Talk Talk

Asides Besides

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Asides Besides can certainly be seen as a cash-in release to coincide with Mark Hollis' first solo release and the reissue of Talk Talk's EMI catalog, but rarely does such a calculated industry move result in such a treat for fans. Over two discs, Asides Besides essentially ties up all of the loose ends for the band. Disc one is probably the least essential, bringing out all of the 12" remixes, which are of marginal interest, though all are superior to those found on the unauthorized History Revisited. Disc two however, reveals no shortage of prime rarities beginning with three demos from 1981 ("Talk Talk," "Mirror Man" and "Candy"). A handful of singles are included -- the not-so-rare single, "My Foolish Friend," the ultra-rare "Why Is it So Hard" (from the film First Born), the U.S. remix of "Dum Dum Girl," and the edit of "Eden" -- but the real gems are the B-sides, which are anything but "throwaways." In fact, the B-sides are not only in most cases as strong as the ones that made it onto the albums, but they also indicate the more experimental direction the band would take later on. Asides Besides may be of interest only to diehard Talk Talk fans, but for that audience this collection is absolutely essential.

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