Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Talk Talk Series, #13: Talk Talk- After the Flood / New Grass / Ascension Day (1991) Limited Edition (3 Discs) MP3 & FLAC

"Thirsting, within without, sighted, weeded, how they run, slain in number."

Talk Talk consistently cultivated a strained relationship with the promotional side of the music business; from the early battles they fought with EMI over their increasingly unconventional (and sometimes downright iconoclastic) stance on the legitimacy of music videos  to their retirement as a live band after The Colour of Spring tour  to their initial refusal to release singles for their last two albums (they eventually acquiesced), Mark Hollis was always a believer in allowing the albums to speak for themselves. The band's original intention for the largely improvised masterpiece Spirit of Eden  was to do no promotion whatsoever, but a horrified EMI convinced Hollis (by way of assorted threats) to agree to release two singles, the first of which, "I Believe in You," included the production of a video. Hollis had this to say about the process: "It went okay, but the idea of doing a promo for that song didn't feel right. That song means so much to me that to sit there and mime to it just feels totally stupid. In retrospect, I would rather have not done it at all, but there you go. It just felt like I was being prostituted. Tim [Friese-Greene] felt exactly the same, 'cos he cares about that sort of thing." After bolting EMI to sign a four album deal with a smaller label (Verve/Polydor) that had promised them complete creative autonomy, Talk Talk set about recording their legendary swan-song, Laughing Stock. Ironically, though the album was even less single-friendly than its predecessor, three tracks were chosen by Verve and issued as collectible parts of an elaborately and beautifully designed Talk Talk Picture CD Box Set. Each of the singles, "After the Flood," "New Grass," and "Ascension Day" were issued separately in the UK, though only "After the Flood" was issued with the box. Each release contains an album track paired with an outtake or a previously unreleased track from the Laughing Stock recording sessions, the latter being instrumentals of varying degrees of interest. "5-09" can best be described as a sound collage of various key instrumental threads that occur on the album and "Stump" is an atonal experimental piece. While nowhere near as essential as the album itself, these singles remain an interesting chapter in Talk Talk's post-EMI career, as they offer a telling glimpse into Verve's strategy for promoting a band that was antithetical to the concept of promoting art.

Single- After the Flood

1. After the Flood (Outtake)  (4:14)
2. Myrrhman  (5:36)

Single- New Grass

1. New Grass (9:38)
2. Stump  (4:42)

Single- Ascension Day

1. Ascension Day  (6:00) 
2. 5-09  (5:11)


  1. is it a gift ?
    I think so.
    i'm listening the Mark Hollis's LP more and more.
    Thank you.

  2. Thank you so much! I didn't even know this existed. Fantastic site.

  3. douxεε, this is such a beautiful set; I just had to post it. The Hollis LP is going to conclude the series, but first, another rarity

  4. Hi va!
    Thanks for this :-) Will you be posting 'Missing Pieces' too? If not do you happen to have the track 'Piano' from it in FLAC as it's the only track not covered by these CDs?

    Have been away a bit but hope to start some more sporadic posting on PPP.

    All the best


  5. TheBongolian, great to hear from you! I was wondering what happened to you. The track you mentioned is a piece Hollis contributed to an album called "AV1," which features some similar work by a few other artists as well. I will be posting it next in the series. As such, I decided not to post "Missing Pieces" because it is merely a compilation of the singles box and one track taken from "AV1." I'll have it posted early next week. Good to have you back!

  6. Wow, very cool. I also didn't know of these. Thanks so much!

  7. That's brilliant news. Thx VA :-)

  8. *incredible* - thank you so much for sharing :)

  9. Anon., my pleasure. I'm working on the final post for this series right now- Hollis' solo album. Thanks for visiting the blog!

  10. Again, huge huge thanks for posting this. My only regret is that the FLAC link was obsolete by the time I got here. Still, even at 190kbps, this music is just sublime.

    THANK YOU !!


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