The first three tracks, “The Rainbow,” “Eden,” and “Desire,” are presented as one long track on some versions of the album.
Spirit of Eden
“Compare Spirit of Eden with any other previous release in the Talk Talk catalog, and it’s almost impossible to believe it’s the work of the same band.” JA Although lead singer Mark Hollis had always “cited jazz and classical artists…as major influences,” WK their first two albums relied more on synthesizer and, consequently, “critics compared the band to contemporary New Wave groups, especially Duran Duran.” WK Since the first two albums were successful in Europe, the band garnered enough money “to hire additional musicians to play on their next album, The Colour of Spring (1986). The band no longer had to rely on synthesizers.” WK The new sound made for the band’s most successful album while also pointing “towards the band’s next direction.” WK
The next time out found the band “exchanging electronics for live, organic sounds and rejecting structure in favor of mood and atmosphere.” JA It was “performed by numerous musicians using a diverse combination of instruments.” WK It made for “an unprecedented breakthrough, a musical and emotional catharsis of immense power. Mark Hollis’ songs exist far outside of the pop idiom, drawing instead on ambient textures, jazz-like arrangements, and avant-garde accents; for all of their intricacy and delicate beauty, compositions like Inheritance and I Believe in You also possess an elemental strength – Hollis’ oblique lyrics speak to themes of loss and redemption with understated grace, and his hauntingly poignant vocals evoke wrenching spiritual turmoil tempered with unflagging hope. A singular musical experience.” JA
“It is widely regarded as a masterpiece;” WK “many critics…praise the album and consider it influential to the post-rock movement of the 1990s.” WK “Alan McGee of the Guardian wrote: Spirit of Eden has not dated; it’s remarkable how contemporary it sounds, anticipating post-rock, The Verve and Radiohead.’” WK It was not a commercial success, however. “In a 2004 article for The Guardian, John Robinson calls Spirit of Eden…triumphant, [but] completely unmarketable.’” WK