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