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“when they re-emerged, it turned out that they had done what every megapop band talks about doing but so rarely does – i.e. what the fuck they wanted.”

From Talk Talk’s last album, Laughing stock (1991).

Can’t cough up large enough words to express my admiration and respect for this album and the people who made it.

“Laughing Stock was painstakingly assembled from sessions in which a vast cast of musicians were brought in “to improvise on sections without hearing the full track,” Aspden says. With just a basic chord structure at most, they were encouraged to try out anything their hearts encouraged them to, and then, thanks to the emerging digital technology, any results felt appropriate were employed, sometimes in places for which they had never originally been envisioned. Most of it never made the cut. “It takes a strong discipline to erase 80% of the music you record,” Brown observes. “Few have the discipline to get rid of ‘stuff’.” It is this, as much as anything, that gives Laughing Stock – like Spirit Of Eden, which had used similar methodology – its otherworldly, abstract, innovative character, but, though the procedure sounds random, Hollis himself was a perfectionist, precise in every choice he made, and the album retains a coherent structure, albeit one very different to what his former pop peers were employing.”


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