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Rock - Released September 21, 1992 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
After an unremarkable debut, Talk Talk regrouped and refashioned themselves more in the style of sophisto-era Roxy Music while developing their own voice. It's My Life shows a great leap in songwriting, the band making highly personal statements with a sexy, seductive groove and a diversity that transcends the synth pop tag. Synthesizers still play a dominant role, but the music is made far more interesting by mixing "real" instruments and challenging world music rhythms seamlessly with the technology. Still pulling off the catchy single (like "Dum Dum Girl" and the title track, as well as the simply sublime "Does Caroline Know?") on It's My Life, Talk Talk also proved themselves capable of achieving a cohesive album -- a rare feat for the time and an unexpected surprise from a band that seemed to be simply a bandwagon-jumper. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released May 24, 1993 | Parlophone UK

Hi-Res Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Is this really the same Talk Talk who had topped the charts four years earlier with their hit Such a Shame? With Spirit of Eden, Mark Hollis’ band made a complete U-turn, leaving their oh-so-eighties synthesizers in the cellar this time round. Released in September 1988, this fourth album zig-zags between chamber pop and atmospheric jazz. Hollis' singing is accompanied by ethereal bass lines, slow-motion guitars and muffled drums. He abandons Bryan Ferry's dandyism for a more evocative tone, now sounding more like David Sylvian on Brilliant Trees… or maybe Brian Eno on Music For Airports. With this album, Talk Talk invented a kind of elegant post-rock that was mingled with classy new age. And to reach new heights of melancholy, the Englishman rolled out the oboes, harmoniums, violins, bassoons, cor anglais, dobros, the list goes on… A musical experience like no other. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Rock - Released May 24, 1993 | Parlophone UK

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
Is this really the same Talk Talk who had topped the charts four years earlier with their hit Such a Shame? With Spirit of Eden, Mark Hollis’ band made a complete U-turn, leaving their oh-so-eighties synthesizers in the cellar this time round. Released in September 1988, this fourth album zig-zags between chamber pop and atmospheric jazz. Hollis' singing is accompanied by ethereal bass lines, slow-motion guitars and muffled drums. He abandons Bryan Ferry's dandyism for a more evocative tone, now sounding more like David Sylvian on Brilliant Trees… or maybe Brian Eno on Music For Airports. With this album, Talk Talk invented a kind of elegant post-rock that was mingled with classy new age. And to reach new heights of melancholy, the Englishman rolled out the oboes, harmoniums, violins, bassoons, cor anglais, dobros, the list goes on… A musical experience like no other. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Alternative & Indie - Released March 22, 1993 | Parlophone UK

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Rock - Released January 27, 1997 | Parlophone UK

The Very Best of Talk Talk is the most comprehensive retrospective assembled on the synth group to date, following the band from its new wave origins to its latter-day atmospheric new age recordings. Although the compilation features nothing from 1991's Laughing Stock and all of the songs from 1988's Spirit of Eden are presented in edited versions, the disc remains a good overview of the band's evolution and features all of their big hits, including "Talk Talk" and "Today." © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Alternative & Indie - Released January 1, 1991 | Polydor Records

Virtually ignored upon its initial release, Laughing Stock continues to grow in stature and influence by leaps and bounds. Picking up where Spirit of Eden left off, the album operates outside of the accepted sphere of rock to create music which is both delicate and intense; recorded with a large classical ensemble, it defies easy categorization, conforming to very few structural precedents -- while the gently hypnotic "Myrrhman" flirts with ambient textures, the percussive "Ascension Day" drifts toward jazz before the two sensibilities converge to create something entirely new and different on "New Grass." The epic "After the Flood," on the other hand, is an atmospheric whirlpool laced with jackhammer guitar feedback and Mark Hollis' remarkably plaintive vocals; it flows into "Taphead," perhaps the most evocative, spacious, and understated piece on the record. A work of staggering complexity and immense beauty, Laughing Stock remains an under-recognized masterpiece, and its echoes can be heard throughout much of the finest experimental music issued in its wake. © Jason Ankeny /TiVo
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Rock - Released September 1, 2004 | Parlophone UK

