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THE PARTY'S OVER

Talk Talk

Crossover Prog


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Talk Talk The Party's Over album cover
2.57 | 62 ratings | 11 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential


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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Talk Talk (3:23)
2. It's So Serious (3:21)
3. Today (3:30)
4. The Party's Over (6:12)
5. Hate (3:58)
6. Have You Heard the News? (5:07)
7. Mirror Man (3:21)
8. Another World (3:14)
9. Candy (4:41)

Total Time: 35:56

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

- Mark Hollis / vocals
- Lee Harris / drums
- Paul Webb / bass
- Simon Brenner / keyboards

Releases information

CD EMI America E2-46366 (1982) / CD EMI 56796 (1998)

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Remastered · Import
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$20.47 (used)
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EMI
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EMI Records
Vinyl$39.99
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TALK TALK The Party's Over ratings distribution


2.57
(62 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(6%)
6%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(18%)
18%
Good, but non-essential (39%)
39%
Collectors/fans only (32%)
32%
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)
5%

TALK TALK The Party's Over reviews


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Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by FloydWright
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars This really should be a 2.5 so as to be above my ranking for It's My Life, which I consider the weakest of the three pop/pop-like albums. However, the description of "Collectors/Fans Only" fits this album. I think that if you liked their last three albums and are interested in their past, then you really should get this, but if you're averse to the sound of 80s synth pop, then don't go to the trouble of ordering it. Personally, I think this is very good pop...but then I truly like the sound of the 80s, all the way from PINK FLOYD's Momentary Lapse of Reason to TALK TALK's The Party's Over.

As the previous reviewer pointed out, the bassist, PAUL WEBB, is really something else. His snappy style reminds me of BRIAN ENO's work on the Talking Heads' album Remain in Light, or of Tony Levin, or even DAVID GILMOUR when it comes to his fretless bass work (I kept thinking of his solo album About Face as I listened to The Party's Over)--but he also does some excellent fretless bass work that stands out throughout the album. As I prepared my notes for the review, I can barely count the number of times I wrote some note about the basslines, on songs including "Talk Talk" itself, "Today", "The Party's Over", "Have You Heard the News?", and "Candy". I was genuinely surprised to get his excellent playing along with the beautiful singing and poetic lyrics that I have come to expect from MARK HOLLIS (and which he delivered quite nicely here).

The lyrics are certainly not what you might be accustomed to expecting from music with a pop sound and are, to my mind, indicative of TALK TALK's future; they are most definitely of HOLLIS' abstracted, poetic, and often spiritual style, such as on "The Party's Over" and "Hate". Unfortunately, sometimes HOLLIS can be difficult to understand without the written lyrics--and in a few cases the songs were ruined by overkill with the drum machine and some stupid "Oh, oh, oh!" sounding things that thankfully would be gone by the time Colour of Spring rolled around.

Probably four tracks stand out as excellent, if you do not mind pop: "The Party's Over" proper is probably the absolute best one; HOLLIS proves here he really knows how to use his voice to good effect, and what I also noticed about the song was how well- structured it is. Clocking in at 6 minutes, making it by far the longest song on the album, it's also very well developed, with the two tempo changes placed in such a way as to really accentuate the momentum of the song. You almost want a full orchestra to back this one, not just the synths (which I really do not mind, as they give a rich atmosphere to the song). Following this one is the closing track "Candy". Don't let the title fool you; this downtempo number worked out very well. With the drum machine backing off, the pianist SIMON BRENNER gets time to add some tastefully-chosen work to this song, and at one point a real snare-drum march provides an interlude that gives a bit more life to this song, as well as proving that the band did have an ear for structuring songs even at an early stage. If you can handle the synths and some of the parts of 80s pop that irritate some people, two other songs stand out as excellent: "Mirror Man", where piano work sneaks in right at the end to provide a delicate touch to the outro, and "Have You Heard the News?" where bassist PAUL WEBB is having a field day.

In conclusion, I do think anybody genuinely interested in the history of TALK TALK and who likes 80s pop should try this because this is well-produced pop with better-than-average lyric writing and more of HOLLIS' vocals in the vein of Colour of Spring--as well as the pleasant surprise of PAUL WEBB's quality basswork. I recommend this one over their patchier sophomore album It's My Life where some serious mistakes were made with the synths (stuff that truly sticks out as bad...whereas this one used the synths well even if you don't like the particular sounds). If you don't fit these criteria, then this is not for you.

