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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection
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...
Published on 22 Jun 2005 by Marshalsea

versus
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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.

I bought this to replace my sorn out old copy.
Sadly, it sounds like they used my worn out copy as the master.
The pressing quality, released under the Verve label is terrble

Yes, decent...
Published 19 months ago by Dr. Michael J. Johnson


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45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfection, 22 Jun 2005
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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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8 of 8 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
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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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39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Their finest hour, 10 Mar 2003
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional CD, 15 Sep 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding, 18 April 2001
By 
P. Butler (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The perfection of brilliance... The brilliance of perfection, 20 Sep 2010
By 
Paul (Cheshire, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Laughing Stock (Audio CD)
I've owned this CD since its original release in the early 90's (as well as the lovely 3-CD box set of different versions of each of the tracks, which were eventually re-released as 'Missing Pieces'). For some bizarre reason, I never got round to reviewing 'Laughing Stock' until now. Suffice to say that I've had the benefit of a few hundred listens since then!

Unfortunately, I can't really add too much more to what people have already commented about the album. 'Laughing Stock' really is very different from any other album I've heard before or since. The only similarities I can draw to this album are in the bands Radiohead and Elbow. And believe me, they're still not even that close!! This album is so many different sounds that it's almost impossible to classify it at all - where would you start? The jazz section? Indie section? Rock section? It's impossible. Even within an individual track, the sound goes from darkness to light and back again. There are timing changes, key changes, changes from the sound of a gentle piano to all-out distorted feedback from a guitar. Through it all, Mark Hollis's "melody" winds itself around each of the songs. Haunting - yes, beautiful - absolutely.

I've played this album to some people who simply don't "get it". Like other albums I've discovered over the years, there are simply some albums where sitting on the fence is not an option. You're either not going to like this or you're going to love it. Fortunately, I'm in the latter camp. And people who love this album generally do so in a BIG way.

It's interesting how a South Bank Show special a couple of years ago was interviewing the band Elbow. Melvyn Bragg asked Guy Garvey what his band's influences are. Straight away he replied "Talk Talk, Laughing Stock". I was thinking at the time that this was an interesting choice - had they said just "Talk Talk", leaving the Laughing Stock reference out, some viewers may have been thinking about their early synth hits "Today" & "Mirror Man" and really struggling to see any kind of similarity - but in "Laughing Stock" there's a definite crossover. The fact that shortly afterwards a clip of the video of "After The Flood" was shown (which I've never seen before or since), I couldn't have agreed more.

The aforementioned "After The Flood" manages to combine what sounds like a distorted ZX-Spectrum loading cassette with jazz drums, piano, guitar - I can't imagine any other band having the guts to even attempt this.

In summary, it's a crime that Laughing Stock doesn't appear in more "Top 10 albums of All Time". Not that The Beatles, Nirvana or Radiohead's offerings are less valid than this album - but it really is as good as everybody says it is. I can't think of a more valid entry to a Top 10 than Laughing Stock.

This album was to be Talk Talk's final release, their swansong. I've been quietly hoping over the past twenty years that they'd reform and that we might see another, but I guess that Talk Talk are best described as being just like a butterfly which is both incredibly beautiful and with us for only a short time.
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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
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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
By 
J. E. Holden (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Laughing Stock (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. Laughing Stock should be stuck to for some more time, if you don't like it after five listens, I guarantee after fifteen, twenty and fifty it will become as intricate to your music collection as anything you have ever owned. This album is life-affirming, death-defying, depressing, uplifting and above all, vividly beautiful. It deserves to be in your music collection, don't wait, idiotically, like I did, get it now and live and breathe it.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You can contemplate buying this album for months, 14 April 2002
By 
Simon (Wiltshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Laughing Stock (Audio CD)
But don't wait too long, as you'll probably die before the penny drops and you finally appreciate it's amazing depths. 'Laughing Stock' is a modern musical composition which challenges the way music is written today (or even 10 years ago). It will take months to 'hear', years to 'listen to' and decades to really 'understand'. Once you've got there however, this music will be a partner for life. This is by far and away the best moneyI've ever spent on a CD, even if it was 10 years ago.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album, terrible pressing quality (vinyl), 5 Jan 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Laughing Stock [VINYL] (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.

I bought this to replace my sorn out old copy.
Sadly, it sounds like they used my worn out copy as the master.
The pressing quality, released under the Verve label is terrble

Yes, decent weight vinyl but pops , jumps and noise.

Save your money, buy the CD
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Laughing Stock
Laughing Stock by Talk Talk (Audio CD - 2000)
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