Talk Talk - Laughing Stock - 03. After The Flood.mp3
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock - 04. Taphead.mp3
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock - 05. New Grass.mp3
Talk Talk - Laughing Stock - 06. Runeii.mp3
talk talk-laughing stock-back.jpg
talk talk-laughing stock-front.jpg
Dreamy and loose, Talk Talk's Laughing Stock turns 180 degrees away from the '80s pop sound of It's My Life and runs headlong into a web of Brian Eno, avant-garde, jazz, and experimental structure. The songs ache with languid phrases and the naked, vulnerable voice of Mark Hollis, the only element of the band that remains perceptible from their verse-chorus-verse past. The bashing, off-time clatter of "Ascension Day"; the impossibly patient organ motif snaking into a wailing guitar string in "After the Flood"; the terrifying, beautiful silences that engulf "Runeii" and "Myrrhman"; and the teetering, defenseless vocal Hollis lays down on "New Grass"--it all adds up to a stellar, shockingly original work that shreds all pretense of genre limitations, finding a transcendence in the light and shadow of musical color. --Matthew Cooke
This is how music should be.
I will never tire of Talk Talk's final album Laughing Stock. From their first album until The Colour of Spring (1986) Talk Talk very definitely held my attention. The Colour of Spring is one of the best albums of the 8o's, no questions asked. And then they released 1988's Spirit of Eden. Amazing. Absolutely amazing. A total departure from where 'Life's What You Make it' seemed to say they were heading. I love Colour of Spring, but Spirit of Eden is something else. The first three songs from that album are worth the price alone.
And then there is Laughing Stock. It takes off where Spirit of Eden began, and i have heard nothing like it since. I've heard some acts emulate it, or incorporate its textures (Cowboy Junkies, Portishead come to mind), but no one will ever come close to what Talk Talk achieved on Laughing Stock.
I remember listening to this album for the first time, and realised that this is how the music industry should always have been. Displaying great pieces of creativity with support and pride. yeah right, like you can expect that. And that this album got deleted immediately is no surprise. 6 songs in all, but this album is so beautiful it goes beyond words. It incorporates Delta Blues, Mingus jazz, psychedelia, orchestral bombast and subtlety all in 6 songs. I have never heard anything like it before or since, and I miss Talk Talk as a group ever since. But if this is how they chose to go out, I can only commend them for going out with a style that is rarely seen in the music business.
The main theme of Laughing Stock seems to be about Redemption. Anyone familiar with Christian doctrine regarding Revelations will know what Ascension Day may refer to. This whole album seems to wrestle with the divine and the human. The limitations we feel as humans to overcome our deepest fears and drives. From the beginning of Myrrhman through til Taphead, these ruminations are explored lyrically and musically. This whole album seems like the journey of a soul. The reason that 'New Grass' seems a light relief is not only a musical one. Whats explored in After The Flood and Taphead seems an allusion to the fable of Noah and his Ark. And that 'New Grass' seems to imply that Hope is found once again after a great deluge only adds to the imagery and sonic explorations of Laughing Stock.
Laughing Stock is a summers day. It is the dead of night. Its so many things from song to song that I have always seen this work as a goal to aim for. As a musician, composer, you owe it to yourself to find and buy this album. As a music listener or lover, you owe it to yourself to find and buy this album. The only other album I can think of that is such a one of a kind is Kate Bush's The Dreaming. You hear it, and realise there is nothing like it. Thats what its all about. Thats what it should always be.
Laughing Stock. One of the best albums of the 9o's, and by far one of the best albums ever released. I'd actually beg you to buy it.Amazon
3.After The Flood