Talk Talk tonight. One of those bands who have come to be referred as criminally neglected, shamefully overlooked and bafflingly under-appreciated.
Together from 1981 until their demise in 1992, Talk Talk began as a New Wave band, and gradually drifted over into Experimental by 1987. It was during the early 80s that the band had the most success in terms of album and singles sales. They also scored a number of hits overseas. It was this streak of success that allowed the band to experiment and try different things.
But problems with their label at the time (EMI) resulted in the band picking up and leaving for Polydor, where they would continue heading into experimental territory. But the changes weren’t without a certain amount of discontent, and several members of the band left for other groups. Essentially, Talk Talk were no longer a live performing band, but rather one which stayed in the studio and worked on projects – leaving touring and promoting new material behind.
But by 1992, things had taken their toll and the end was called.
Sadly, Talk Talk has fallen off the radar as far as influential 80s bands are concerned. Truths to tell, they were – they had pioneered the genre of Post-Rock. But to many people Talk Talk ceased to exist and had disappeared without a trace.
Over the years, reassessments of 80s music and the bands who influenced others has left Talk Talk out of the picture. They became the biggest band of the 80s that nobody seemed to remember, unless you were a fellow musician.
So tonight it’s a look back at the formative years, the years of getting together and working out ideas. This session from BBC Radio 1 in mid-1981 gives you some idea of the range the band was capable of – and where they might have been if things hadn’t worked out the way they did.
In the meantime, crank it up and enjoy.