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Talk Talk

Crossover Prog

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Talk Talk Asides Besides  album cover
2.47 | 13 ratings | 3 reviews | 8% 5 stars

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2000

Songs / Tracks Listing

Disc: 1
1. Talk Talk (Extended Version)
2. Today (Extended Version)
3. My Foolish Friend (Extended Version)
4. It's My Life (Extended Version)
5. Such A Shame (Extended Mix)
6. Such A Shame (Dub Mix)
7. Dum Dum Girl (12' Mix)
8. Without You (12' Mix)
9. Life's What You Make It (Extended Mix)
10. Living In Another World (Extended Remix)
11. Pictures Of Bernadette (Dance Mix)
12. Happiness Is Easy (12' Mix)

Disc: 2
1. Talk Talk (Demo Version)
2. Mirror Man (Demo Version)
3. Candy (Demo Version)
4. Strike Up The Band
5. My Foolish Friend
6. Call In The Night Boy (Piano Version)
7. Why Is It So Hard?
8. Again A Game...Again
9. Without You
10. Dum Dum Girl (U.S. Mix)
11. It's Getting Late In The Evening
12. For What It's Worth
13. Pictures Of Bernadette
14. Eden (Edit)
15. John Cope

Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Hollis / vocal, guitar, piano, organ
- Lee Harris / drums
- Mark Feltham / harmonica
- Martin Ditcham / percussion
- Tim Friese Greene / organ, piano, harmonium
- Levine Andrade / viola
- Stephen Tees / viola
- George Robertson / viola
- Gavyn Wright / viola
- Jack Glickma / viola
- Garfield Jackson / viola
- Wilf Gilbson / viola
- Simon Edwards / acoustic bass
- Ernest Mothle / acoustic bass
- Rodger Smith / cello
- Paul Kegg / cello
- Henry Lowther / trumpet, flugelhorn
- Dave White / contrabass clarinet

Releases information

CD EMI Int'l (2000)

Thanks to ekzodo for the addition
and to seyo for the last updates
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TALK TALK Asides Besides ratings distribution

(13 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(8%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(31%)
Good, but non-essential (31%)
Collectors/fans only (23%)
Poor. Only for completionists (8%)

TALK TALK Asides Besides reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
2 stars What a peculiar compilation. Safe to say that it's for fans/collectors. But if you already have their studio albums, how much value do you really give to all those 12" mixes and extended versions of their hits? As a single disc concentrating on B-side tracks it would make more sense as a collector's thing. Anyway, though it was many years ago, I remember being happily surprised by some tracks, such as the piano version of 'Call in the Night Boy', which originally was something like a filler on the plastic-sounding It's My Life album and is here very elegant art-pop in the style of David Sylvian, and 'For What It's Worth' which comes from the time of the deeply arty Spirit of Eden. But to revisit their early New Wave days was less lovely, and I have never thought that extended versions make much sense. Best left ignored! Try their albums from Colour Of Spring onwards if you are looking for some well-done and unique art-pop (I don't know if that is an accurate term but I like to use it).
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Remixes and rarities

This double CD collection will be of little interest to those seeking the Talk Talk who metamorphosed into a prog band later in their career. This is, as the title suggests, a collection of the band's most commercial material, together with some relative rarities from their commercial period.

That said, this is not simply a greatest hits package either, as the "A-sides" are extended and remixed versions of the songs, not the radio edits. Disc one is in fact identical to the "12 x 12" Original remixes" album and also to a release simply entitled "Remixed". The remixes are rather predictable and unadventurous, but the strength of the source material means that they make for an enjoyable listen nonetheless.

It is though to the second disc that we look for the real meat of this collection. Here we have a selection of non-album A and B-sides, demo versions, and a couple of genuine rarities. Some of these tracks, such as "My foolish friend", "Pictures of Bernadette" and "Without you" thus appear twice in original and extended format on this compilation.

The disc kicks of with a trio of very early demos by the band, including the song from which they took their name. Recorded in June 1981, these demos of "Talk Talk", "Mirror man" and "Candy" (all of which would appear on the band's debut album) successfully attracted the attention of EMI records, who offered the band a contract. While these are unquestionably rooted in 80's pop, even here we can determine the melancholy style which would come to dominate later albums.

Thereafter, we have a succession of songs which appeared as B-sides of singles, but were not included on albums. In many cases, it is apparent why the songs were kept hidden, This is not because they are bad, but because they tend to fall noticeably short of the standards set by the tracks which made onto singles and albums. "Strike up the band", the B-side of "Mirror man" for example, is a number which many bands would have been quite proud of, but heard in the context of Talk Talk's back catalogue, it sits well towards the foot in terms of quality. Likewise, "?" ("Question mark") has some nice synth, but the clumsy beat and average melody combine to offer an unremarkable slice of 80's pop.

One of the nicest surprises of these B-sides is "It's getting late in the evening", which was originally paired with "Life's what you make it". By the time of the album on which that song appeared ("The colour of spring"), the band were in full transition mode. "It's getting late. . ." captures the essence of that change as well as many of the tracks which made it onto the album. "For what it's worth", the B side of "Living in another world" from the same album, is equally appealing.

Every so often, the B-sides are broken up by a non-album A-side, or other rarity. The first of these is "My foolish friend", which was released as a single in 1983. It stands out from the tracks around it, as it is on a par with the other Talk Talk singles of the period. The B-side of this particular single was a reinterpretation of "Call in the night boy", a track which originally appeared on the "It's my life album". This version however transforms the song from a rather disposable synth pop number to a pared back piano and vocal exercise which would have sounded quite at home on the "Spirit of Eden" album.

The rarest track here is the 7" version of "Why is it so hard", a song written for a film called "First born". While it alone is hardly worth buying this entire double CD compilation for, the track will be of interest to devotees of the band.

By its very nature, this is not an album for those with merely a passing interest in Talk Talk. Nor is it suitable for those who are only interested in their final albums, where they explored prog territories. Those however who find merit in the band's early albums will find much to enjoy here. Not an unmitigated collection of forgotten gems by any means, but worthy of investigation.

Review by Neu!mann
2 stars The cover art says it all: a goose, a noose, a golden egg. This was a band being groomed for mainstream success, with the look, the sound, and the limited shelf-life of true Top-40 superstars. They had a couple of hits tailor-made for the mid-1980s, but then rebelled against their handlers in order to follow a more private muse, showing enough poise and sensitivity to eventually earn them a page on a web site devoted to the arcane, unfashionable backwaters of Progressive Rock.

The two distinct faces of that split personality are exploited in this equally schizoid compilation, with predictably mixed results. Disc One collects a majority of the band's extended singles and twelve-inch dance mixes (currently listed in the Progarchives database as twelve-foot mixes, heaven help us), while Disc Two is a grab bag of B-side demos and leftovers.

The full package traces a chronological arc around both ends of the band's doppelgänger career. But to an art-rock snob like me only the last half-dozen cuts off the second CD have any real merit, and to get there you'll have to wade through at least a full disc's worth of music designed to send metropolitan party animals into a Dionysian frenzy.

The band's evolution can almost be plotted by the sound of their drumming, from the 4/4 thud of their 1982 debut to the mature refinement of later epiphanies. It's a shame the track selection here is skewed more toward the former, but it really couldn't be helped: these guys were late bloomers, and their good stuff didn't exactly lend itself to the singles market.

I have enormous respect for Talk Talk, and their decision to commit retail suicide for the sake of higher art. That sort of integrity is rare enough in the real world, and almost nonexistent in the music industry. But on the evidence presented here it's a shame they didn't pull that commercial plug a little sooner.

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