Talking Heads - Remain In Light

Year of Release: 2006
Label: Rhino
Catalog Number: 76452
Format: DVDA
Total Time: 00:00:00

Keith reviewed 8 released in an omnibus edition - e.g., one long, but segmented, review; I have chosen to break this into separate segments, including the opening paragraph for each. This is the second in the series -ed.

The Talking Heads were an original band; to say they were unique is putting it mildly. They did not sound like anyone else nor did anyone sound like them. It's hard to figure out who they were influenced by while listening to more of their advanced recordings. From the third release forward, they changed the landscape of music forever.

Visually they were quite normal with the exception of the awkward and geeky looking lead singer David Bryne. If he put on a suit coat and tie, he could pass for a college professor or an executive on Wall Street. Overall, the Talking Heads were not your typical rock band.

Now with advent of DVD-A, we can listen to their entire studio recordings including videos from the archives and alternate and unfinished takes of tracks you never heard before. The CD sides are excellent as well. Rhino is one of the best at repackaging catalogs but this time I was a little annoyed with the sequencing of tracks. It is nice to have a choice, DVD-A on one side and CD on the other, however putting the bonus tracks only on the CD sides is very annoying. Why would I listen to CD audio when I can have surround sound? There are mixed opinions on the effectiveness of Dual Discs but my experiences have always been positive, with the exception of having to flip it over to hear all the bonus tracks. That is a minor factor when you look at the big picture and how much enjoyment is available like never before. The Talking Heads phenomenal output gets a just recourse with these reissues. Sit back and reminisce then listen to one of the most influential and important bands of our time like you never heard them before. Ladies and gentleman, I give you the Talking Heads?

Same as it ever was, same as it ever was ... when you hear David Byrne sing those lyrics in their surrealistic song "Once In A Lifetime" you begin to recollect another classic Talking Heads album titled Remain In Light. The 80s would morph into something much less a few years after this recording was released. There were few bands in that decade with the originality and vision of the Talking Heads.

This was their fourth studio album and you could hear the direction they were going. This sound would find full realization on their next studio outing Speaking In Tongues. The sound was funky and progressive with swirling punctual keyboards pushed along with David Byrne's unique singing/talk vocals. Jerry Harrison commented that this was their most dense album to date and indeed, it was, in addition it was the first album they worked on bringing into the future with 5.1 surround sound. Eno's influence is evident as usual, and it is always good to add another genius to the mix.

Highlights are "Crosseyed And Painless" and "Once In A Lifetime," which are celebrated on the bonus videos in fitting fashion on stage (I believe the additional guitar player in the video is Adrian Belew, the others I did not recognize), and "The Overload," one of the heaviest songs they have ever performed. You get four unfinished outtakes on this remaster, which is an interesting look at this band and how they built a track from the ground up. The artwork of the album is a product of their NYC heritage and influence, mimicking the avant-garde art of Andy Warhol on the front and back cover.

[Previous: Speaking In Tongues -- Next: More Songs About Buildings And Food]

Born Under Punches (The Heat Goes On) / Crosseyed And Painless / The Great Curve / Once In A Lifetime / Houses In Motion / Seen And Not Seen / Listening Wind / The Overload / Fela's Riff (outtake)* / Unison (outtake)* / Double Grove (outtake)* / Right Start (outtake)*

DVD Side: same as above except bonus tracks, plus Rockpop performances of Crosseyed and Painless and Once In A Lifetime

David Byrne - bass, guitar, percussion, keyboards, vocals
Chris Frantz - percussion, drums, keyboards
Jerry Harrison - bass, guitar, percussion, keyboards
Tina Weymouth - bass, percussion, keyboards


Adrian Belew - guitar
Brian Eno - bass, percussion, keyboards, vocals
Jon Hassell - trumpet, horn arrangements
Nona Hendryx - vocals
Robert Palmer - percussion
Jose Rossy - percussion

Talking Heads: 77 (1977/2006*)
More Songs About Buildings And Food (1978/2006*)
Fear Of Music (1979/2006*)
Remain In Light (1980/2006*)
The Name Of This Band Is Talking Heads (1982)
Speaking In Tongues (1983/2006*)
Stop Making Sense (1984/2006*)
Little Creatures (1985/2006*)
Sounds From True Stories (1986)
True Stories (1986/2006*)
Naked (1988/2006*)
Popular Favorites 1976-1992: Sand In The Vaseline (1992)
The Best Of Talking Heads: Once In A Lifetime (1992)
Stop Making Sense (Special Edition) (1999)
12 X 12 Original Mixes (1999)
The Best Of Talking Heads (2004)
Talking Heads Brick (2005) (DualDisc Box Set)

*reissued in DualDisc format (CD/DVD)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: April 2nd 2006
Reviewer: Keith "Muzikman" Hannaleck
Artist website:
Hits: 1023
Language: english


[ Back to Reviews Index | Post Comment ]