Fashioned from innumerable improv sessions, 1988’s Spirit of Eden is where Talk Talk took an experimental turn and, in so doing, secured the legacy that lives on in bands such as Zelienople. Sprawled-out and unhurried song structures, a smattering of strange sound design, a wide instrumental palette, plenty of dynamics and space, Mark Hollis’ soulful and plaintive moans… come on, it’s a masterpiece.
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I'm trying really hard to write an intro that will ensure you click the 'Add to Cart' button straight away but what is left to say about this that has not already been said about this superb album? Umm... as you may or may not know Talk Talk were kind of a Duran Duran who after a couple of pop albums started exploring more experimental textures yet even looking at the trajectory from debut 'The Party's Over' to the excellent 'The Colour of Spring' this one took the band in what, at the time, seemed unfathomable directions. I remember being sat at home as a child, headphones on, listening to this on the day of release (my dad certainly knew his stuff back then) and even then thinking it was utterly brilliant. The ambient textures were new to those fresh ears but what I loved (and still do) is the way each track builds out of nothing.....slowly....slowly creating a wonderful swirling mood but importantly its full of melody, vigour and invention.
The chorus of each track burst into life and its pop music but not as we know it. Listening again the album still springs a suprise at every turn, whether its the stretched out bluesy guitar on 'The Rainbow' or 'Desire's' thrashy almost grungey chorus or the gorgeous Eno influenced warm ambience of 'I Believe in You'. The only album that came before it that is even remotely close is Van Morrison's 'Astral Weeks' with its elongated free form jazzy song structures, afterwards Talk Talk went further into abstraction with the incredible 'Laughing Stock' and with these two albums Talk Talk pretty much invented what became known as post-rock, influencing countless bands from the great (Bark Psychosis) to the terrible (Elbow) along the way but nothing, nothing compares to the dexterity of the original blueprint. Its wonderfully remastered and contains an audio DVD with the full album plus non album B Side 'John Cope'. The album has never sounded better and is a must buy to listeners young an old.
10/10 KS Customer review, 24th January 2017
Having missed most of the music of the 80's/90's through spending family time with my kids I've just discovered Talk Talk thanks to Norman Records - absolutely amazing music across a range of TT releases. Just bought vinyl Spirit of Eden - incredible!
If you've not spotted Talk Talk do so now!!
10/10 DermotH Customer review, 12th March 2014
Well everyone knows the music, that's going to get a ten straight away but this version of it! The unfathomable silence in between each track! The luscious beauty of what goes on in between each silence! I hope the people from Simply Vinyl who butchered it get to to hear how it should have been done. Oh bugger, I don't know why I try. Words fail. I'm going to have to put it on again now.
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- Spirit Of Eden by Talk Talk
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