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TALK TALK

Crossover Prog • United Kingdom


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Talk Talk picture
Talk Talk biography
Founded in 1981 in London - Disbanded in 1991.

Formed in 1981 by muti-instrumentalist Mark Hollis, TALK TALK began as a fairly typical 80s synth pop band. Joined by producer and keyboardist Tim Friese-Greene in 1983, the band began to experiment with jazz and classical influences, at times evoking late-60's psychedelic explorers CAN and PINK FLOYD. With a cut-and-paste style of production, Hollis and Friese-Green utilized recordings of many and diverse guest musicians to create atmospheric compositions of startling uniqueness. By the early 90s, the band's internal pressures and total lack of record company support (added to their refusal to do interviews, make videos, or even tour regularly) led Hollis to venture out on his own, where he continues to explore music in its most abstract and minimalist forms.

Although such releases as 1982's "The Party's Over" and 1984's "It's My Life" generated significant interest and some success, TALK TALK began to evolve past the synth-pop with "The Colour of Spring" in 1986, which contained tantalizing tastes of what was to come. The defining sound finally emerged on their subsequent two releases, "Spirit of Eden" (1988) and "Laughing Stock" (1991). These albums are truly unique statements; seemingly free-form and abstract, the songs reveal themselves to be delicately constructed soundscapes where each note - or even each moment of silence - is necessary and powerfully emotional. Instruments and vocals weave in and out of the mix, sometimes contributing only one quiet sound before disappearing, sometimes building to a wrenching climax.

Although by no means standard prog-rock fare, TALK TALK (at their best) shares with the greats of the genre an attitude of instrumental exploration and willingness to abandon traditional structures. Those looking for flights of technical dexterity a la Wakeman, McLaughlin, Emerson et cetera will be disappointed, but those who prize the quieter, shifting abstract textures of "Starless"-era KING CRIMSON may feel right at home. Seldom has music been as artistic and conceptual and yet at the same time so heartfelt and real. No matter what your musical preferences, the last two albums are unlike anything else ever recorded and are highly recommended to anyone who values musical exploration.

: : : James Lee, UNITED STATES : : :

(Edited by Quinino)

Talk Talk official website

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TALK TALK Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy TALK TALK Music


