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Talk Talk - It's My Life CD (album) cover

IT'S MY LIFE

Talk Talk

 

Crossover Prog

3.15 | 130 ratings

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squonkuk
4 stars If there are defining moments in a band's life, Talk Talk had two within the space of a year.

The first came in Milton Keynes ona rainy October afternoon in 1982, when they supported Genesis/6 of the Best - the reunion in aid of Peter Gabriel's ill-fated WOMAD. I was there, I was one of the people lobbing my packed lunch at the stage and booing. We were there to see real music not some synthetic electro-popsters that insulted us by their mere presence. If my memory serves me well, I don't think Talk Talk finished their set. I recall Mark Hollis, the lead singer, saying something about Pink Floyd and I switched off.

Fast forward less than a year. I'm laying on my sick bed, watching the forefather of MTV on this new fangled cable thing. A video comes on, I'm not sure I like it. Because of the flu, I find the video quite disturbing. I hope I don't see it again.

But the thing is going through my head all the time. Was it really as weird as I thought it was?

Then I saw it again, Such a Shame, the new single from Talk Talk - the band I'd booed in MK less than 7 months earlier. The video hooked me in (and I still believe it is the best pop video of all time), the song gradually wormed its way under my skin, it became and still is my favourite single of all time. I needed to buy the album; if the single and the B side were anything to go by, there was definitely something worth investigating. I'd grown tired of the rock scene, prog was a mess and I was struggling to find something new for my groove.

It's My Life - the album - is as many other reviewers have suggested, is an embryonic album. It wants to be more like how they would become, but I believe the need for record company acceptance drove the band to at least stay on the pop side of music. But for all the Europop styled stuff of the early 1980s, It's My Life felt different, almost as if the band were saying, 'we can do this kind of thing with our eyes closed'.

Mixed between the pop are some classic records built on atmosphere and the avante garde.

It's an album you need to digest. You have to look beyond the pop and see the darker, velvety, feel of the production and the hints of things to come. It stands alone as one of the few albums of that era that somehow hasn't dated.

squonkuk | 4/5 |

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