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Talk Talk

Talk Talk The Colour of Spring

Talk Talk Album Reviews

While there’s a natural progression between each of Talk Talk’s five studio albums, the distance between their 1982 synth-pop debut The Party’s Over and 1991’s jazz and ambient influenced Laughing Stock represents one of the most stunning transformations in popular music; a band that was originally pigeonholed as a one hit wonder went on to produce some of the most unique and timeless albums of their era. Having fired synthesiser player Simon Brenner after the debut, the group pared down to a three piece, with vocalist and songwriter Mark Hollis, bassist Paul Webb and drummer Lee Harris. While Webb and Harris are fine musicians, and important feature of the band’s sound, it’s the axis of Hollis and producer/keyboardist Tim Friese-Green who became the key figures in the group, enlisting legions of studio musicians to create lush layers of organic instrumentation.

I don’t care for the group’s early material at all, but on 1986’s The Colour of Spring they found their feet spectacularly, cranking out a pop masterpiece. They got much more esoteric with 1988’s Spirit of Eden, an album that’s credited with inventing post-rock. 1991’s Laughing Stock and Mark Hollis’ 1998 solo album take the Spirit of Eden sound even further. Mark Hollis all but retired from music after his solo album, but he left a legacy of four phenomenal albums.

Ten Favourite Talk Talk Songs

Ascension Day
The Daily Planet (Mark Hollis solo)
I Believe In You
Life’s What You Make It
Give It Up
New Grass
Pictures of Bernadette
Living In Another World
The Rainbow

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Talk Talk The Party's Over

The Party’s Over – Talk Talk

The Party’s Over (1982), not rated I’m listing this for completeness, but have no interest in hearing it. All the … Continue Reading The Party’s Over – Talk Talk

Talk Talk It's My Life

It’s My Life – Talk Talk

1984, 4.5/10. Merely a competent synth-pop record, with good taste, economical arrangements, and topped off with an emotive singer.

Talk Talk The Colour of Spring

The Colour of Spring – Talk Talk

1986, 10/10. With The Colour of Spring, Talk Talk went from a passable synth-pop band to making beautiful and ambitious pop music.

Talk Talk Spirit of Eden

Spirit of Eden – Talk Talk

1988, 9.5/10. Warm and inviting, filled with rich organic sounds like its predecessor, but downbeat, subtle and gorgeous

Talk Talk Laughing Stock

Laughing Stock – Talk Talk

1991, 9/10. The remaining duo of Hollis and Harris continued for one last album, released on the jazz label Polydor, with a subtle sequel to Spirit of Eden.

Talk Talk Asides Besides

Asides Besides – Talk Talk

1998. Buried right at the end of the second disc is some excellent material from The Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden eras.


Mark Hollis – Mark Hollis

1998, 8/10. Mark Hollis is even more subdued than Laughing Stock; it’s quiet, minimalist, and almost solely performed on acoustic instruments.

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