more introspective back half.

Side A definitely dominates Side B, but I need to give the entirety of the album a deeper listen. It’s going to be a “more time put in = more taken out” situation, but I’m here for it!

Favorite tracks: Born Under Punches, The Great Curve, Once in a Lifetime
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 02/21/2023 20:53
Definitely the most 'fun' album ever made
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 12/01/2022 15:40
I think I've decided I don't really "get" this band. I thought Speaking in Tongues was decent, but other than Once In A Lifetime, which is a great song, this album just doesn't do anything for me. Can't see how it's the 29th best album of all time, but each to their own.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
From 10/17/2022 00:09
Very original, quite good.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | 0 votes (0 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 08/31/2022 03:21
Great album
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From 08/22/2022 14:35
this album is problematically good; unreal stratospheric music!!!!! The Great Curve is bonkers
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 08/18/2022 16:22
If I had to describe this album in two words - crazy and fresh. It sounds fresh even today, so I can't believe how mind blowing it was in 1980. It takes sound of this band which was much improved on the Fear Of Music even higher. Starts with Born Under Punches - ond of the best here - and attacks listener with shouting vocals, distorted electronic instrumental and surrealistic lyrics, all of it creates really exciting opener. Crosseyed And Painless is catchy, funky, very danceable tune with amazing vocal performance. Then we hit The Great Curve which may at first appear as chaotic mess, but with closer listening it becomes clear that there are very well crafted elements put together creating this beautifull madness.
Once In A Lifetime has great watery effect and the catchiest chorus that stays with you forever, excellent lyrics with many memorable phrases (my favorite - "there is water at the bottom of the ocean"), this is a pure 10/10 track. Houses In Motion is another good track especially singing is outstanding here. Seen And Not Seen - my least favorite, instrumental is amazing as always, but vocal performance is disappointing. Listening Wind has surrealistic sound and amazing David Byrne vocal performance and incredible instrumental middle section - probably most underrated track. The Overload has dark, eerie atmosphere and sounds like something from Unknown Pleasures by Joy Division, not bad track, but doesn't fit the vibe of this album. Overall I think this album is amazing and it deserves all the praise it gets.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +5 votes (5 helpful | 0 unhelpful)

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Best Albums of 1980
1. Remain In Light by Talking Heads
2. Closer by Joy Division
3. Back In Black by AC/DC
4. Scary Monsters... And Super Creeps by David Bowie
5. Fresh Fruit For Rotting Vegetables by Dead Kennedys
6. Peter Gabriel III by Peter Gabriel
7. The River by Bruce Springsteen
8. Permanent Waves by Rush (CA)
9. Pretenders by Pretenders
10. Making Movies by Dire Straits
11. Seventeen Seconds by The Cure
12. Crazy Rhythms by The Feelies
13. Sandinista! by The Clash
14. Heaven And Hell by Black Sabbath
15. Boy by U2
16. Ace Of Spades by Motörhead
17. Gaucho by Steely Dan
18. Duke by Genesis
19. Get Happy!! by Elvis Costello And The Attractions
20. Iron Maiden by Iron Maiden
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