Talk Talk – Spirit of Eden (PCSD 105) (1988)

One of a small handful of albums (e.g. Neu!’s first) that sounded like nothing else when first issued. Having seen them open up for Elvis Costello on the Imperial Bedroom tour in their earlier, pedestrian New-Wavy guise, I was uninterested in Talk Talk until English friends opened my eyes to their first post-pop Lp. Spirit of Eden has little to do with New Wave and more to do with In A Silent Way and Tago Mago whose cut ‘n’ paste improvisation production techniques were appropriated to make an atmospheric haunting masterpiece.

EDIT: I should mention that the vinyl issue of Spirit is somewhat less than satisfactory for two reasons: first, though my copy is relatively clean, any surface noise is a problem given the hushed nature of many the record’s passages and second, the pressing is curious in that, despite clocking in at over 40 minutes, there is a huge run out groove. Now, my limited understanding of the mechanics of record pressing leads me to believe that, due to so-called “groove cramming” there is a degradation of sound as the needle nears the center label; it’s possible then that to avoid this problem for their gossamer creation, the album was pressed with the extra space surrounding the label resulting in much tighter banding. So copies of the album which received any amount of play suffered correspondingly. As a result, I usually listen my CD copy. [There are audible gasps and calls of “You Bounder!” and “You Cad!” from the Thrifty Vinyl peanut gallery.]

Both Spirit and its like-sounding follow-up Laughing Stock have recently been re-issued on vinyl–perhaps this problem has been corrected.

Cool looking label, but dig the run-out groove more appropriate to a 5 minute 12″ single.

Published in: on December 17, 2011 at 11:12 am  Comments (1)  

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  1. […] if ever a piece of music needed to be experienced with digital clarity, it’s this. As with Spirit of Eden, the crackle of the vinyl can be a bit […]

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