Few acts have had the type of quietly influential reach of Talk Talk. In their span of just nine active years, they shifted dramatically from background players in the new romantic movement to being credited with laying down the foundations of post-rock on their last two sprawling, atmospheric albums. Essential takes a compacted look at all the phases of Talk Talk's varied career, beginning with dance-pop singles "Talk Talk" and "Today" and non-album single "My Foolish Friend." The collection also delves into highlights from the comparatively extended later-period albums The Colour of Spring and Spirit of Eden. Their biggest hit, "It's My Life" (issued as a single twice during their run and later a hit for No Doubt in 2003) finds the middle ground between the new-wavy synth pop of Talk Talk's beginnings and the spectral ambient rock experimentation of the band's later work. ~ Fred Thomas
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