Laughing StockLaughing Stock
Polydor 1991
Audio CD$6.23
$1.20 (used)
Spirit of Eden [Vinyl LP + DVD]Spirit of Eden [Vinyl LP + DVD]
Import
EMI Import 2012
Vinyl$20.87
$22.69 (used)
Colour of SpringColour of Spring
Import · Remastered
101 DISTRIBUTION 2012
Audio CD$4.74
$3.49 (used)
It's My Life (Vinyl)It's My Life (Vinyl)
Import
Rhino/Parlophone 2017
Vinyl$16.55
$19.41 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Talk Talk - Asides Besides [CD] USD $12.63 Buy It Now
Living in Oblivion CD The 80's Greatest Hits Vol 1 Kim Wilde Talk Talk Vapors USD $4.00 Buy It Now
Dave Berry - Mama / Walk, Walk, Talk, Talk - RARE 1966 UK "Decca" 7" 45 USD $3.99 Buy It Now
Audio CD - TALK TALK - It's My Life - 1984 - USED Excellent (EX) WORLDWIDE USD $10.14 Buy It Now
THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS - TALK TALK TALK -13 TRACK CD- (LEGACY 506363 2) LIKE NEW USD $11.33 Buy It Now
Talk Talk ?- Spirit Of Eden LP. Unofficial Release USD $52.00 Buy It Now
TALK TALK It's My Life LTD Nod CD MUSIC FRAMED DISPLAY! USD $66.25 Buy It Now
TALK TALK Colour Spring CLASSIC Album GALLERY QUALITY FRAMED+EXPRESS GLOBAL SHIP USD $59.62 Buy It Now
Talk Talk Talk Talk 7" EMI EMI5352 EX 1982 Talk Talk/Mirror Man USD $9.95 Buy It Now
Colour Of Spring - Talk Talk - CD - New USD $13.80 Buy It Now
TALK TALK - MIRROR MAN - 7" VINYL PICTURE SLEEVE 1982 EMI RECORDS USD $4.76 Buy It Now
PSYCHEDELIC FURS - Talk Talk Talk - CD - Import - **Excellent Condition** USD $12.75 Buy It Now
PSYCHEDELIC FURS - Talk Talk Talk - CD - Import - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $12.95 Buy It Now
45 rpm ORIGINAL SOUND the Music Machine TALK TALK come on in USD $5.99 Buy It Now
TALK TALK ( NEW SEALED CD ) THE VERY BEST OF / GREATEST HITS COLLECTION USD $8.55 Buy It Now
TALK TALK the party's over (original dutch press & lyric inner) LP EX/EX synth USD $31.07 Buy It Now
TALK TALK - A Sides B Sides - 2 CD - Limited Edition Best Of - **SEALED/ NEW** USD $31.95 Buy It Now
Spirit Of Talk Talk By Various Artists (new Cd) USD $15.98 Buy It Now 22m 23s
Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden [New Vinyl] Germany - Import USD $26.13 Buy It Now 1h
TALK TALK The Party's Over 1987 UK vinyl LP Record Excellent Condition USD $19.88 Buy It Now 1h 23m
Talk Talk - It's My Life - 1984 US 1st Press ST-17113 (EX) Ultrasonic Clean USD $21.99 Buy It Now 1h 25m
TALK TALK the party's over (original dutch press & lyric inner) LP EX/EX synth USD $30.61 Buy It Now 1h 29m
TALK TALK THE COLOUR OF SPRING 1997 EMI 100 HIGH-QUALITY REISSUE LP w/inner USD $59.68 Buy It Now 1h 33m
Cassette - Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring - Super condition USD $6.62 Buy It Now 2h 2m
The Psychedelic Furs - Talk Talk Talk NMINT. 1981 Original Pressing. USD $18.99 Buy It Now 2h 13m
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock [New CD] USD $9.35 Buy It Now 2h 45m
London Boys - Harlem Desire / Talk! Talk! Talk!, WEA YZ-415 Ex/Ex+ USD $3.87 Buy It Now 2h 58m
Talk Talk ?- It's My Life 12'' Vinyl 1990 Parlophone ?- 12R 6254 USD $11.94 Buy It Now 3h 19m
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock [New CD] USD $8.68 Buy It Now 3h 23m
Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring (NEW 12" VINYL LP) USD $30.49 Buy It Now 3h 24m
Talk Talk-Mirror Man/Strike Up The Band-UK 7" Single-PS-'82-EMI Records 5265-NEW USD $6.99 Buy It Now 3h 50m
