Remain In Light (studio album) by Talking Heads

Remain In Light by Talking Heads
Year: 1980
Overall rank: 27th   Overall chart historyOverall chart history
Average Rating: 
87/100 (from 2,231 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 (27th)
Product Details

Talking Heads Remain In Light Vinyl 1ST 1980 SRK6095 OG LP EX New Wave Art Rock
Condition: Used

Condition: New

Remain in Light CD Talking Heads David Byrne Brian Eno Harrison Franz Weymouth
Condition: Very Good

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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 (27th) 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 2,231 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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5 days ago MCOTho  Ratings distributionRatings distribution 35279/100
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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 06/04/2024 23:05
Good album, but the tracks all blended together. None stuck out, besides Once In A Lifetime and Born Under Punches
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From 05/01/2024 17:34
In some ways, this album is in the same genre as Blur's "Parklife" and Supertramp's "Breakfast in America." After hearing the album twice, I must conclude it is a scathing takedown of American Popular Culture disguised as an album of eclectic musical styles and compelling synth sounds.

Those that understand the album on a deeper level will grade it higher than those who simply hear it once, find there to be only one hit song ("Once in a Lifetime") and miss the deeper messages embedded in the lyrics.

By no means a masterpiece--there isn't enough melodic development to reach that apex--but certainly an excellent album, as well as a landmark album when it comes to original soundscapes; unusual and atypical, with cultural critiques spattered throughout. 9.5/10!
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From 03/21/2024 01:52
This record is probably #1 1980 on this site because humans that has a need to be identified by other humans as intellectual regard this LP as clever. I am also a bit like that though I try my best not to. So I currently have it in a #12 position. My favourite track as a kid was Listening Wind and therefore it still kinda is but of course I totally get that it 'should be' Once in a Lifetime and today it also almost is too, and tomorrow it might be - my favourite. Houses in Motion is my #3 rated track here so that means side 2 contains two of my favourites which makes it (side 2) a more bearable listen to me than for many others who don't share my feelings for the mystique in Listening Wind. I find the production on my copy a bit foggy and in lack of punch in bass and in treble also. The musical arrangements on this album is Talking Heads at their absolute peak imo so in that matter it deserves it's (on this site) standing as their top achievement, I guess. Side 1 is amazing but side 2 has two very skipable sketches of elevator music or at least NOT MEMORABLE AT ALL 'songs' that ought to drag this product way lower on the overall Besteveralbums ranking list than it's slightly embarrassing current #27 standing.
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From 03/13/2024 02:53
Erratic album for me. The first 5 tracks are great - Once In A Lifetime and The Great Curve, in particular, are top tier. But then the last 3 bring the average down. This is generally regarded as their best album, but I would put Speaking In Tongues above it, just for consistency.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
From 12/27/2023 20:45
One of the best albums of the 1980s. A revolutionary work that influenced much of what would become trends in the following years.
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From 11/11/2023 20:20
Is this the best album of 1980? really? better than AC/DC Back in Black? Even is this the best album of Talking Heads??? TH:77, Little creatures, speaking in tongues?? Im sure not
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | -1 votes (0 helpful | 1 unhelpful)
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.
Helpful?  (Log in to vote) | +1 votes (1 helpful | 0 unhelpful)
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) | -2 votes (2 helpful | 4 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
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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 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
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. Ace Of Spades by Motörhead
16. Boy by U2
17. Gaucho by Steely Dan
18. Duke by Genesis
19. Get Happy!! by Elvis Costello And The Attractions
20. Sound Affects by The Jam
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