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Laughing Stock (1991)

Talk Talk
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Laughing Stock is the fifth and final studio album by British post-rock band Talk Talk. Following on from their previous release Spirit of Eden (1988), and the departure of bassist Paul Webb, which reduced the band to the duo of Mark Hollis and Lee Harris, Talk Talk acrimoniously left EMI and signed to the jazz-based Verve Records, and recorded Laughing Stock at Wessex Sound Studios, London, with producer Tim Friese-Greene and engineer Phill Brown from September 1990–April 1991.

Like its predecessor, Spirit of Eden, the album featured improvised instrumentation from a large ensemble of musicians, including as many as seven violists on occasion, and the lyrical themes are often religious. Tape Op magazine ran an extensive article detailing the demanding recording sessions, marked by Mark Hollis' perfectionist tendencies, and his use of candles and incense to set the mood. Engineer Phill Brown stated that the album, like its predecessor, was "recorded by chance, accident, and hours of trying every possible overdub idea."

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