New: Beaujolais Band: Talk, Talk and More Talk Audio Cassette USD $10.43 Buy It Now 4h 26m
TALK TALK FRAMED ORIGINAL ADVERT 15" X 11 POSTER SIZE 17 SEP 1988 USD $66.30 Buy It Now 5h 2m
TALK TALK SPIRIT OF EDEN 15 X 11"ORIGINAL ADVERT POSTER SIZE 17 SEP 1988 USD $15.90 Buy It Now 5h 2m
TALK TALK 16 X 12" ORIGINAL ADVERT POSTER SIZE 30 MAR 1991 USD $15.90 Buy It Now 5h 3m
MUSIC MACHINE:Talk Talk 1:56-Come On In 2:54-U.K. 7" 66 Pye Records 7N 25407 DJ USD $298.98 Buy It Now 5h 11m
THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS LP TALK,TALK,TALK Columbia 37339 NM/VG+ 1981 USD $9.99 Buy It Now 5h 49m
TALK TALK - THE COLLECTION - CD - NEW - USD $12.05 Buy It Now 6h 10m
FORMEL EINS (RARITÄTEN) SAMPLER TALK TALK/ LIONEL RICHIE/+ 2 CD NEW+ USD $25.35 Buy It Now 6h 19m
TALK TALK "TALKING COLOURS" CD Recorded Live At Hammersmith Odeon 1986 RARE VGC USD $112.67 Buy It Now 7h 24m
Talk Talk - such a shame USD $1.31 [0 bids]
7h 26m
TALK TALK, I DON'T BELIEVE IN YOU; RARE 3 TRACK 12" EP USD $13.99 Buy It Now 7h 31m
THE PSYCHEDELIC FURS TALK TALK TALK RARE NEW ZEALAND CASSETTE TAPE! USD $11.33 Buy It Now 7h 52m
Talk Talk Lifes What You Make It 7" 45EP UK 1986 USD $3.98 [0 bids]
8h
My Foolish Friend Talk Talk 7" 45EP Vinyl Record USD $3.98 [0 bids]
8h
Various Artists - Spirit of Talk Talk / Various [New CD] USD $21.41 Buy It Now 8h 9m
Talk Talk The Party's Over Vinyl EX/EX USD $6.96 [0 bids]
8h 20m
TALK TALK "THE COLOUR OF SPRING" CD NEW+ USD $17.20 Buy It Now 8h 33m
TALK TALK "ASIDE BESIDES" 2 CD NEW+ USD $23.13 Buy It Now 9h 49m
Vapors 80s POP ROCK 45 Turning Japanese / Talk Talk USD $8.98 Buy It Now 10h 22m
TALK TALK It's My Life LP Vinyl 1984 EM USD $9.95 Buy It Now 12h 34m
ARROWS Talk Talk 7" VINYL South African A&M 1985 B/W Easy Street (Amrs1488) USD $4.16 Buy It Now 13h 18m
BLUE MURDER (ROCK/METAL GROUP) Talk Talk Talk 7" VINYL German Wea 1985 B/W Mr USD $4.16 Buy It Now 13h 19m
TALK TALK - Remixed - CD - Best Of - **BRAND NEW/STILL SEALED** USD $14.76 Buy It Now 13h 23m
GLORIA GAYNOR Talk Talk Talk 7" VINYL UK Polydor 1976 B/w Let's Make Love USD $2.79 Buy It Now 13h 34m
ORDINARY BOYS Talk Talk Talk 7" VINYL UK B Unique 2004 Radio Edit B/W Dreaming USD $5.56 Buy It Now 13h 35m
TALK TALK Living In Another World POSTER UK Emi 1986 Repro Promo Poster For New USD $10.20 Buy It Now 13h 47m
ORDINARY BOYS Talk Talk Talk FLYER UK Promo Double Sided Circular Flyer For New USD $1.39 Buy It Now 13h 47m
TALK TALK Collection CD Dutch Emi Gold 2000 16 Track (5285592) USD $5.56 Buy It Now 14h 6m
TALK TALK It's My Life LP VINYL UK Emi 1984 9 Track With Inner Sleeve Matrix USD $27.12 Buy It Now 14h 7m
TALK TALK Collection CD Dutch Emi Gold 2003 16 Track (5954352) USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 7m
TALK TALK Living In Another World 12" VINYL UK Emi 1986 3 Track Extended Remix USD $14.58 Buy It Now 14h 11m
TALK TALK Life's What You Make It DOUBLE 12" VINYL UK Emi 1986 5 Track Extended USD $27.12 Buy It Now 14h 12m
TALK TALK Such A Shame 12" VINYL UK Emi 1983 3 Track Original Issue Featuring USD $10.40 Buy It Now 14h 12m
TALK TALK Mini LP LP VINYL Greek Emi 1986 5 Track In Unique Sleeve (2406461) USD $28.50 Buy It Now 14h 12m
TALK TALK Life's What You Make It 12" VINYL UK Parlophone 1990 3 Track Bbg USD $9.01 Buy It Now 14h 12m
TALK TALK Party's Over LP VINYL European Parlophone 2017 9 Track LP Includes USD $27.71 Buy It Now 14h 13m
