Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden / Laughing Stock

Talk Talk are commonly known for their early synthpop/new wave singles, including Today, Talk Talk, It's My Life, Such A Shame and Life's What You Make It but are also considered forerunners in the post-rock genre for their later experimental albums.

Although they were identified with bands such as Duran Duran during the New Wave movement, Talk Talk had a progressive depth their contemporaries lacked. After keyboardist Simon Brenner was replaced with producer and unofficial member Tim Friese-Greene, each successive Talk Talk release became more sophisticated and original.

Spirit of Eden was released in 1988, on EMI’s Parlophone label. The album was assembled from many hours of improvised instrumentation that Hollis and Friese-Greene had edited and arranged using digital equipment. The result was a mix of rock, jazz, classical and ambient music.

In 1990, Talk Talk agreed to a two-album contract with Polydor. They released Laughing Stock on the Verve Records imprint in 1991. Laughing Stock crystallized the experimental sound the band started with Spirit of Eden (which has been retroactively categorized as "post-rock" by some critics). Laughing Stock adopted an even more minimalist style than its predecessor, but this did not stop it achieving a respectable Top 30 showing in the UK Albums Chart.

(read all at last.fm)

Everybody who's serious about post-rock probably knows at least on of these records already. If you think you like post-rock and you don't know later Talk Talk yet, here's your chance to update. Both these albums are essential early post-rock recordings (actually, Talk Talk invented post-rock on Spirit of Eden, although the majority of people seem to consider Slint's Spiderland the first post-rock recording - I don't know why) , so listen to them!
[ Parlophone/EMI | 1988 | Post-Rock | 320kbps | 41:23 ]

1. The Rainbow - 8:02
2. Eden - 7:40
3. Desire - 7:17
4. Inheritance - 5:24
5. I Believe In You - 6:16
6. Wealth - 6:44

[ Verve Records | 1991 | Post-Rock | 320kbps | 42:45 ]

1. Myrrhman - 5:33
2. Ascension Day - 6:00
3. After The Flood - 9:27
4. Taphead - 7:01
5. New Grass - 9:46
6. Runeii - 4:58