Spirit of Talk Talk

1980s band Talk Talk had a strong aesthetic that emanated far beyond their music and appearance, into their record artworking.

Deluxe edition of Spirit of Talk Talk
Deluxe edition of Spirit of Talk Talk

Now a new book, Spirit of Talk Talk, has been designed by James Marsh, who artworked all of the band’s releases over the course of their ten year lifespan from 1981-1991.

Spirit of Talk Talk CD which accompanies book release
Spirit of Talk Talk CD which accompanies book release

Over that period, the band’s music was to journey from synth-pop into a more experimental realm. Alongside this, Marsh’s artwork took on an evolving psychedelic,   botanic and ornithological look. 

After The Flood
After The Flood

It’s a style that seems to resonate with new generations of illustrators like Kristjana Williams and Dan Hillier, although their execution is quite different.

Asides Besides
Asides Besides

Marsh was working with Alan Aldridge – a godfather of psych album art – in the late 60s at Ink Studios, surely a formative influence on his style.

Talk Talk first single
Talk Talk first single

Some years later, with Talk Talk’s peers posing for photographic album covers, Marsh was engaged for the band’s first single, and having not even heard their music at this stage, created this literal interpretation of the name.

Introducing Talk Talk
Introducing Talk Talk

The book devotes around 60 pages to the artwork, and this part is written by Marsh, who gives a detailed analytical view explaining each composition, but with a light enough touch to not get too bogged down in one story.

It's My Life artwork
It’s My Life artwork

We see the development of concepts from start to finish, sometimes with unused designs and fragments of work.

It's My Life single
It’s My Life single

Elsewhere unseen photographs of the band have been included across this 200-page, large format, full colour hardback, which is printed onto heavyweight paper.

Laughing Stock cover
Laughing Stock cover

The cover art has been designed by Marsh and has been printed onto kashgar cloth binding with silver foil detailing.

Spirit of Eden cover
Spirit of Eden cover

A deluxe edition comes in this clamshell box designed by Marsh, covered in electric blue cloth and embossed with a white foil moth; the book inside is bound in white moire satin taffeta cloth.

The Party's Over
The Party’s Over

Both the classic edition, (£40) and the deluxe edition (£150) are numbered and signed by Marsh. They will be published in September by Rocket 88 Books.

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Comments
  • Anonymous November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hello,

    Upon hearing about this product, I asked myself whether I should question Hollis’s integrity, or rather this project’s affiliations with him and Talk Talk. Imagine my delight when I read your disclaimer and I found out that the latter is the case and Hollis is the same upstanding, incorruptible man whom I have great respect for.

    Having said that, I would like to to add my genuine feelings towards this project as a feedback:
    I find this book to represent something as far as it can diverge from the message I derived from Talk Talk’s music and its historical context. The band’s refusal to conform to their label’s expectations of releasing radio hits denotes strong morals and sincere willingness to sacrifice money for ingenuous art. Musically, their last 2 albums were, for me, the epitome of their commanding beliefs; every recorded note on those tracks sounds like their feelings translated in music.
    Now, putting all this in contract with the fancy book you are promoting, I see nothing more than a nauseous, insincere product that costs more than both of Talk Talk’s masterpieces. This project is devoid of anything that Talk Talk seems to stand for and appears to focus mainly on selling image – rare photos of the band, unseen cover designs, other examples of their designer’s work, hell, it even includes the signature of their art designer. This sounds to me a lot more like a James Marsh book, rather than a Talk Talk one; it’s ultimately an empty book with some overdecorated covers. The fact that the book hasn’t been licensed by Talk Talk only adds to my suspicion that this is just a cheap marketing strategy to cash in.

    Lastly, I need to add that I feel disgust towards those who “liked”, ordered or supported this project while listening to Talk Talk’s music. This isn’t by any means the spirit of Talk Talk as the name of this page implies.

    I can’t help but remember the first words that Hollis sings on the “Spirit of Eden” album: The world’s turned upside down.

  • Deborah Arena November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Hello,
    My Thoughts On The Cover: Why I oppose That Expresses The Group Who Has Written A Song There’s’ All The Feelings That Then Transmit Under that law Fans In? Full. And The Cover ‘A Copy And’ Too Easy Why Not There Already Known ‘Work Fatigue And How The’ Original. And this’ My Thoughts on What do you think? ?

  • Karen C November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

    Remember this project is for charity…

  • Post a comment

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