EUGENIE ARROWSMITH Dancing In My Heart 7" VINYL UK 10 1986 B/W Talk Talk About USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 14m
DENNY ST.GEORGE Talk Talk 7" VINYL UK Seville 1977 B/w There Ain't Nothing Like USD $4.16 Buy It Now 14h 15m
TALK TALK Such A Shame 7" VINYL UK Emi 1983 B/W Again A Game...Again (Emi5433) USD $5.56 Buy It Now 14h 15m
TALK TALK Dum Dum Girl 7" VINYL UK Emi 1984 B/W Without You (Emi5480) USD $5.56 Buy It Now 14h 15m
DENNY ST.GEORGE Talk Talk Talkin 7" VINYL UK Seville 1977 B/w There Ain't USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 20m
LONDON BOYS Harlem Desire 7" VINYL UK Wea 1989 B/W Talk Talk Talk (Yz415) Pic USD $2.77 Buy It Now 14h 21m
TALK TALK Life's What You Make It 7" VINYL Irish Emi 1985 Irish Label Design In USD $14.58 Buy It Now 14h 21m
TALK TALK Life's What You Make It 7" VINYL UK Emi 1986 B/w It's Getting Late In USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 22m
TALK TALK Such A Shame 7" VINYL German Emi 1983 B/W Again A Game....Again USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 25m
TALK TALK My Foolish Friend 7" VINYL UK Emi 1983 B/W Call Of The Night Boys USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 25m
TALK TALK Such A Shame 7" VINYL German Parlophone 1983 B/W Dum Dum Girl USD $11.79 Buy It Now 14h 25m
TALK TALK Today 7" VINYL UK Emi 1982 B/w It's So Serious (emi5314)creasing To USD $5.56 Buy It Now 14h 25m
ORDINARY BOYS Talk Talk Talk CD UK B Unique 2004 2 Track Radio Edit B/W Little USD $2.79 Buy It Now 14h 27m
1984 ORIGINAL 1ST USA PRESS TALK TALK LP IT'S MY LIFE USD $10.00 [0 bids]
14h 27m
ORDINARY BOYS Talk Talk Talk CD European B Unique 2004 4 Track Radio Edit In USD $4.16 Buy It Now 14h 53m
TALK TALK Party's Over CD UK Emi 1982 9 Track (Cdp7463662) USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 55m
ORDINARY BOYS Talk Talk Talk CD UK B-Unique 2004 1 Track Promo In Info USD $6.62 Buy It Now 14h 55m
Talk Talk 'Life's what you make it extended version' 12inch single vinyl record USD $7.56 [0 bids]
15h 19m
Talk Talk EP Talk Talk USD $7.49 Buy It Now 15h 25m
TALK TALK "IT'S MY LIFE" CD ----9 TRACKS---- NEW+ USD $17.20 Buy It Now 15h 29m
TALK TALK The Collection (CD, Sep-2000, EMI) CD NEW USD $9.78 Buy It Now 16h 26m
Dance Mix Japan Promo White Label Vinyl LP w OBI Kaja Bowie Talk Talk Easton USD $64.99 Buy It Now 18h 40m
TALK TALK "Ultra Rare Tracks" (The Reaction / Demos / BBC Session / B-Sides) USD $12.50 [0 bids]
18h 56m
Alice Cooper Flush the Fashion CD NEW SEALED Clones (We're All)/Pain/Talk Talk+ USD $6.62 Buy It Now 21h 28m
Talk Talk / It's My Life ( EMI/CDP 7 46063 2)CD Album USD $18.84 Buy It Now 21h 38m
Talk Talk-magazine advert USD $6.62 Buy It Now 21h 44m
TALK TALK TODAY-----ITS SO SERIOUS ORIGINAL PRESSING 7" VINYL USD $4.50 Buy It Now 21h 57m
TALK TALK THE VERY BEST OF , CD, EU USD $12.00 Buy It Now 21h 58m
TALK TALK - THE TRIPLE ALBUM COLLECTION BOX-SET 3 CD NEW+ USD $19.37 Buy It Now 22h 41m
DAFT PUNK simple minds GOLDFRAPP talk talk OMD human league GRACE JONES neneh CD USD $16.99 Buy It Now 23h 11m
PSYCHEDELIC FURS : TALK TALK TALK (BONUS TRACK) (RMST) (CD) sealed USD $10.33 Buy It Now 23h 50m
BOPS No 2 LP 1983 /KAJAGOOGOO/DURAN DURAN/TALK TALK/LUISA LU COLOMBO/STEELY DAN USD $10.00 Buy It Now 23h 53m
TALK TALK - THE COLLECTION (NEW CD) USD $3.38 Buy It Now 1 day

