Talk Talk - Spirit of Eden (1988) (1 Viewer)

nooleen

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i think i'll have to come back to it at a later date, i'm bored of it now. going to give laughing stock a try for a while.
 

eoinzy2000

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Wow, Lovin this. How have I not heard it until now? The harmonica is fantastic. Album club is best Thumped idea yet imo. Pulled me out of a rut already
 

travispickle

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i think i'll have to come back to it at a later date, i'm bored of it now. going to give laughing stock a try for a while.
How did you get on with Laughing Stock @nooly? If anything, I think it's a harder listen than SOE!
 

Bernie Lomax

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i only ever listen to this while eating hash brownies in complete darkness. it's the only way to do it and if you listen to it any other way you're doing it wrong.
Not saying anything in case benny cake is mean to me again
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There seems to be some decent songs in there but they're all hidden by the instrumental meanderings over on top
+1

Though I'm not sure about the "decent songs" bit.

Had my 3rd and final listen in the way home in the car last night. Failed to hold my attention. Doesn't do anything to me. 2 stars
 

prefuse

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I think its more of a mood piece rather than classic songs....it's like a rock version of In a silent way.
 

Unknown Convict

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from the discogs entry:


Talk Talk - Spirit Of EdenUnterhimmel
August 17, 2011
You ever wanted to get to know the blueprint for artists like Radiohead, Coldplay and so many other Indie Rock bands? Then you have to listen to this. Post-Rock, Post-Pop, Post-Indie, before the term Indie even existed. The best album ever made. Indeed.
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Talk Talk - Spirit Of EdenJDB
October 25, 2011
How can an album be a blueprint for a thesis and its antithesis at the same time? In fact, the blueprint for Coldplay is an unholy mix of lullabyes, football chants and sinusitis.
 

GO

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I've given this 3 stars...should been 3.5

Its grand.Not fucking mind blowing or anything
 

dunderhead

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yeah i'm currently in the whats all the fuss about camp with this. after four one-sitting listens. will reserve a proper judgement/rating after a couple more listens. Definitely potential for the bits that pass me by to grab me. some deadly moments, no doubt. will be my most listened to TAC so far by Thursday evening.
 

therealjohnny

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Nice background music..some bits better than others. I've listened to it a lot over the last week . Maybe that's enough for one lifetime.

3 stars
 

GO

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Good old Sting..the richer he gets the more working class his accent becomes
 

rettucs

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I really like this. Its 4/5 from me. I gave Wu-Tang 4/5 too, but that was 3.5/5 rounded up. This is proper 4/5 though.

I've spent much of the last 5 days listening to Talk Talk. Mostly this album, but I was curious to hear the albums either side of it. For one, because I wanted to hear more by this band that I'm liking increasingly, the more I hear them. And two, because I wanted to see if there was any sense of logical progression that would give context to Spirit of Eden, that might have it make more sense.

Its a strange album. When I first listened to it I had it on in the background. I remember being conscious of the slow build-up in the first song, but how it finally kicks off and gets going. At that point I looked to see how far into the song it was and realised I was on the third song.

A few listens in it started feeling like the album was made up of 2 distinct parts. Those first 3 songs, definitely the stronger of the 6, and the last 3, which were a struggle.

A few more listens and I'm loving the first 3 songs. The delicate build up, the way they settle into a tempo, but then that tempo changes, the quiet synths, the harmonica, the loud guitar, the whiny vocal. Lovely. I'm reminded of so many different songs and albums when I listen. The band/album I'm most reminded of initially is Ten by Pearl Jam. Its got that Americana feel to it. I like how sprawling the opening song is. It reminds me of Second Coming by Stone Roses and Primal Scream's Vanishing Point. Not that the sound is similar. Just, both of those albums have the same kind of sprawling opening tracks. The tempo changes across those first 3 songs remind me a little of 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond', by Pink Floyd, again, probably a bizzare comparison - but thats what came to mind.

The last 3 songs are definitely more subtle. The guitars disappear. As does the harmonica. The synths take over. The percussion becomes gentler. The songs become more difficult to tell apart. I listened to to the last 3 songs without listening to the first 3, about 5 times in a row to try and get my head around them. They're nice, but they're difficult. Too long for how little happens to keep one's attention for the duration.