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Send comments to FloydWright (BETA) | Report this review (#31115) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, May 20, 2005

Review by Chris S
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars As a progressive band, these guys need to be more accurately assessed for their last three studio albums. For a release from 1982 this debut album from Talk Talk must be better defined as atypical 80's romantic synth pop. Ever heard of the great China Crisis, Ultravox or the not so great Duran Duran? If you have that will give you an idea of what these songs are about and what sounds to expect.Overall not a bad album the highlights would have to be ' The Party's Over' and ' Another World'. Anyone buying back catalogues of Talk Talk material would need to be serious collectors to thoroughly enjoy this.

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Send comments to Chris S (BETA) | Report this review (#107082) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, January 11, 2007

Review by Prog-jester
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars Mostly a fan-only release. Those who look for PROGGYNESS in TALK TALK's debut will be disappointed. Nothing wrong - a solid 80s new wave/synth-pop stuff with hits like "Talk Talk" (a catchy one!Like it!) and "The Party's Over" (good ballad). Don't look for guitars here, and don't stuck to primitive rhythms and cliches - this is not Prog, I'm telling you (though one may notice a similarity between early mainstream Neo-Prog bands and this album) ! Nevertheless it's a very good and nostalgic (though I ain't belong to 80s spiritually - I was 4 when they ended!) record, recommended to that era fans. I've already experienced later TALK TALK albums, and they're certainly closer to what one may call Experimental Pop Music, but this one deserves to be heard too - but beware, this is NOT PROG !!!

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Send comments to Prog-jester (BETA) | Report this review (#120783) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, May 05, 2007

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
2 stars The debut album from Talk Talk can´t be of much interest for prog fans, but does have lots of nice eighties keyboard sounds if you are a keyboard freak. This is eighties synth pop in the vein of Depeche Mode and New Order. What makes Talk Talk different from other bands in that genre is that they evolved into a very special prog rock band starting on their third release The Colour of Spring.

This album is made out of melancholic synth pop songs though with Mark Hollis characteristic vocals. There are some pretty great songs on here if you´re into this genre like Talk Talk and Today which I find pretty charming. The album gets a bit trivial towards the end though, and that´s always a bad sign when the album is only 35 minutes long. A bit more variation would have been nice. The production is very rich and good for the time.

This album should hold no interest for prog heads and only a nostalgic interest for someone like me who likes the music and therefore this is a 2 star album, not bad at all, just not prog material at all.

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Send comments to UMUR (BETA) | Report this review (#159432) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, January 21, 2008

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Actually, the party has only just started

Those, like myself, who did not know better, will have been surprised to find Talk Talk listed on this site, and appearing under a prog category. Superficially, Talk Talk are perceived as a band from the 1980's who made a few pleasant pop songs, then disappeared. The reality however is refreshingly reassuring. Contrary to the path taken by some other prog bands (no names required), Talk Talk developed their prog credentials over a period of time, by developing their significant skills are creators of fine pop into something far more sophisticated, and indeed challenging.

We should though not get ahead of ourselves, for this album constitutes Talk Talk's first release. It is of course impossible to talk about Talk Talk without mentioning the unique talents of Mark Hollis. Hollis may nominally be merely the lead vocalist, but he is also the band leader and principal songwriter. This allows him to craft his songs around his supremely atmospheric and melodic voice.

At this stage though, I do need to temper some expectations. As made clear above, Talk Talk gradually moved into prog. This took some time to achieve, and in all honesty it did not start here. The party's over is a well put together sophisticated pop album for the 1980's. Unlike other artists who moved in a similar field though (such as Godley and Crème), Talk Talk managed to avoid the pitfalls of trying to be too clever. The music here may be largely unchallenging, but it is straightforward and honest.

The band name is unusually, but not particularly imaginatively, taken from the first track on the album. There are many bands from the 80's who ploughed the electronic furrow who come to mind when listening to the song; Spandau Ballet, Tears for Fears, and Depeche Mode are three of the more familiar ones. The song sets the tone for the album, which is simply a succession of well presented pop numbers. Hollis' voice certainly sets the songs apart from their peers, and while the synth sounds hardly push any boundaries, they are melodic and appealing.

Some songs are more obvious candidates for singles, Today being one of Talk Talk's best known hits. The hit potential is however entirely down to the hook adopted on the track. Structurally, the songs are all from the same mould.

Those who are serious about investigating the history of this great band must start here, and follow their progress through each succeeding album.

The remastered CD version of The party's over sounds excellent. At a mere 35 minutes running time though, and with no additional tracks, it is all too brief. Perhaps the opportunity should have been taken to combine the album with the following It's my life onto a single disc.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#167837) | Review Permalink
Posted Friday, April 18, 2008

Review by ZowieZiggy
PROG REVIEWER
2 stars As for "Japan", I was very surprised of the inclusion of "Talk Talk" on PA.