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TALK TALK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

TALK TALK top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.64 | 80 ratings
The Party's Over
1982
3.10 | 110 ratings
It's My Life
1984
3.72 | 169 ratings
The Colour Of Spring
1986
4.13 | 323 ratings
Spirit Of Eden
1988
3.99 | 233 ratings
Laughing Stock
1991

TALK TALK Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.09 | 23 ratings
London 1986
1998

TALK TALK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

4.75 | 29 ratings
Live At Montreux 1986
2008

TALK TALK Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.32 | 22 ratings
Natural History: The Very Best Of Talk Talk
1990
2.17 | 5 ratings
History Revisited
1991
2.07 | 5 ratings
12x12 Original Remixes
1999
2.45 | 12 ratings
Asides Besides
2000
3.13 | 4 ratings
The Collection
2000
3.00 | 10 ratings
Missing Pieces
2001
4.09 | 3 ratings
Introducing
2003
3.10 | 2 ratings
Time it's Time
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Natural Order 1982 - 1991
2013

TALK TALK Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

4.08 | 3 ratings
My Foolish Friend
1983
5.00 | 1 ratings
Dum Dum Girl
1984
3.09 | 3 ratings
It's My Life
1984
4.50 | 2 ratings
Living in Another World
1986
5.00 | 1 ratings
Life's What You Make It
1990

TALK TALK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 It's My Life by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.10 | 110 ratings

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It's My Life
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by _Mike

4 stars Great synth pop with genuine prog credentials. This is the band's second album, and it contains a great collection of songs which are, to me, far more interesting than those on their subsequent album "The Colour of Spring". I consider that this album represents the high point in Talk Talk's output.

My only quibble with this album, apart from its slightly so-so sound quality (on both LP and CD) is that some of the songs are available in extended remixed versions which are actually much more interesting than the original tracks, because they play with not just the texture, but also the harmony.

The title song is an all-time classic. Unmissable.

 My Foolish Friend by TALK TALK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1983
4.08 | 3 ratings

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My Foolish Friend
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Lewian

4 stars "My Foolish Friend" is a song that you won't catch on any of their regular studio releases, although it appears on "A-sides and B-sides" and perhaps some other compilation or concert recording. The single appeared between their first album "The Party's Over" and the second one, "It's My Life".

"My Foolish Friend" is something of a pop song and the sound is early 80s aesthetic with some fairly cheesy sounding keyboards. As such this would be a rather unlikely winner for the audience of progarchives. However, it is a very well composed, pleasant and catchy song with well crafted chord progressions that towers head and shoulders over everything that was on "The Party's Over" ("It's My Life", as you probably know, has some more instances of high songwriting standard). Furthermore it's a perfect fit for Mark Hollis's voice, it has a very good bass line and the keyboarder plays tasteful good stuff, too, despite the sound.

And then there's the B-side. The song "Call in the Nightboy" is also on "It's My Life" and it is one of the hidden gems there. I think it's actually one of the most interesting songs of the band, and probably their most underrated. In later live shows they made it a long feast with strong percussion and a piano driven instrumental part that gave a strong hint at the musical potential of the band that they then explored on their later albums. On the single you get a very early different version that as instrumentation only has piano and a bit of bass. And as the A-side, this is worth having, too. It is miles away from the sound of both the surrounding albums but rather actually the first instance of them using a more natural, emotional and less electronic sound. The piano is very good and starts off somewhere between jazz and contemporary music. When the voice comes in, instrumentation is quite minimalist, and Mark's vocals are really haunting; again if you know their later stuff and Mark's solo album, you could think that this is where it all started. The song is quite dynamic with some more rhythmic and moved but also some calm elements. The song is somewhat more structured and "composed" than what we get on their last two albums and Mark's solo album, so I can even imagine that this could be the Talk Talk favourite for some who don't like their early synthipop, but want music to have some more "shape" than what they did toward the end of their lifespan.

This single certainly marks an early peak and a turning point for the band and is highly recommended (or get "My Foolish Friend" and the piano version of "Nightboy" from elsewhere). For me personally this was the entry point to the work of the band and a key discovery. I'll give it four stars because of the thin 80s sound of the A-side (later live versions were better) and because the A-side is not really the kind of thing that I'd expect progarchives readers to appreciate. Still make no mistake, this is something very special.

 Spirit Of Eden by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.13 | 323 ratings

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Spirit Of Eden
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Quinino
Special Collaborator Errors & Omissions Team

5 stars My ALL-TIME Greatest #6

It's the eighties and, as I can remember, everything from politics to music was noisy and LOUD.
Progressive music was at its lowest point in history, the few survivors from the carnage having to adapt to the new times and its ways. And then, out of a past of illustrious synthpop fame, comes this band with a jewel of an album replenished with music founded on delicacy and silence.
Yes, you've got it right, Silence!

Global Appraisal

Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene, the men behind this whole set, achieve to carve these intimate themes out of a block of silence, adding little-by-little fragile layers of exquisite instruments (mostly acoustic) and sound combinations.

