Talking Heads: David Byrne (vocals, guitar, bass, keyboards, percussion); Jerry Harrison (guitar, keyboards, bass, percussion); Tina Weymouth (keyboards, bass, percussion); Chris Frantz (keyboards, drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Nona Hendryx (vocals); Adrian Belew (guitar); Brian Eno (vocals, keyboards, bass); Robert Palmer, Jon Hassell.
Recorded at Compass Point Studios, Nassau, The Bahamas, and Sigma Sound, New York, New York.
Though the previous album FEAR OF MUSIC provided a bit of foreshadowing, Talking Heads fans could never have guessed what was in store for them with the release of REMAIN IN LIGHT. A visionary work of innovation and inspiration, it's arguably one of the finest albums of the 1980s. The band leaves behind the two-guitars-over-a-quirky-rock-beat ethic of their previous work, adopting a funky, modal approach. Abandoning traditional song form and chord progressions, the tunes here are built around layers of overdubbed keyboard, guitar and percussion parts that weave around each other in an almost fugue-like manner, relying on the adding and subtracting of elements in the mix for dynamics, instead of on chord changes and structural development.
It was a radical approach for a rock band, and it's reflected in the lyrics as well. Byrne abandons his urban paranoia of old in favor of a more spiritual, third world-influenced style of writing. Adrian Belew injects some grit with his postpunk-psychedelia guitar work (suggestive of his upcoming work with King Crimson, as is the overall sound of REMAIN IN LIGHT). This one is for the ages.