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Talk Talk - My Foolish Friend CD (album) cover

MY FOOLISH FRIEND

Talk Talk

 

Crossover Prog

4.00 | 4 ratings

From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Lewian
Prog Reviewer
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.

Lewian | 4/5 |

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