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Coloring Club Plus — 9/28/19

Sept 28

From wikipedia:
Remain in Light is the fourth studio album by American rock band Talking Heads, produced by longtime collaborator Brian Eno and released on October 8, 1980. Following the release of their previous album Fear of Music in 1979, the quartet and Eno sought to dispel notions of the band as a mere vehicle for frontman and lyricist David Byrne. Drawing on the influence of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, the band experimented with African polyrhythms, funk, and electronics, recording instrumental tracks as a series of looping grooves.

Byrne struggled with writer’s block, but adopted a scattered, stream-of-consciousness lyrical style inspired by early rap and academic literature on Africa. The artwork for the album was conceived by bassist Tina Weymouth and drummer Chris Frantz, and was crafted with the help of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s computers and design company M&Co. The band expanded to nine members for a promotional tour, and following its completion, they went on hiatus for several years, leaving the individual members to pursue side projects.

Remain in Light was widely acclaimed by critics, who praised its sonic experimentation, rhythmic innovations, and cohesive merging of disparate genres. The album peaked at number nineteen on the US Billboard 200 and number 21 on the UK Albums Chart, and spawned the singles “Once in a Lifetime” and “Houses in Motion”. It has been featured in several publications’ lists of the best albums of the 1980s and of all time, and is often considered Talking Heads’ magnum opus. In 2017, the Library of Congress deemed the album “culturally, historically, or artistically significant”, and selected it for preservation in the National Recording Registry.

I usually don’t like to put too much information on the music, but it’s fascinating and so is included.

Drummer Chris Frantz and bassist Tina Weymouth, a married couple, discussed leaving Talking Heads after Weymouth suggested that Byrne was too controlling. Frantz did not want to leave, and the two took a long vacation in the Caribbean to ponder the state of the band and their marriage. They became involved in Haitian Vodoo religious ceremonies, practiced native percussion instruments, and socialized with the reggae rhythm section of Sly and Robbie.

Frantz and Weymouth ended their holiday by purchasing an apartment above Compass Point Studios in Nassau, the Bahamas, where Talking Heads had recorded their second album, More Songs About Buildings and Food. Byrne joined the duo and Harrison there in early 1980. The band members realized that it had been solely up to Byrne to craft songs even though they were performed as a quartet. They had tired of the notion of a singer leading a backup band; the ideal they aimed for, according to Byrne, was “sacrificing our egos for mutual cooperation“. Byrne additionally wanted to escape “the psychological paranoia and personal torment” he had been writing and feeling in New York. Instead of the band writing music to Byrne’s lyrics, Talking Heads performed instrumental jams, using the Fear of Music song “I Zimbra” as a starting point.

Eno arrived in the Bahamas three weeks after Byrne. He was reluctant to work with the band again after collaborating on the previous two albums. He changed his mind after being excited by the instrumental demo tapes. The band and Eno experimented with the communal African way of making music, in which individual parts mesh as polyrhythms. Afrodisiac, the 1973 Afrobeat record by Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, became the template for the album. Weymouth said that the beginnings of hip-hop music made Talking Heads realize that the musical landscape was changing. Before the studio sessions began, longtime friend David Gans instructed the band that “the things one doesn’t intend are the seeds for a more interesting future“. He encouraged them to experiment, improvise and make use of “mistakes”.

The “rhythmical rant” in “Crosseyed and Painless“—”Facts are simple and facts are straight. Facts are lazy and facts are late.”—is influenced by old school rap, specifically Kurtis Blow’s “The Breaks” given to Byrne by Frantz. It was released in the United States as a promotional single. Although the single failed to reach on the US main chart, it reached to 20 on the US Dance chart. This was Talking Heads’ highest charting dance single of all time. It was also the second music video to be released by the band in 1981.

The music video was directed by Toni Basil and by their own request did not feature the members of the band. Instead it featured authentic street dancers (including Stephen “Skeeter Rabbit” Nichols), chosen by David Byrne, and who were said to have chosen their own parts for the video. The dancers engage in various dance mimes of hustling, knife crime, posing, body popping, solicitation and street fighting. The video version of the song includes an extended version of Byrne’s rap bridge, featuring lyrics not heard on the album version and cross-fading into the outro rather than cutting off just before.

 

Lost my shape
Trying to act casual!
Can’t stop
I might end up in the hospital
I’m changing my shape
I feel like an accident
They’re back!
To explain their experience
Isn’t it weird
Looks too obscure to me
Wasting away
And that was their policy
I’m ready to leave
I push the fact in front of me
Facts lost
Facts are never what they seem to be
Nothing there!
No information left of any kind
Lifting my head
Looking for danger signs
There was a line
There was a formula
Sharp as a knife
Facts cut a hole in us
There was a line
There was a formula
Sharp as a knife
Facts cut a hole in us
I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…
I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…
I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…
The feeling returns
Whenever we close out eyes
Lifting my head
looking around inside
The island of doubt
It’s like the taste of medicine
Working by hindsight
Got the message from the oxygen
Making a list
Find the cost of opportunity
Doing it right
Facts are useless in emergencies
The feeling returns
Whenever we close out eyes
Lifting my head
Looking around inside.
Facts are simple and facts are straight
Facts are lazy and facts are late
Facts all come with points of view
Facts don’t do what I want them to
Facts just twist the truth around
Facts are living turned inside out
Facts are getting the best of them
Facts are nothing on the face of things
Facts don’t stain the furniture
Facts go out and slam the door
Facts are written all over your face
Facts continue to change their shape
I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…
I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…
I’m still waiting…I’m still waiting…
Songwriters: David Byrne / Chris Frantz / Tina Weymouth / Jerry Harrison / Brian Eno

6 thoughts on “Coloring Club Plus — 9/28/19

  1. Thanks Max, it did. My eyes were swimming by the end. You know I listened to this album a few months ago and didn’t post any songs from it because I didn’t like it, lol. Then I mistakenly got it again from the library and glad I did because this time when I listened to it, I loved it! Isn’t that funny?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That is my favorite of the bunch you have done…
    Hans and I were talking about that subject. Sometimes with movies or songs it can depend on the mood you are in at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

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