After listening to the album from start to finish I can't help but feeling a little bit short-changed. There's something about it that leaves one a tad unsatisfied. Maybe its because the promise of the first 3 songs aren't carried out in the last 3. Maybe its that it feels too short (and it does feel very short to me).

Its a proper musicians album though. Its clear to me that theres another level that I'm never likely to get. According to wikipedia it did pretty lousy in the charts. Number 19 in the UK in 1988 might not have been terrible but would also not be considered a commercial success. The number 3 that it reached in Belgium was also unlikely to satisfy the record company.

I love this;

Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock are shrouded in mystery, partly because that's the way they are built, but also because the people who made the records are reluctant to discuss them. Talk Talk's singer and creative mastermind Mark Hollis hasn't released any music since 1998 and doesn't interact with the media, while his co-writer and producer Tim Friese-Greene politely but firmly declined an interview on the grounds that "I don't talk Talk Talk talk any more. It was such a long time ago." Former band members Lee Harris and Paul Webb also observe a dutiful vow of silence these days.

Phill Brown is a little more forthcoming. Brown engineered Spirit of Eden and recalls an "endlessly blacked-out studio, an oil projector in the control room, strobe lighting and five 24-track tape-machines synced together. Twelve hours a day in the dark listening to the same six songs for eight months became pretty intense. There was very little communication with musicians who came in to play. They were led to a studio in darkness and a track would be played down the headphones." Asked whether Hollis is an awkward genius or a regular Joe, Brown replies: "All of the above! Stubborn, focused, but humorous. In some ways a genius, but it was a team effort – and it was a big, talented team."
(from this article - Talk Talk: the band who disappeared from view)

Hollis was clearly a bit odd but there is no trace of arrogance. I love that he went with his convictions and took the music in a direction he wanted to take it, and made the albums he wanted to make. I listened to Laughing Stock this morning. It doesn't sound terribly different to this one. And he released it under a different label, EMI clearly losing the rag after Spirit of Eden. That defiance is refreshing and its not something you'd see a lot of these days.

Everything I read about Talk Talk (and Hollis) makes me like them more and I look forward to getting rightly stuck into the first few albums. Without having heard some of them yet, I think I want to own physical copies of them too.

Thankfully, finally, I've gotten around to listening to Talk Talk properly.
 

Lili Marlene

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Right, my review:

This isn't really my kind of music. It reminds me both of the oh-so-serious music we used to hear a lot of back in the late 90's when everyone was trying to sound like OK Computer and also all the terrible post-rock bands that have never gone away no matter how hard I VERY LOUDLY TRY AND IGNORE THEM.

Several listens later and it still hasn't really revealed any hidden depths to me. Not necessarily because I think there isn't much to it, I think this is more likely because its seriousness is so up front and centre that there's no mistaking what's going on here for anything light. You know it's serious music when there's multiple slow crescendo's, right?? It's probably testament to the influence of the album that I feel like I'm very familiar with this kind of thing already and I didn't have to adjust my ears to the production or anything, it certainly helps explain many a godawful support slot.

HOWEVER, unlike most of that stuff, I can hear the quality of the songs in here, Desire sounds a bit like a hidden anthem to my ears. I'd say if this came along at the right time in your life it'd be the best album ever and I feel no need to begrudge it. 5/5 star reviews are fine by me. I'll probably go check out the album that came after this to see where they pursued this stuff to.

Also, I'd be curious if anyone else is into David Sylvian if they see a connection between the two, he seems to have been doing a similar kind of thing (albeit from a different angle) with Secrets of the Beehive around the same time, I just feel that his stuff fills the gap for that kind of music in my brain.











but here, listen, it does sound a bit like Sting unplugged though, you could probably slip the Hounds of Winter on it:

 
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travispickle

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I really like this. Its 4/5 from me. I gave Wu-Tang 4/5 too, but that was 3.5/5 rounded up. This is proper 4/5 though.