To me, this band had more to do with the synth pop genre than with the prog one. And to be inserted within the cross-over style is rather a mystery. There are virtually no songs featured which have the closest link with prog music.

"Tchack boum, tchack boum" almost all the way through even if I admit, I must have danced on such songs in the early eighties. Mea culpa.

This album is holding pleasant electro pop (at best) songs so typical of the eighties. They are pop and (at times) catchy. But it is hard to find a single second of prog in here. Anyway, whatever the style you would consider this album, there are very few good songs available.

The title track, maybe. If you are able to make abstraction of the mellowish Hollis vocals. But let's be honest, we are not talking of a great song and the whole of this debut album is not really worth.

This album is extremely short, which shows a significant lack of creativity: just a snapshot of the music offered in the early eighties. By no means prog, at best: average. This album is not deserving more than two stars IMHHO. Out of context on a prog site.

If you need to be convinced, just listen to "Hate". Another title which fits perfectly well my feeling about it. I wonder why "Duran Duran" didn't make their entry on PA.

"Mirror man" is fully on par.Weak, weak, weak.

Two stars. A weak album. A desert of prog music.

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Send comments to ZowieZiggy (BETA) | Report this review (#169457) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 01, 2008

Review by Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Prog Metal Team
2 stars Before they had anything remotely prog related going on, Talk Talk was an 80's romantic synth-pop band who's influences can be traced back to Japan, Ultravox, Duran Duran and many others. The more commercial offshoot of the post punk generation.

While the main bulk of this album is hard to sit through, there's an inherent charm about some of these songs though, especially Talk Talk is a pleasant opener and one of the better of the many upbeat bubblegum synth-pop songs here. The Party's Over is equally straightforward and inoffensive in its arrangement but one cannot ignore the song writing qualities of this band and the startling poignant vocals of Mark Hollis. Just like all post punk, this stuff has loads of atmosphere, obviously. Also Have You Heard the News and Candy are an interesting listen for lovers of atmospheric rock songs.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#263499) | Review Permalink
Posted Saturday, January 30, 2010

Review by Matti
COLLABORATOR Neo-Prog Team
2 stars This debut album is probably one of the least proggy albums in the Archives. Yes, this is 'New Romantic' synth pop of the early 80's, comparable to bands like Ultravox, ABC or early Simple Minds. They did have a sound of their own within the genre, though surely it would be less so if they wouldn't have had the personal voice of Mark Hollis, but unfortunately their gradual progress to be something else, leading all the way to Post-Rock pioneer albums of Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock (1988, 1990) didn't quite start here yet. The sound is outdated in a typical manner for the era; flat, hollow and plastic.

The mood of the album is in minor key (the later term shoegazing fits well), and if we exclude the uptempo single songs 'Talk Talk' or 'Today', some songs do have an atmosphere not so radically different of TALK TALK's better output, but the realization of those - admittedly few - good ideas is not very succesful. Why they chose to play rather typical-sounding synth pop, did they want so much to be part of the musical fashion of the day, following in the steps of Duran Duran etc? Also the band photos of those times suggest that they did.

I had this vinyl in '87 for a short time (it was my third purchase of TALK TALK) and haven't been missing it at all. At least a couple of songs I have forgotten completely, but there's one song I've happily conquered back (from a compilation) that was my favourite from this album already then: 'Have You Heard the News?' It has a sad, strong mood and even the sneaking synth melody works effectively. But the whole album hasn't sood the test of time that well. Unless you really want to have each of their albums (there are not so many after all) you can safely ignore this one.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#642105) | Review Permalink
Posted Monday, February 27, 2012

Latest members reviews

4 stars Probably the most 'unprog' album in the entire archive. Ian Hollis sounds like a Bryan Ferry doppelganger on this release. Even the way in which he bares his teeth in the promotional videos reminds me of early 80's Ferry. That aside, this debut album is a superb piece of synth pop. Very catch ... (read more)

Report this review (#510331) | Posted by Dobermensch | Saturday, August 27, 2011 | Review Permanlink

4 stars First of all, this album is not prog rock at all, so any prog lover will absolutely hate this album. The music is pure early 80s synthpop... but it is good synthpop. Some songs are fast paced and commercial, some others are slow paced and more emotional. Not an excellent addition to any prog m ... (read more)

Report this review (#75793) | Posted by zaxx | Friday, April 21, 2006 | Review Permanlink

3 stars Welcome to every Talk Talk´s world beginer!!! First of all: Who said Talk Talk has anything to do with progRock???. Come on!!! Talk Talk is considered many things but ProgRock, ranging from Electronica (which is not a bad pick) to folk art rock (I do support this one!). Talk Talk is ma ... (read more)

Report this review (#31114) | Posted by | Thursday, November 25, 2004 | Review Permanlink

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