The final result is a series of songs permeated with a feeling of frailty but at the same time extremely powerful in the expression of different flavors of sentiment; and so much so because of the haunting way the vocals are rendered.

The image that always comes to my mind while listening to this album is that of a colorful beautiful flower blossoming in the void of a deserted and barren vastness (go figure it out?).

Goodies

Sophistication yet (apparent) simplicity.

MH intense, emotional and immediately recognizable voice is the perfect vehicle for his lyrics.

The fabulous cover art is by James Marsh, a designer and illustrator of books, records and advertisements since the mid 1960s.

This record may be seen as a kind of prologue for what would come up next: three years later the final and truly work-of-art from the band would even more accentuate this minimalistic vein and, understandebly but sadly, be the last one to ever see the light of day.

 It's My Life by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.10 | 110 ratings

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It's My Life
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Prog Leviathan
Prog Reviewer

4 stars It's My Life is a great example of how artistry isn't exclusive to the "prog" genre. Strictly speaking, this album is synth-pop coming out the new wave movement of the early '80s. In some ways this release fits right in - lots of synth, a strong British vibe, and a catchy veneer. But while more mainstream groups like Duran Duran or Flock of Seagulls focused on hooks and melody, Talk Talk crafts songs that are more like portraits, each one lush with sound and nuance that grows with each listen.

While there are some songs here that are stronger than others, such as the excellent, noir "Renee," the entire album oozes class and depth. The keyboardists do an outstanding job of creating layers of sound, all of which has a professional polish that is devoid of some of the cartoonish qualities that plague many synth-heavy compositions. Paul Webb's bass is some of the strongest pop work I think I've ever heard; his lines are thick and heavy and engaging. Thanks to the excellent production we can hear every note of him, and of the rich keyboards. The overall effect is impeccable.

Hollis' voice adds an unique air of melancholy to the mix. He sounds very real, not playing for hooks or the dance floor, which I suppose is a compliment that applies to the entire band as well.

All in all one of the better pop oriented albums I've discovered here at Prog Archives. It's My Life is considerably more enjoyable than most of the '80's content put out by more well-known prog bands during the same time frame (such as Yes' 98015 or Genesis' Abacab). Not so highly recommended as Talk Talk's amazing later output, but still a great addition!

Songwriting: 4 - Instrumental Performances: 3 - Lyrics/Vocals: 3 - Style/Emotion/Replay: 4

 The Colour Of Spring by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1986
3.72 | 169 ratings

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The Colour Of Spring
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Lewian

5 stars As some others have mentioned, this is not a standard prog album and many prog fans may not like it. Still, this is a marvellous album and it's progressive in the truest sense, namely it is a milestone in the development of the band, and something truly original and unique for whatever could be called pop music.

It helps if catchy hit singles don't put you off but if you like them if they are well done. This album has two of them, "Life's What You Make It" and "Living in Another World". Both of these are spectacular, dynamic, unforgettable and rank among my favourite songs of all time. One major development on this album is that the former synthpop band here uses much warmer sounds, piano, hammond organ, mouth harp and more guitar with a very transparent mix that already let's you appreciate every small detail in the playing (this will become even more characteristic on the next two albums of the band). "Life's What You Make It" with its repetitive easily recognizable motif has drilled itself into my ears like hardly any other song. "Living in Another World" on the other hand is for a hit single very complex and dynamic, a perfectly crafted little masterpiece.

Apart from these the album has "Happiness Is Easy", quite relaxed and swinging with nice percussion and a surprising chorus sung by children (have a nice time comparing this to "we don't need no education"). The warm and transparent sound of the album is best appreciated in this song. "I Don't Believe In You" is a fairly slow simple song that has stood the test of time very well. "April 5th" goes more in the direction of their later more experimental releases. It's very calm and delicate and has a free psychedelic feel to it. "Give It Up", a mid tempo number, is perhaps the most conventional song on the album and not that interesting composition-wise but the instrumentation and sound are once more a winner. It's just like having beautiful unexpected small flowers popping up all around you when listening to these songs. After this follows "Chameleon Day", a stark contrast, the song that is closest to what would happen on the next album. This is an experimental song that at the time nobody could have expected from any popular band. It sounds very calm and fragile with partly atonal keyboard and woodwind and a very vulnerable and delicate voice, but finally manages to evolve into something like a melody. Haunting and fascinating. It would have been a jewel even on "Laughing Stock" or "Spirit of Eden"; here it is a total shocker (in a good way). "Time It's Time" is a more conventional song again that doesn't start off all too spectacular but comes up with a very dramatic build up of an intense chorus to bring the albums to the end on another high (although I'd have preferred if it they hadn't ended it by fading out).

