I’m currently digging into the albums of 1990, and I’m not very impressed with the selection.
Today’s Random iTunes Weekend selection is a reminder that 1980 was a much stronger year. So strong that Talking Heads’ Remain in Light managed only the third slot on my personal list of favorite 1980 albums.
Only Billy Joel’s Glass Houses (#2) and Elvis Costello’s Get Happy! (#1) topped it, and the Billy Joel pick is a sentimental one. Remain in Light probably deserves the second spot.
I may only own five albums from 1980, but fortunately they’re very good ones. In fact, in my #3 slot is an album that shows up on just about every list of the best albums of the entire decade.
Remain in Light is Talking Heads’ fourth album, and their first to embrace the African rhythms that would become a hallmark of their future work. Unlike their previous efforts, David Byrne didn’t deliver these songs to the band intact. They were conceived during jam sessions driven by the Heads’ excellent rhythm section of Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz.
Best Albums of the 80s – #13
Remain in Light – Talking Heads (1980)
An album higher on this list (shouldn’t be difficult to guess which one) drew high praise for blending traditional pop music with African rhythms. But years earlier, as the decade began, Talking Heads went even farther in the same direction.
Three albums into their celebrated career, the band was on the verge of splitting. Chris Frantz and Tina Weymouth, the married couple who formed the group’s rhythm section, weren’t happy with the perception of David Byrne as the band’s main creative force.