Talk Talk, Live in London (1986)

I wrote about The Ultimate Bootleg Experience earlier and since then, I’ve been going through their archives and grabbing anything and everything that interests me, which is a lot: The Cure, U2, Depeche Mode, House of Love, Arcade Fire, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Joy Division, Johnny Cash, and so on. However, the best thing that I’ve downloaded so far is a recording of a 1986 London concert by the legendary (or at least, should be legendary) Talk Talk (click here to download).

Given that it’s a 1986 performance, you won’t find any songs from their most seminal recordings (1988’s Spirit Of Eden and 1991’s Laughing Stock). What you will find, however, is a recording of a band clearly in a transitional phase, moving from their new wave origins towards a lusher, more expansive sound. Which is best heard in their epic performance of “It’s My Life” (aka that one No Doubt cover), which is arguably the band’s most famous single — and one of the poppiest songs in their catalog.

Other highlights include their namesake single and a stunning closing rendition of “Such A Shame,” which sends chills down my spine every time I listen to it.

The soundboard recording’s quality is pretty decent with a few gaps and pops here and there. Which means the only negative thing about this recording is that listening to Talk Talk in concert forces you to realize how special they were, and how few bands today are creating music as superlative.