This album has top notch songs, Mark Hollis's very unique intense voice, and an unexpectedly rich and warm instrumentation that makes it a pleasure from beginning to end. My brother thinks that this is the best album ever. For me it comes close (although otherwise we have quite different tastes).

 Natural History: The Very Best Of Talk Talk by TALK TALK album cover Boxset/Compilation, 1990
3.32 | 22 ratings

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Natural History: The Very Best Of Talk Talk
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars This compilation shows chronologically the stylistic evolution of TALK TALK from the rather plastic- sounding New Wave / synth pop period to the deeply individual and introvert art rock of their last two albums, with a slight quantitative emphasis on the strong album in between, The Colour of Spring (1986), and sadly very little from the final masterpieces. It's more or less in the unimaginative "Greatest Hits" manner, ie. includes those songs that have appeared as singles and music videos. The version I had contained a bonus DVD of almost identical track list (just missing some songs of the CD). I'm not going to speculate whether this is a good compilation and how it should have been made to better please us more demanding listeners, instead I'll be the first reviewer to deal with the videos.

Two catchy synth pop songs are taken from The party's Over (1982), 'Today' and 'Talk Talk'. The latter appears twice with no major differences in the visual expression - the poorer version could simply have been left out. Quite typically to the era, the group's image featured clean white shirts, shaved cheeks and angular, semi-angstic body language especially by vocalist Mark Hollis. I must say their contemporaries such as DURAN DURAN made much better videos right from the start.

The non-album song 'My Foolish Friend' (1983) already shows some improvement in the songwriting, and the mostly outdoor video filled with working class misery stands better multiple viewings. Then we enter the finer sounds of the 2nd album It's My Life (1984). The video for 'Such a Shame' features Hollis in black and bright orange clothes, standing in the middle of the screen against minimalistic background for the most of the time, opening his big mouth very wide in playback singing and smiling almost disturbingly. This kind of video imagery was taken further in Peter Gabriel's 'Sledgehammer'. Also 'Dum Dum Girl' has two takes, very similar to each other (now long-haired, John Lennon -looking Hollis singing to a microphone in an open sunny field). The first take is more carefree with even some improvising on the real live vocal parts, and the second one features some skillful picture editing. Funny but I actually like both of them without much questioning the need for both. 'It's My Life' is a nice video consisting mostly of wild animals and some minor graphics.

Also the nocturnal video of 'Life's What You Make It' is filled with nature; Hollis playing piano - there are lots of close-ups of keys covered with tiny mist drops or centipedes walking on them. In fact this is one of my favourite music videos from my early youth, and also 'Living in Another World' had remained quite well in my memory. The basic idea is Mark Hollis playing the grand piano and the other band members pushing themselves towards him against a strong wind, or hanging on a floating part of the instrument. The shadowy camera work is of high artistic quality.

'Give it Up' is taken from Live at Montreux 1986. Good stuff! 'I Believe in You' (from Spirit of Eden, 1988) ends the DVD mostly with multilayered images of Hollis; minimalistic but stylish.

 It's My Life by TALK TALK album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1984
3.09 | 3 ratings

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It's My Life
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

3 stars In my mid-teenage years TALK TALK was among my favourite bands, alongside with other contemporary artists from Dire Straits and Kate Bush to U2 and The Police - and the rapidly expanding number of 70's prog classics. Yes, I still think of my early music-listening years with fondness. And this single was probably my introduction to Talk Talk.

'It's My Life' is the energetic title track of their second album, which still represents the group's synth pop era. But it was a notable step forward from the rather hollow debut The Party's Over (1982). The songwriting - mainly by the vocalist Mark Hollis - is tight and increasingly original, and the production crisp and colourful. The soundscape in this song features very exciting, exotic nuances. The song leans heavily on the catchy chorus which does sound quite plastic, but the overall atmosphere has something more extraordinary.

