Laughing Stock

Laughing Stock

by Talk TalkTalk Talk


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Virtually ignored upon its initial release, Laughing Stock continues to grow in stature and influence by leaps and bounds. Picking up where Spirit of Eden left off, the album operates outside of the accepted sphere of rock to create music which is both delicate and intense; recorded with a large classical ensemble, it defies easy categorization, conforming to very few structural precedents -- while the gently hypnotic "Myrrhman" flirts with ambient textures, the percussive "Ascension Day" drifts toward jazz before the two sensibilities converge to create something entirely new and different on "New Grass." The epic "After the Flood," on the other hand, is an atmospheric whirlpool laced with jackhammer guitar feedback and Mark Hollis' remarkably plaintive vocals; it flows into "Taphead," perhaps the most evocative, spacious, and understated piece on the record. A work of staggering complexity and immense beauty, Laughing Stock remains an under-recognized masterpiece, and its echoes can be heard throughout much of the finest experimental music issued in its wake.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/19/1991
Label: Polydor / Umgd
UPC: 0042284771726
catalogNumber: 847717
Rank: 17241

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Talk Talk   Primary Artist
Henry Lowther   Trumpet,Flugelhorn
Levine Andrade   Viola
Martin Ditcham   Percussion
Mark Feltham   Harmonica
Tim Friese-Greene   Organ,Piano,Harmonium
Wilfred Gibson   Viola
Jack Glickman   Viola
Lee Harris   Drums
Mark Hollis   Organ,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Garfield Jackson   Viola
Paul Kegg   Cello
Ernest Mothle   Bass,Acoustic Bass
George Robertson   Viola
Stephen Tees   Viola
Dave White   Clarinet,Contrabass Clarinet,Contrabass (Vocal)
Gavyn Wright   Viola
Roger Smith   Cello
Simon Edwards   Bass,Acoustic Bass

Technical Credits

Tim Friese-Greene   Composer,Producer
Mark Hollis   Composer
James Marsh   Cover Illustration
Phill Brown   Engineer

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Laughing Stock 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I'm delighted and a bit surprised to be the first to write a review for this record. It's obviously been overlooked: maybe it is too smart for its own good, or maybe slightly misplaced historically since 1991 seems like a washer between the base and the bolt. Like most, I assume, first listening to Talk Talk was simultaneously challenging and safe--the conceptual records &amp amp quot this one included&amp amp quot are not your traditial nineties fare, but they've been discussed and praised enough that you don't necessarily feel out on a limb listening to them. The music here is spacious. Too, Laughing Stock brings with it that wonderful nineties ethos of an overeducated youth in a world not quite ready for them, yet it also feels optimistic and somehow immediate. It's transcendent presence now is probably part conscious, deliberate craft, and a bit of nostalgia on the part of the reviewer. Either way, the album is highly evocative and thoughtful. If you'd like to hear the nineties beyond what you already know and love--Pixies, Pavement, etc.--listen to this record.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago