Talk Talk

Natural History


Mention the name Talk Talk to anyone under the age of 30 and the chances are they’ll think you’re talking about broadband.

But for lovers of art-rock and alternative-pop, they were one of the most creative bands of the 80s; synth-pop pioneers who expanded the boundaries of rock.

Natural History 1982-1988 is a compilation of their finest moments and shines a light on the oft-overlooked talents of the super-tight four-piece of Mark Hollis, Lee Harris, Paul Webb and, in the early days, Simon Brenner (later replaced by Tim Friese-Greene).

Curated by Hollis, it moves from the new romantic chart hits of Today and Talk Talk and the minimal bubbling electro of Such a Shame, through to the spacious crooning pop of Give it Up, the epic Life’s what You Make It and, ultimately, to the fragile ambient soundscape of Desire.

Some tunes do show their age, but, on the whole, it highlights a band who were ahead of their time and far better than many of their more famous contemporaries (and yes, Duran Duran, that includes you). It is accompanied by a 10-track DVD, but of real interest to completists is its companion album, Natural Order 1982-1991, which goes right up to their groundbreaking album Laughing Stock.

The songs are dreamier, less commercial and, towards the end, avant-garde, yet show the obvious impact they have had on so much that followed.