Talk Talk: Mark Hollis (vocals, keyboards); Lee Harris (keyboards); Paul Webb (bass).
Personnel: Mark Hollis (vocals, keyboards); Lee Harris (drums).
Audio Mixer: Mike Robinson .
Recording information: Hammersmith Odeon.
Unknown Contributor Role: Talk Talk.
Arranged in chronological order, NATURAL HISTORY is a collection that highlights Talk Talk's hugely successful singles. The first two tracks, "Today" and "Talk Talk," both from the band's debut, THE PARTY'S OVER, are high-energy calling cards featuring their early trademarks--Mark Hollis's intriguing lyrics and oddly detached vocals, and a funky, thumping rhythm section. An edited version of "My Foolish Friend" follows, which shows a concerted effort to expand their musical palette, adding more space to their sound.
With their second album, IT'S MY LIFE, the band began a longterm relationship with producer Tim Friese-Greene, which saw them moving even further afield--see the weird, elephant-like effects on the spectacular "Such a Shame," which also features a wonderfully serpentine bass line. The next five tracks are from the band's third album, THE COLOUR OF SPRING, where they began to use more acoustic instruments, including some beautiful acoustic guitar on "Living in an Another World," and "I Don't Believe in You." "Desire," part of a three-song suite opening their fourth album, combines almost ambient passages with blistering guitar explosions in a truly unsettling song that ignores most of the rules of pop song construction.