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Talk Talk, Mark Hollis

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    Posted: November 04 2011 at 05:50
I was relistening to Talk Talk's final three albums and also Mark Hollis' self-titled solo and it hit me, not for the first time, that Talk Talk may have been one of the best bands of all time.

Listen to Happiness Is Easy. Give it the time it needs, shut everything else out and just listen to how absolutely immaculately put together every single facet of it is. Such detail, not a wasted sound, each layer completely distinct yet all forming an organic whole.



This song just absolutely floors me, and it seems to get better the more I listen to it. Now consider that they basically made four albums of this in a row and we're looking at a god-like band.

If you like Elbow for example, listen to Talk Talk and see where they more or less stole their entire act from.

Talk Talk seem to improve with age though and I don't just mean that they're growers, which they are, but your own age. I can totally see my 20 year old self not getting Wealth at all, but with age, Talk Talk's music speaks to you more and more as you begin to live and understand the strangely joyful sorrow Hollis so often evokes.

Some people talk of Hollis' sudden and complete retirement from music as a great tragedy but I think it's a great joy that we have the four masterpieces of his that we do.

The Colour Of Spring
The Spirit Of Eden
Laughing Stock
Mark Hollis

BTW, for noobies, watch out for Talk Talk's first two albums, The Party's Over and It's My Life. They're not terrible but they're not what I'm talking about above.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 08:02
I disagree completely about Elbow, they are a '70s-oriented band. The only connection I can draw to Talk Talk is the sound craftmanship.

Do you know .O.rang, the experimental spin-off band ofTalk Talk? They're on PA, check them out.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote QuestionableScum Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 20:44
Listening to Laughing Stock is a spiritual experience for me. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 22:07
That's how I feel. I'm not far away from tears sometimes when listening to these albums.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 22:10
I just bought my first Talk Talk, Laughing Stock, last week.  Haven't had any spiritual awakenings yet, but I'm hopeful!  Ermm

Frank Swarbrick
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Belief is not Truth.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Neck Romancer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 22:21
Laughing Stock is one of the best albums I've ever heard in my life.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote The Quiet One Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2011 at 22:51
Spirit of Eden is one of the best discoveries from this year, just soul-blowing.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 03:53
Almost more than any other music I know, Talk Talk's latter albums must be listened to in complete isolation. You can't talk, you can't cook, you can't browse the internet. I really should check out the "sequel group" o.rang, whom I know about but have never tracked down an album of.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 03:59
One more thought: I respect Mark Hollis' decision to give up his own career because he wasn't made for fame and touring but how I wish he had become a producer. His sense of sound construction is unreal and any number of top alt bands today teamed with Hollis in the booth would excite me greatly.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote lucas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 07:27
David Sylvian was somewhat a pioneer in this kind of ambient jazzy pop. Or maybe, if we talk about instrumental ambient jazzy music, what about ECM artists like Kenny Wheeler, David Darling, Art LAnde, Eberhard Weber, Rainer Brüninghaus, Jan Garbarek...?
And the trumpetist Mark Isham is rather close to this cosy ambient spirit (listen to his contributions to Patrick O'Hearn's stuff and his solo stuff like Tibet or his collaboration with Art LAnde and Rubisa Patrol).

Edited by lucas - November 05 2011 at 07:30
"Magma was the very first gothic rock band" (Didier Lockwood)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote catfood03 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 08:00
Originally posted by Textbook

...I can totally see my 20 year old self not getting Wealth at all, but with age, Talk Talk's music speaks to you more and more as you begin to live and understand the strangely joyful sorrow Hollis so often evokes.


I received Laughing Stock as a gift when I was in my late teens. Although I did come to appreciate it in time, I remember being initially disappointed, because I was hoping for a return to Color of Spring-style songs like "Life's What You Make It"  (not more of Spirit's free-form stuff). A bit later in life, when it became apparent that there would be no more new Talk Talk albums on the horizon, I started clinging to it more and "got it" (though it didn't take long). Plus, my ears were becoming used to music in non-traditional pop-song structures.


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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 12:21
That track sounds 'like' In Absentia-era PT but with unbelievable arrangements. In a word, WOW! Another must-have for me, then.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote harmonium.ro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 15:44
Fans of these albums should definitely check out .O.rang, I've added them to PA recently and added all their first album as YouTube videos. The music sounds like Talk Talk going kraut. 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 17:01
Originally posted by harmonium.ro

I disagree completely about Elbow, they are a '70s-oriented band.

Au contraire - Guy Garvey is on record as saying that "Spirit of Eden" was a massive influence on what the were hoping to achieve with Elbow.

On a related note, the band have also said that New Born was their attempt at Entangled Wink






Edited by Nov - November 05 2011 at 17:01
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 17:06

For me, Talk Talk were the best band of the 80s (closely followed by The Blue Nile) and certainly one of the most truly progressive.

I was lucky enough to see Talk Talk at Hammersmith Odeon in 1986 and it's one of my top three concerts of all time.

This performance of Living in Another World is the one performance of any song I've ever seen live that I would like to go back and re-live. I was in the 3rd row going mental:



Listen to the reaction at the end - it was prolonged, heartfelt and incredibly moving.



I also saw them bottled off stage at the Genesis reunion concert at Milton Keynes Bowl in 1982 but that's another story.






Edited by Nov - November 05 2011 at 17:11
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 17:09
Originally posted by rogerthat

That track sounds 'like' In Absentia-era PT

Eh?

Confused





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Post Options Post Options   Quote Textbook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 19:58
Yeah, not only has Garvey said that Talk Talk were a huge influence on him, but I can hear Talk Talk all over their music, especially the debut.

Ro: Pick out an o.rang track to stick here for us?
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HolyMoly Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 05 2011 at 20:02
O.rang.  Got it.  Will check it out pronto.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Slowdive Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 09 2013 at 22:33
Any fans of Talk Talk might want to check out the album 'Hex' by Bark Psychosis. Absolute masterpiece inspired by Talk Talk.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Nov Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 10 2013 at 03:50
Originally posted by Slowdive

Any fans of Talk Talk might want to check out the album 'Hex' by Bark Psychosis. Absolute masterpiece inspired by Talk Talk.  
Nice.

Yes, definitely hearing Talk Talk there as well as a bit of  Blue Nile and It's Immaterial.
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