The final album from a band who evolved from synth-pop into intricate, unbelievably delicate avant-jazz compostion. This reissue comes 26 years after the original release but the music hasn't aged a bit. 'Ascension Day' churns and whirrs whilst 'New Grass' tugs the heart strings just as strongly as before. Absolutely essential.
Vinyl LP £17.99 5365519
180g vinyl reissue LP on Universal.
- Shipping cost: £3.35 ?
- Includes download code
CD £6.99 AA8477172
CD on Polydor.
- Shipping cost: £1.05 ?
Vinyl LP £15.99 BING074
Awesome second press re-issue (after all) of classic LP on Ba Da Bing BACK IN THE NEW YEAR!.
Well I never thought I'd be talking about this on the site. One of my all time favourite albums which I now have the excuse of playing again so I can write this! Ba Da Bing have fortuitously decided to release the vinyl of 'The Laughing Stock' which has been unavailable since the year dot in the UK and amazingly has never seen a US release before. I bought this on CD when it was originally released back in 1991 through Verve (Talk Talk's only release on the label) and it blew me away at the time. It was all about CD's back then which I kinda regret now but when I think about it I've still enjoyed the album probably more any other album over the last 20 odd years. Despite the fact this is a review for the vinyl, this (to me) is proof that it's all about the music and always should be. Though it is something I've always had my eye on getting the vinyl of but I never fancied paying 100+ notes for it so when I found out this was being re-released I was super stoked and all nerdishly excited like an old child with glasses. Universally recognised as one of the greatest albums of all time 'Laughing Stock' has gone on to massively influence bands like Hood & Epic 45 and without this album the 'pastoral genre' the aforementioned bands that have come to spearhead that sound (Hood initially I might add) would probably have never happened.
From the hushed intermittent vocals of Mark Hollis to the jazz drums of Lee Harris to the warm piano/organ of Tim Friese-Greene this screams absolute brilliance from start to end. The six songs on the album are all perfectly arranged and all clock in (on average) around the seven minute mark. Not to mention the many other musicians playing a huge array of instruments accompanying the band creating hugely lush and incredibly detailed, rich music.
The nine and half minutes of After The Flood with it's shuffling drums and astonishing snare sound reigning everyone in whilst there's some gentle guitar strokings, the warmest sounding organ you've ever heard and the breathy yet powerful vocals of Mark Hollis finishing the whole thing off. Oh and the bass... I realised I'd not mentioned that and listening to it now the bass sounds perfect. Man I love this song... The whole album is full of songs like this. Well there's six of them and I'm not gonna go on about all of 'em cos that would spoil it for you. Needless to say if you only buy one record this year I think this should be it. If you've never heard this album before and are fan of music then you owe it to yourself to check this out.
8/10 Alan 23rd January 2019
My second album by this band and boy did they start to change. It lacks the pop hits, instead being an album to sit and listen to properly. Some people may not be after that i guess.
It's a shame when bands grow like this but then cease to be.
10/10 Daniel John 20th August 2013
This is a great album, listen to it!
I have listened to both vinyl presses that were available from Norman (The Ba Da Bing and Back to Black) and both are no good really with the Ba Da Bing one probably being the better of the two on my equipment. In this case I'd highly recommend buying the CD version instead...and you don't hear me saying that often.
Such a shame no great pressing of this LP exists.
This album is only one of the very best albums of all time. If you don't own a copy, ask yourself why? Unclassified in itself, it could be labelled 'jazz', 'indie', 'post-rock' and all of these would be true, but really - does it matter??Laughing Stock is simply an incredible piece of work and maybe that's all that needs to be said about it.
9/10 Lars Dideriksen
Love this album to bits. One of my all time favourites. All the more reason to avoid this repressing of this one and 'Mark Hollis' at all costs. They were done very poorly. Lots of crackle and noise on them. A total waste of money. I contacted the label to complain. Was told that Universal wanted to do the printing. And they obviously cut every corner they could when it comes to quality. Too bad for Ba Da Bing Records' reputation, but even worse for Talk Talk / Mark Hollis fans who just wasted a shitload of money on these reissues. Man, it really hurts when classics are butchered like this. Universal never cared about Talk Talk or Mark Hollis when they made their best work. Go figure. Can't remember the last time I was so disappointed about a record I was looking forward to like this.
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- Laughing Stock by Talk Talk
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