I've spent much of the last 5 days listening to Talk Talk. Mostly this album, but I was curious to hear the albums either side of it. For one, because I wanted to hear more by this band that I'm liking increasingly, the more I hear them. And two, because I wanted to see if there was any sense of logical progression that would give context to Spirit of Eden, that might have it make more sense.

Its a strange album. When I first listened to it I had it on in the background. I remember being conscious of the slow build-up in the first song, but how it finally kicks off and gets going. At that point I looked to see how far into the song it was and realised I was on the third song.

A few listens in it started feeling like the album was made up of 2 distinct parts. Those first 3 songs, definitely the stronger of the 6, and the last 3, which were a struggle.

A few more listens and I'm loving the first 3 songs. The delicate build up, the way they settle into a tempo, but then that tempo changes, the quiet synths, the harmonica, the loud guitar, the whiny vocal. Lovely. I'm reminded of so many different songs and albums when I listen. The band/album I'm most reminded of initially is Ten by Pearl Jam. Its got that Americana feel to it. I like how sprawling the opening song is. It reminds me of Second Coming by Stone Roses and Primal Scream's Vanishing Point. Not that the sound is similar. Just, both of those albums have the same kind of sprawling opening tracks. The tempo changes across those first 3 songs remind me a little of 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond', by Pink Floyd, again, probably a bizzare comparison - but thats what came to mind.

The last 3 songs are definitely more subtle. The guitars disappear. As does the harmonica. The synths take over. The percussion becomes gentler. The songs become more difficult to tell apart. I listened to to the last 3 songs without listening to the first 3, about 5 times in a row to try and get my head around them. They're nice, but they're difficult. Too long for how little happens to keep one's attention for the duration.

After listening to the album from start to finish I can't help but feeling a little bit short-changed. There's something about it that leaves one a tad unsatisfied. Maybe its because the promise of the first 3 songs aren't carried out in the last 3. Maybe its that it feels too short (and it does feel very short to me).

Its a proper musicians album though. Its clear to me that theres another level that I'm never likely to get. According to wikipedia it did pretty lousy in the charts. Number 19 in the UK in 1988 might not have been terrible but would also not be considered a commercial success. The number 3 that it reached in Belgium was also unlikely to satisfy the record company.

I love this;



(from this article - Talk Talk: the band who disappeared from view)

Hollis was clearly a bit odd but there is no trace of arrogance. I love that he went with his convictions and took the music in a direction he wanted to take it, and made the albums he wanted to make. I listened to Laughing Stock this morning. It doesn't sound terribly different to this one. And he released it under a different label, EMI clearly losing the rag after Spirit of Eden. That defiance is refreshing and its not something you'd see a lot of these days.

Everything I read about Talk Talk (and Hollis) makes me like them more and I look forward to getting rightly stuck into the first few albums. Without having heard some of them yet, I think I want to own physical copies of them too.

Thankfully, finally, I've gotten around to listening to Talk Talk properly.
Great post as always @scutter .
They're a band I genuinely love, having been swayed by the It's My Life single, but mainly on the basis of those three last albums and I've gone back and listened to the early albums too!

I put on Colour of Spring last night and while it's very accessible and well produced and there are undeniably some great songs on it, you can hear the progression to Spirit of Eden.
I'd love to know more about Hollis' reasons for wanting to go further and deeper into pure sound experimentation. Talk Talk toured on the back of Colour of Spring, but from the little I've read about that tour, it doesn't seem to have been a tortuous experience; in fact Hollis seems to have rather enjoyed it.

Another thing I thought about while listening to Eden and Laughing Stock is that the music business has changed so much now, the model of how music is produced and distributed is so utterly different to when these records were made, that albums like SOE and LS really could not be made now. The sheer amount of time, effort and particularly cost involved (major studio time blocked out 24-7 for 7/8 months at a time?) would not allow it, or if it did, the band would be forced out on tour for years on end to pay the label back.

I find Spirit of Eden is a record that rewards repeated listening over time. I've been listening to it (on and off obviously!!) since 1988 and I still find things in it that I didn't quite catch last time I listened. It definitely grows and it's worth the effort, as is Laughing Stock - perhaps even more so.

Which brings me to this - A little bit of Mark Hollis talking about Laughing Stock -
 

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