Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
Natural History (The Very Best Of Talk Talk) CD Parlophone, CDPCSD 109, 1990, 12 Track
Who would have imagined that the missing link between Miles Davis and Portishead would be a pasty Brit band whose synth-driven hits show up from time to time on rock-of-the-'80s collections? For those only familiar with MTV hits like "Talk Talk" and "It's My Life," this compilation is the beginning of a revelation. Talk Talk mastermind Mark Hollis is an eccentric genius whose hook-laden hits hide an equally satisfying catalog of art-rock experimentation. As Talk Talk evolved, Hollis (opting for a cut-up technique that anticipated the Pro-Tools revolution) ditched synth-pop and produced some of the most sublime late-night records ever. Think Stevie Winwood tranquilized by listening to too much Blue Nile and you start to get the picture. But fair warning: buy this album, and there's a good chance you'll end up purchasing the whole catalog. --Bill Forman
Top customer reviews
That's right. This one and only edition of Natural History that has a separate DVD of Talk Talk music videos. The only other place to get them was a VHS release also called Natural History, and now you have them on a digital hard copy. Better yet the VHS didn't have both versions of the video TALK TALK (just the artsy one with the people talking with their hands). How's that for best bang for the buck? Keep in mind while this is an all-region DVD it is in PAL format (the U.S. standard is NTSC). Make sure your DVD player can run PAL (I can confirm the Playstation 3 does).
This compilation is a really good representation of the band's work on their first four albums. More emphasis is on songs from their most popular albums, It's My Life and Colour of Spring. That's okay because you still get what I consider their two best songs from The Party's Over and the two most accessable songs from Spirit of Eden. I prefer having the individual albums because there are lots of greats songs to enjoy, but if you just want a sampling of the band this is the way to go. I believe the audio tracks are remastered as well so you are getting the same fidelity as the newly remastered albums have.
In conclusion if you like IT'S MY LIFE and want to hear more without investing in their five album collection AND want the best sounding versions of the songs AND like their videos this is the album to get. If you aren't into videos then go for the previously released non-import version. You would only miss the remastering on tracks from the first two albums. Plus you would get two bonus live tracks as well. All you TT fans should get this as well if just for the videos (and one of the few places you can get MY FOOLISH FRIEND) alone.
Stylistically, the early material is reminiscent of Depeche Mode and late Roxy Music, but as the band matured it took on a very unique sound that defies comparison. Adding guitar and occasional wind intruments into the synth/bass/drums mix was a good idea, as it allowed Hollis and his songwriting partners to expand their horizons almost wothout limits. While the early hits like "Talk Talk" and "It's My Life" might be the most well-known, they only hint at the sophistication of the band's later material.
For all the "new wave" music I listened to back in the 80's I'm amazed to find that I can't really lump this band in with anyone else. But I'd recommend this collection for anyone with an open mind. The only thing that might put some listeners off, as I already mentioned, is Hollis' voice. Much like Bryan Ferry from Roxy Music, Hollis had a sound that was immediately identifiable - not always for the better. But his music was always original and ground-breaking.
bonus: the live version of their best (IMO) song, "Life's What You Make It" is incredible, and the other live track from the same 1986 show is great, as well.
For the price, you really can't beat this one.