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

Cornu Ammonis

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Some more thoughts:
- The approach to recording this album is as interesting as the music itself. Initially, it sounded like they were trying to emulate Can's recording method where you just play and play and play with the tape constantly rolling, then go back and cherrypick the best parts into an album. Now, I get the impression that this was one aspect of the recording process but the improvisations were then sculpted and developed into solid pieces. I think what really gets me is how it light and spacious it sounds despite the eternity of studio time; you'd think it would be bloated and twice as long after all that recording activity.

- This thread kind of depresses me as there seems to be a feeling that "serious" music is bad music. Sure, there's no levity here like there was with The Smiths and Wu-Tang albums but for me there's way more raw emotion coming through. The first three tracks (which are supposed to be one track with three sections judging from the tracklistings online) sound so precarious, so off the cuff to be as pure a form of musical expression as anything else I've heard.

- Influences: Aside from the sense of Can in the process (rather than the sound), it's interesting to hear things that sound like a sleepy version of The Velvet Underground's "Heroin" creep in at the start of "Eden"; that Moe Tucker-esque beat and slow build. It's fucking magic. Someone mentioned In a Silent Way earlier and I get that, not so much in style but definitely in vibe and in structure. The Velvets and Miles Davis have both been pastiched to death at this stage but Spirit of Eden manages to acknowledge them but forge new ground, sounding fresh to me even now.

- Influenced: Spirit of Eden seems to be the blueprint for so many albums that came afterwards. I was always surprised when The The went from Mind Bomb in 1989 to Dusk in 1993 and it now sounds like Matt Johnson took his cue from Talk Talk. Then add in all the great 90s albums by Labradford and Tortoise and this thing really feels like a missing link between what was happening in pop (and its fringes) in the 80s and what would come in the 90s/00s. I know @Lili Marlene feels Spirit of Eden's impact is lessened from being familiar through its influences but I feel that this is a milestone album that sounds utterly mordern despite the fact that these approaches and sounds are now standard in the rock rule book.
 

Lili Marlene

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- This thread kind of depresses me as there seems to be a feeling that "serious" music is bad music. Sure, there's no levity here like there was with The Smiths and Wu-Tang albums but for me there's way more raw emotion coming through. The first three tracks (which are supposed to be one track with three sections judging from the tracklistings online) sound so precarious, so off the cuff to be as pure a form of musical expression as anything else I've heard.
I just hate post-rock Cornu, nothing to do with serious or unserious music.
 

hiadudiad?

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I'm surprised to hear that they spent a fortune in studio time making this, it doesn't sound like it at all. They could probably have developed it at home themselves first and recorded it in a day. It sounds pretty live-in-the-studio.
 

ann post

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I got the first 3 tunes in lastnight before I had do something else.

I enjoyed the vibe, and the trajectries. its a cool soundscape. gonna add it to my player for going out walking at the weekend and get in further.
 

MacDara

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Just so we're clear..what exactly is post-rock?

I'm not sure I really know
Simon Reynolds, who coined the term, says it's non-rock music made with rock instruments, which is so vague it could mean anything. I think a better definition is 'Tortoise and most Thrill Jockey bands'.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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It was originally a catch-all for all those 90s bands that were doing stuff like this (Labradford, Tortoise) or more classically inclined like Stars of the Lid or Godspeed You Black Emperor! Then it came to mean instrumental rock that is full of ersatz emotion and Feelings with a capital F like Explosions in the Sky and all those shitty Irish bands like And I Watched You from Afar (or whatever they're called).
 

GO

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I have never heard any of those bands..mad

I like something you can tap your foot to
 

travispickle

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I have never heard any of those bands..mad

I like something you can tap your foot to
You still can, only very very slowly and very very quietly.
Labradford have some lovely tunes - really lovely twangy Morricone-esque guitars against very ambient keyboards/bass/synths; nice stuff.
 

dunderhead

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Once again TAC threw up an artist/album I'd been meaning to check out. It's a good album with some great moments and other bits where I got a bit bored and the thing passed me by for a few minutes only for the great bits to snap me back in. and basically this cycle goes on a few times throughout the 6 or 7 tunes. The dude is clearly a very good vocalist but not a huge fan.vocals are recorded very cleany. would prefer some cocteau twinesque mumbling, just for my tastes anyway.

There are a bunch of albums that I love now that I didn't warm to initially. Initially as in it took coming back to them a year or two later to see them in a new light. Spirit Of Eden could be one of these. Will definitely be returning but 8 or 9 listens this week is enough for a while for me. I'm gonna give it a 3.49. round it down to 3. which a bit harsh, but rounding it up to 4 is a bit too generous for what I think of it. (which means my non hip-hop listening white ass preferred wu tang clan album more than this. bananas for my tastes!)
 

Benny Cake

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Some more thoughts:
- The approach to recording this album is as interesting as the music itself. Initially, it sounded like they were trying to emulate Can's recording method where you just play and play and play with the tape constantly rolling, then go back and cherrypick the best parts into an album. Now, I get the impression that this was one aspect of the recording process but the improvisations were then sculpted and developed into solid pieces. I think what really gets me is how it light and spacious it sounds despite the eternity of studio time; you'd think it would be bloated and twice as long after all that recording activity.
Spot on. But this was only the warm up to the painstaking process that went into making Laughing Stock, which is even more ethereal and dislocated and ungrounded feel, as they gave each musician a snippet of the song to work with and had them play on their own but then pieced it together with someone else who didn't hear them at all. They even apparently brought in a full orchestra but ended up only using 2 seconds of the sound during tune up.

I'm surprised to hear that they spent a fortune in studio time making this, it doesn't sound like it at all. .
See above - I thought they really went all out on the last album, not this one.
 

Cornu Ammonis

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Spot on. But this was only the warm up to the painstaking process that went into making Laughing Stock, which is even more ethereal and dislocated and ungrounded feel, as they gave each musician a snippet of the song to work with and had them play on their own but then pieced it together with someone else who didn't hear them at all. They even apparently brought in a full orchestra but ended up only using 2 seconds of the sound during tune up.
Totally hitting that up this week.
 

travispickle

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They recorded a 20 piece male choir for I Believe In You but didn't use any of it. The voices on the record credited as the Choir of Chelmsford Cathedral are six twelve year old boys! You gotta love this band!!
 

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