Asides Besides can certainly be seen as a cash-in release to coincide with Mark Hollis' first solo release and the reissue of Talk Talk's EMI catalog, but rarely does such a calculated industry move result in such a treat for fans. Over two discs, Asides Besides essentially ties up all of the loose ends for the band. Disc one is probably the least essential, bringing out all of the 12" remixes, which are of marginal interest, though all are superior to those found on the unauthorized History Revisited. Disc two however, reveals no shortage of prime rarities beginning with three demos from 1981 ("Talk Talk," "Mirror Man" and "Candy"). A handful of singles are included -- the not-so-rare single, "My Foolish Friend," the ultra-rare "Why Is it So Hard" (from the film First Born), the U.S. remix of "Dum Dum Girl," and the edit of "Eden" -- but the real gems are the B-sides, which are anything but "throwaways." In fact, the B-sides are not only in most cases as strong as the ones that made it onto the albums, but they also indicate the more experimental direction the band would take later on. Asides Besides may be of interest only to diehard Talk Talk fans, but for that audience this collection is absolutely essential. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 3, 2003 | Parlophone UK

Talk Talk began life as a slavishly derivative, Duran Duran-styled new romantic synth pop band, as their debut, The Party's Over, clearly shows. Much of the album seems to attempt to recreate Duran Duran's debut, but even with their most blatant rip-offs, like the single "Talk Talk," they do it with a naïve charm that makes for some really enjoyable music, even if it isn't particularly innovative or groundbreaking. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Pop - Released September 12, 2011 | Parlophone UK

Few acts have had the type of quietly influential reach of Talk Talk. In their span of just nine active years, they shifted dramatically from background players in the new romantic movement to being credited with laying down the foundations of post-rock on their last two sprawling, atmospheric albums. Essential takes a compacted look at all the phases of Talk Talk's varied career, beginning with dance-pop singles "Talk Talk" and "Today" and non-album single "My Foolish Friend." The collection also delves into highlights from the comparatively extended later-period albums The Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden. Their biggest hit, "It's My Life" (issued as a single twice during their run and later a hit for No Doubt in 2003) finds the middle ground between the new-wavy synth pop of Talk Talk's beginnings and the spectral ambient rock experimentation of the band's later work. © Fred Thomas /TiVo
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Rock - Released May 21, 1990 | Parlophone UK

Originally released in 1990, and then reissued in 2007 and 2013 in slightly different forms, Natural History covers Talk Talk's EMI years, from The Party's Over through Spirit of Eden. The basis of the compilation is the band's charting U.K. singles, and each one, including the Top 30 hits "Today," "Talk Talk," and "Life's What You Make It," is included. The latter two editions were released as CD/DVD bundles. For those who don't care about the band's videos, the audio-only Essential, an EMI set from 2011, makes for a better -- and closer to thorough -- summary of the '80s output. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released March 22, 1993 | Parlophone UK

With It's My Life, Talk Talk proved that they could pull off an entire album of strong material. With The Colour of Spring, they took it one step further, moving to a near-concept song cycle, following the emotional ups and downs of relationships and pondering life in general. Musically, they built on the experimental direction of the previous album with interesting rhythms, sweeping orchestration, complex arrangements, and even a children's chorus to create an evocative, hypnotic groove. Though the songs were catchier on the earlier efforts and the ambient experimentation was more fully achieved later on, The Colour of Spring succeeded in marrying the two ideas into one unique sound for their most thoroughly satisfying album. © Chris Woodstra /TiVo
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Pop - Released January 14, 2013 | Parlophone UK

The material on this Talk Talk compilation is in chronological order, but it's not exactly natural. Released in 2013 to complement an expanded edition of Natural History, Natural Order features none of the band's A-sides and sticks strictly to album cuts, B-sides, and a track from the 2001 archival release Missing Pieces. If one wants to go deeper than the well-known singles, this is a fine way to do it; the selections, made by the band's Mark Hollis, are smart, while the Spirit of Eden-era B-side "John Cope" is essential. However, Talk Talk's phenomenal last three albums -- The Colour of Spring (1986), Spirit of Eden (1988), and Laughing Stock (1991) -- deserve uninterrupted, front-to-back play, and any reconfiguring of their contents seems peculiar. © Andy Kellman /TiVo
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Rock - Released April 16, 2001 | Parlophone UK