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Laughing Stock

Talk Talk Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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With the exception of a handful of common threads -- chief among them the plaintive vocals and haunting lyrics of frontman Mark Hollis -- there is little to suggest that the five studio LPs that make up the Talk Talk oeuvre are indeed the work of the same band throughout. After beginning their career with records virtually epitomizing the new wave era that spawned them, the British group never ... Read more in Amazon's Talk Talk Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (13 Mar 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Pondlife
  • ASIN: B00002MCTY
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Audio Cassette  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 181,025 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Myrrhman
2. Ascension Day
3. After The Flood
4. Taphead
5. New Grass
6. Runeii

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection 22 Jun 2005
Format:Audio CD
As a teenager I could not appreciate it's delicacy, gripped as I was in the height of Industrial and Grunge. And thus like so many others, I was slightly disappointed when I first bought this over 10 years ago when I (re)discovered Talk Talk (who doesn't love "It's My Life", that being the original and not that supremely redundent No Doubt cover version) and grabbed all the albums.
However, there was something about it, even then, that niggled at me. What was it? Maybe it was some sneaking suspicion that this is possibly one of the best pieces of musical art ever released on a CD. Maybe I hadn't quite grown up enough to appreciate it, but knew that some day it would touch me in a way very little other music does.
Coupled with it's earlier sibling "Spirit Of Eden", they gainfully mix longing, hope and sorrow. The pair shake off everything insepid and bland, release all pop roots and go for something new - and not by the throat, it's an almost resigned sigh, but there is always some last glimmer of hope.
Nearly 15 years later, this album proves it's timeless nature. If you're looking for a listening experience for your soul, I can recommend very few other albums besides this.
And at the price the sellers on here are offering it at it's a crime not to take a risk.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their finest hour 10 Mar 2003
Format:Audio CD
Laughing Stock is without doubt, Talk Talk's seminal piece; their finest hour. I know of no other piece of music so rich in texture. It's landscape.
Think of your favorite view, no matter how many times you look at it, you will always see new things. It changes, the seasons come and go.
It might appear disjointed and hard work at first. When I first bought it many years ago, I was truly dissapointed. But that's because I'd never heard anything like it; my brain couldn't file it in a comfertable box. But I stuck with it and it wasn't long before I realised this was something speacial.
From the futillity of the human condition to the joy of life - it'll take you there (and bring you back again)It's all there - check it out
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Laughing Stock - Talk Talk's final word 23 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Without doubt one of the best albums I have ever heard. Laughing Stock represents the culmination of Talk Talk's continued musical development throughout the 1980's. The album is almost impossible to categorise, as it contains elements of rock, ambient and jazz instruments and influences. The opening track, Myrrhman, sets the tone perfectly. Mark Hollis' vocals create an atmosphere for the whole album, with minimal instrumentation. This gradually develops into Ascension Day - a complete contrast with bursts of guitar and an impassioned vocal. The whole album is an amzing experience, and although it may require some effort for the uninitiated to become accustomed to it, it is worth persevering. A superb album.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional CD 15 Sep 2000
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
All I can do is accept every word Paul McIntosh has written below (or wherever the electronics place the reviews). An exceptional CD in every respect of the word, it is a compulsory sequel to 'Spirit of Eden'. Personally, I place 'Spirit of Eden' a fraction higher in the scale of perfection, but the difference is 5,001 stars compared to 5,000.
I once played through, and subjectively rated about 120 CDs of various genre, using a number of criteria to estimate values. 'Spirit of Eden' got top and 'Laughing Stock' got second. I think 'Astral Weeks' got third.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding 18 April 2001
Format:Audio CD
The final Talk Talk album, 'Laughing Stock' shows the other side of their experimental coin. In this slightly more bluesy down to earth record, Hollis has crafted six minimal yet tuneful pieces that relax and uplift the listener. 'Laughing Stock' leaves behind the big budget sound of 'Spirit of Eden' in this fantastic farewell.
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38 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very simply, among the absolute best 7 Nov 2001
Format:Audio CD
Just to add my tu'penny to what the others have said here. Talk Talk are one of the very finest bands ever to have recorded: even their earlier electro-synth-pop stuff is often much more inventive and interesting and lovely than its peers; but from The Colour of Spring onwards they really did move into another gear. Spirit of Eden is the rootsier, bluesier of the two final, great albums; Laughing Stock is, if anything, prettier and more accessible, though it is less conventional (!) and more eclectic. It has a folky, Celtic-y tinge to it, though for God's sake don't let that put you off - since that's not my cup of tea either ('course, if it is, you'll be in clover) - but there is just enough to evoke, wonderfully, night and water and trees, and all the -best- aspects of that sort of thing. But, like all good albums, it sounds a mess at first: and it is that mess that you will discover is actually a complexity, a complexity that means you will take forever to discover its every little perfection; every sudden surprising melodic flourish; every obscure symmetry. Your intellect will appreciate its sheer boldness and effrontery, your heart will fall in love with its beauty, and your soul will travel with it into a stunningly delineated soundscape of sadness and joy; of despair and of hope.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars live it and breathe it . . . 23 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
I first heard Laughing Stock as an echo upstairs on my brother's stereo. Like discoveries of Van Morrison, Nick Drake and Nina Simone before it, I was slow to catch on. Maybe a year or so passed as I dismissed it as rubbish eighties tat, I continued to hear it from upstairs and on car journeys. Then one summer while at university, I started to record my brother's entire collection on to mini-disc to take down to Bristol with me, maybe 100 or so albums. Through this I discovered the joys of miles davis albums such as bitches brew and in a silent way, van morrison's astral weeks among others.

