"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)