The B-side has 'Does Caroline Know?', a slightly surreal and hypnotic little synth pop oddity; in a way it would be an ideal B-side song, if it was also a non-album track (compare to some MARILLION B-siders such as 'Live Forever'). But since it is included in the album too, the single does not earn the fourth star from me. Prog purists will stay away in the first place!

 Spirit Of Eden by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1988
4.13 | 323 ratings

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Spirit Of Eden
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by sinslice

5 stars Rage on Omnipotent

Bizarre, not easy to digest, absolutely original and artistically essential.

Every time I hear the firsts sounds and minimalist chords of The Rainbow after a while , I confirm again that Spirit of Eden is an atypical well polished gem. Through the suite we find a lyrical and musical journey reminiscent of Eden, masterfully composed and orchestrated throughout its 22 minutes. Starting with the delicacy and restraint of The Rainbow and closing with the unusual and incomparable power of Desire. Indeed, the lyric are ambiguous and difficult to decipher, consistent with experiment. The other three songs also contain a hidden meaning in relation to the loss freedom in Eden.

The edition of the album was serious legal disputes with EMI, which sued the band to produce an ' uncommercial ', which was lost. The group did not tour for presentation and EMI edited 'I Believe in You" as single without permission, and with little success because the song is in line with the rest.

I welcome the great boldness of the band, with Hollis and Freise -Greene as the main protagonists and songwriters. Surely they knew that only time would show the high artistic value of the work, and that's what happened.

 Laughing Stock by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1991
3.99 | 233 ratings

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Laughing Stock
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Polymorphia

5 stars With the release of Spirit of Eden, Talk Talk had effectively launched themselves into controversy? was Spirit of Eden a pretentious glorification of noodling or a sonically enthralling masterpiece? With critical ratings ranging all over the board, any band might have tried to tame the beast and create something more accessible, more encompassing of their previous works? any band might have lost confidence in their vision. The release of Laughing Stock showed that the band did not waver. Laughing Stock presents a darker, more confident addition to Talk Talk's catalog.

The opener "Myrrhman" is a difficult listen for some. The arrhythmic elements may seem like they have no rhyme or reason. But it is the creation of an illusion that the band never breaks throughout the entire album? an illusion of its own environment, its own setting. Throughout the album, there are moments of what some might call "noodling." As engineer Phill Brown stated, the album was "recorded by chance, accident, and hours of trying every possible overdub idea." But, by entertaining the illusion of "Myrrhman," the entire album becomes a place and time that is a thrill to explore. The next two tracks reflect the leveled tone retained from Spirit of Eden. "I reckon luck sees us the same/ I reckon love deals us the same" sings frontman Mark Hollis on "Ascension Day." This track along with "After the Flood" reduces the world of Laughing Stock to a flat plane. The jarring, lonely "Taphead" presents the album's lowest moment. The harmonica and trumpet trade-off is like a scoff at Spirit of Eden opener "Rainbow." "Taphead" is an abyss, leaving the listener in the dark as to what could possibly come next. The next track, "New Grass" stands the most emotionally-captivating the album, the glorious release. Gorgeous chorales are played on pipe organ and piano out of time over a groove that won't let you rest. Strings crescendo over major chords and a joyous tambourine groove. The track returns the listener to the ambiguity of the first half of the album and that ambiguity is cemented by the sparse closer "Runeii." Through this final track, the album lets the listener back down gently and reconciles its imaginary setting with reality.

By chance, accident, and hours of trying every possible overdub, Talk Talk have created an excellent album, and improvement upon Spirit of Eden, if one is willing to let it create its illusion. 4.5 out of 5.

 It's My Life by TALK TALK album cover Studio Album, 1984
3.10 | 110 ratings

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It's My Life
Talk Talk Crossover Prog

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The culmination of Talk Talk's synthpop period, It's My Life doesn't offer many hints of the intriguing, genre-defining post-rock experiments to come, though they're there if you know where to look (pay particular attention to Henry Lowther's contributions on trumpet, especially on Tomorrow Started, for instance). What it does accomplish, though, is establishing a melancholy mood that isn't interrupted by anything resembling an upbeat track. Even the title track, which was a reasonably successful single, is as much a lament as a celebration in its tone. A charming album, though it's much stronger if you remember to approach it like it is its own thing rather than expecting something along the lines of Laughing Stock.
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