If you love the 80s then this is an album for you. I prefer the more upbeat stuff, some of them are quite slow later on in the album but all in all it is well written music. Some of the melodies are brilliant if you like emotive.
Includes quality tracks such as the brilliant Such a Shame and also Talk Talk, Today and Life's What You Make It. Driving around in Cornwall with this album on really feels like going back in time.
I love Mark Hollis' vocals, distinctive and adds to the feel of the songs.
From their naive but gorgeous synth-based beginnings (the powerful "Talk Talk" and somehow wistful "Today"), this band never cease to move the listener. Talk Talk should not be dismissed as just another 80's band. Much like XTC their emotive lyrics grab and keep hold of you from start to finish. "My foolish friend" will have angst-ridden teenagers of today venting their spleens about parents, teachers and other kids, while us 80's kids won't be much different as we reminisce. Mark Hollis'truly-heart-felt vocals never cease to impress, whether it be pounding out "life's what you make it" or caressing the words of intense emotion about drug addiction in "I believe in you". Their "Colour of Spring" album stands as a classic. Listen to it and as the last notes of Time is time ring out, I defy you not to pause and say "wow". While Colour of Spring was a turning point (not admired by some of the band's earliest followers), it only hinted at the lyrical genius nee poetry that is "The spirit of Eden". This album is but a soupcon of the talent of Talk Talk. For beginners, buy this and then go and buy every album they have made. Each one took years to make so they had better be good.
Talk Talk were one of the seminal bands of the 1980s, always there just below the surface of the mainstream, quietly working away on imaginative and uplifting records while the rest of the music industry produced dross in large amounts. The Very Best of Talk Talk (1997) is a worthy compilation of their finest moments, although their million-selling compilation Natural History had seemingly already filled the 'compilation gap' back in 1990 quite adequately. The Very Best Of brings us up to date following their minimalist 'Laughing Stock' album of 1991, which followed directly in the footsteps of their ground-breaking (yet commercially disastrous) Spirit Of Eden release in 1988. How they never managed to accumulate a single UK Top 10 hit, one can only guess, because the tunes are certainly there (although they did have several big hits in Europe and a couple in the US). Mark Hollis and Co. just did'nt want the limelight and preferred playing to more intimate audiences rather than stadiums while TV appearances were almost nil, save a couple of TOTP performances. This compilation shows their vast array of work between 1982 and 1991. Ranging from the electro-synth pop of Today and Talk Talk from 1982's The Party's Over, through the more cohesive, classic mid-80's singles It's My Life, Dum Dum Girl, Such A Shame and Life's What You Make It up to the minimalist output from Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock (not actually intended as singles by the band), this shows a band that was steadily moving towards their true musical forte, in direct contradiction to their record company's requirements. If not for anything else, this compilation is worth buying for the inclusion of their greatest moment, namely Living In Another World from 1986's The Colour Of Spring, their great lost single and one of the finest pop tracks of the 1980's.
This was one brave band folks! They savaged their own careers at the height of their fame for their belief in a more expressive form of popular songcraft. The emotional vocabulary of this body of work knows few equals, most notably the deceptively deadpan Velvet Underground, the incomparable Dusty Springfield, and the little-known yet hugely influential Blue Nile (whose "A Walk Across the Rooftops" was surely the inspiration for Talk Talk's turning point effort "The Colour of Spring"). Like all of the artists mentioned, this band should most be heard by those least likely to listen. You can change that, and I promise the rewards will be great. Imagine a world of emotional possiblities and a love of music that is greater than your love of self....
I recently came across the Talk Talk show filmed in Montreux(I think it's available on DVD)and it stopped me in my tracks (no pun intended). In the move from vinyl to CD I had forgotten about how much I love Talk Talk's 'colours of spring', the open space in the recording and Mark Hollis' unmistakable vocals. 'The Very Best' is a good album; it misses a couple of tracks I would have included but more than makes up for this with the inclusion of some earlier works new to me. If you have to have just one Talk Talk album you could do much worse than choosing this one. I placed it in the CD player and the years disappeared...
What makes a 'supergroup'? Is it releasing 25 top-20 albums over 40 years? Maybe. Is it playing sell-out world tours to 150,000 people every night? Maybe. Is it being record-company puppets, delivering an album and three top-10 singles every two years? Maybe. If any or all of the above are true, then Talk Talk are certainly not a 'supergroup'. If, however, making truly heartfelt music with great tunes, brilliant vocal performances and fantastic arrangements counts for anything, then this band makes the grade. Time is the ultimate test for any artist. This collection shows, even in the early 80's pop tunes presented here, that Talk Talk's music easily passes that test. Be in no doubt - Hollis and Co's efforts are brilliant and a must for any music lover. The 4 albums up to 'Spirit of Eden' are represented by at least three tunes each, with an additional two from 'The Colour of Spring' and a pair of B-sides not released elsewhere making up the rest . A couple of serious omissions, e.g. 'Candy' from 'Talk Talk' (a taste of things to come), and 'Happiness Is Easy' from 'The Colour Of Spring' with the brilliant Danny Thompson on double bass, may disappoint hardened fans looking for a one-stop-shop, but otherwise buy it - if not for you, then for your children! And when you have bought it, don't put it in your 'library' for the sake of the library, as is the fate of most 'important' music, but play it! Then play it again!