Talk Talk
Laughing Stock


5.0
classic

Review

by biografiend USER (10 Reviews)
June 9th, 2005 | 19 replies | 5,358 views


Release Date: 1991 | Tracklist


8 of 8 thought this review was well written

For most bands, growing and maturing and changing into different styles after commercial sucess most often isn't good in many different ways. But for Talk Talk, maturing from new-wave and synth pop that made them famous into a more ambient, richer style of music made them one of the starting points for the genre now known as post-rock.

Talk Talk began in 1981. They later signed to EMI and recorded 3 albums, including their breakthrough album, It's My Life (No Doubt did a cover of the title track), and their best selling album of their career, The Colour of Spring. In 1987, they were given a very large budget from EMI for their next album, but 14 months later, overbudget and way past deadline, EMI was greeted with shocking news. Talk Talk informed EMI that there were to be no singles from this album and that they couldnt recreate the arrangements or the sound they had captured on stage, so they couldn't tour for the album either. The Spirit of Eden was released to huge critical acclaim and very low album sales, having no pop-sensibilities and latching on to long arrangements creating an intricate piece of work that was closer to jazz than anything else. EMI then released a single off of the album without the band's consent, and tried to drop them from their roster. Talk Talk sued them and won, leaving to sign with Polydor to make their next album. With tensions high after everything else had happened, Paul Webb decided to quit, leaving the broken band to record with mostly guest musicians. In 1991, Laughing Stock came out. This became their last masterpiece; the band broke up in 1992.

The thing about Laughing Stock that gets me is how unremarkably beautiful it is. It is impossible for me to believe that actual people recorded this in a studio. This simple but yet so complex album leaves you hypnotized with amazement, full of earthy sounds and atmospheric textures. Mark Hollis' voice is so beautiful and powerful, but pretty and fragile. The six songs vary from mournful to uplifting, but seem to flow together perfectly, without any real break between one and the next, as does everything else on the album. Hollis sings the exact notes at the right time, perfectly. The percussion fits everything perfectly, all the time. The guitar always molds another layer of sound and dimension, perfectly. The organ and other instruments blend in, deepening the sound and heightening the emotion, perfectly. This album is at its complete best. The actual vibe around this album isn't like anything I have ever experienced. Laughing Stock is spacious, jazzy, melancholy, evocative, intense, staggering, delicate, immense, and very beautiful, all at the same time.

With all of this said, it is no wonder that they have led so many great and beautiful bands to try and replicate the initial sound of Laughing Stock. This album is a must for anyone who likes post-rock. It amazes me that a masterpiece such as this one had been ignored upon release, and still will never get the credit it deserves.



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user ratings (663)
Chart.
4.4
superb
other reviews of this album
Winesburgohio (5)
THIS IS NOT A REVIEW...

FelixCulpa (5)
You better start laughing now....

Sam Feldman's Rating (5)
The only thing left to do is marvel. And marvel I shall....

Tyler Fisher EMERITUS (5)
Like I could summarize my feelings for this album in this little box....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
June 10th 2005



3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It is impossible for me to believe that actual people recorded this in a studio.

Haha, that's exactly what Nacho always says about this album.

Good review.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 10th 2005



2125 Comments


haha, Nacho says that a lot. Great review, makes me want to check this stuff out, which I will.

woofwoofwoof
June 10th 2005



156 Comments


how long is it


biografiend
June 10th 2005



55 Comments


that's exactly what Nacho always says about this album.

it's true.

The album is almost 45 minutes long.

Meliorative
December 20th 2005



6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

An incredible album that i can honestly say is my personal favorite, and what i believe to be the greatest music ever recorded.

Scott Herren
December 20th 2005



192 Comments


Ascension Day is one of my all time favorite songs. Good review as well.

Wanker
April 12th 2006



139 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Ascension Day is an awesome song. This album reminds me a ton of Bark Psychosis. Maybe BP were influenced by this album's blend of jazzy synths and hypnotizing percussion.

I find it funny that I know a Mark Hollis (the name of the lead singer/songwriter) who went to school with me. Strange.

After listening to this album several times over, I'd consider it a classic. Not just because it formed the roots of post rock almost single-handedly, but because the album itself is incredible.

Zebra
Moderator
May 10th 2006



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

[quote=review]It is impossible for me to believe that actual people recorded this in a studio.[/quote]
Very, very true. This album is without a doubt a classic, and not just because of its influence. I'm starting to get into Talk Talks earlier stuff and I'm actually enjoying it a lot more then I thought I would.
Excellent review.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 19th 2006



721 Comments


Basically, amazing.

AlienEater
August 28th 2006



716 Comments


I really want this album.

francesfarmer
December 16th 2006



1477 Comments


Talk Talk are an example of perfect musical evolution.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

So I think I need this album...

Zebra
Moderator
April 21st 2007



2647 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

No
You don't think you need this album, you NEED this album.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
April 21st 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

Excellent I'll get it asap. Zebra, you should review this album. I know you have a soundoff, but I'd love to see your opinion in detail.This Message Edited On 04.21.07

Slaapkamers
April 21st 2007



596 Comments


Yes, this album really needs a typically formulaic and robotic zebra review.

The drum work on this is so good.

Zorg
June 20th 2007



65 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

In my mind, they've always kind of sucked, they just became artfags. It's saved by the song Taphead, which even meanders at the end.

Electric City
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2007



15732 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0 | Sound Off

This album is incredible. I'm really enjoying this, this is magnificent. All the tracks are brilliant, except maybe the first one, but I think that will grow on me. This reminds me of a more accessible/listenable Bodysong.

samthebassman
July 17th 2007



2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

There seems to be something missing on this album, it's ok but it hasn't grabbed me as I thought it might.This Message Edited On 07.17.07

Bouben
July 20th 2009



21 Comments


As far as I know, this album has been recorded in studio in abandoned church and recording process has taken reportedly one year.



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