There are as many reservations with 2000's The Collection as there are with 1990's Natural History. Functioning as a one-stop purchase for those wanting to go a bit deeper than the '80s various-artists compilation staple "It's My Life," this does a good job of replacing the earlier highlights package. Although this doesn't contain anything from 1988's Spirit of Eden, it tops Natural History by including "It's Getting Late in the Evening," "Pictures of Bernadette," "Without You," and "Strike Up the Band," fine non-album material obtainable only through the exhaustive Asides Besides double-disc set. It is more than a little frustrating to see the band's last two albums go completely overlooked, especially since both of them are stacked with outstanding moments. The absence of Spirit of Eden can be attributed to its single-piece nature, since the record is a pair of three-song suites. The golden Laughing Stock's lack of representation has more to do with the band's switching to another label than it does weak material. Apart from the non-album cuts mentioned above, the disc evenly distributes the wealth through the band's first three records. Both The Party's Over and It's My Life are represented with four songs, while the quantum leap (and major departure from synth pop) of The Colour of Spring is represented with three. That said, the disc hardly paints a complete picture. It's decent for those who like the band's early synth pop sound, but it's hard to justify investing in a compilation that offers album cuts from a band that released two LPs prior to reaching "album band" status. It's decent as an introduction, but it's little more than that since it's unfair as a snapshot of Talk Talk's career.
|Label:||Emi Europe Generic|