A year or so later I put Laughing Stock on in my room and it started to grow. Three or four evenings later I was hooked by the layered textures and haunting melodies. I spoke to my brother on the phone, "I discovered a really good album . . Laughing Stock" . . needless to say, he chastised me for my arrogance and forgetfullness.

I will never make the same mistake again, for I missed out on hours of the most vividly beautiful musical experience of my life. This album is right up there for me in my top three or four records of all time, including Van the man, and Miles. Like them, it captures something unique, something true to the bone, something that transcends music and enters the realm of the essence of life itself. The experience of this record is one that it is difficult to put into words, except to say that it does get better with every listen.

People often say that you should stick with some or other album, listen a couple of times as it will grow.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Highly disappointing
This follows on from 'Spirit of Eden' in it's ambient, experimental style, however unlike it's predecessor it completely lacks any worthwhile or memorable melodies. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Luke Eastwood
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl is the future
Review for the vinyl re-issue

Having bought this album some time ago on vinyl, I had to return it twice as there were a few pops on playback. Read more
Published 7 months ago by TJD
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfect follow-up to Spirit Of Eden
When i first heard Talk Talk's masterpiece, Spirit Of Eden, i knew that the album would define the unique sound of Talk Talk, as great albums do. Read more
Published 8 months ago by balkishan
4.0 out of 5 stars easy listening at its best
Not quite as good as Spirit of Eden but a cracking album none the less. Buy this and Spirit of Eden, put your headphones on, turn the lights out and chill.
Published 8 months ago by atlasapl
5.0 out of 5 stars Required listening
Not only is this surely an example of the band's best work, it is an example of one of the best musical works ever recorded. Read more
Published 8 months ago by MrTeck
5.0 out of 5 stars Sublime
Following on from spirit of Eden talk talk produced this sublime masterpiece, a subtle but provocative listening experience that will appeal to fans of the ambient. Read more
Published 10 months ago by MRS M C MARSH
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop / Jazz / Classical Fusion
Talk Talk have been described as exponents of art rock - and I suppose that is a good description of this their final album. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Seoulprovider
5.0 out of 5 stars NEW ERA TEMPLATE
More free-form than the wonderful Spirit of Eden.Something more of a contemporary classical nature to this piece of work.Only for those looking for a more artistic experience.
Published 14 months ago by TAPPED HEAD
1.0 out of 5 stars poor service
tried on numerous occasions to get information about this CD.It took 1 month to get a reply from the company and then there was no follow up.
Published 15 months ago by gary dowdeswell
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album, terrible pressing quality (vinyl)
Anyone who knows Talk talk wont need a review of this album.
Its more experimental and ambient than their early stuff, but none the worse for it. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Dr. Michael J. Johnson
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