In 1982, Talk Talk were a four-piece made up of Lee Harris (Drums), Paul Webb (Bass Guitar), Simon Brenner (Keyboards) and Mark Hollis (Vocals).  Hollis was the band’s lyricist, also composing the bulk of the melodies for the album’s songs.  However, in a rare “share”, the music for particular track is accredited to all four members, whilst the lyrics are singularly attributed to Hollis.

Talk Talk debuted their first album, “The Party’s Over” in July, 1982; here, we focus on the title track.

The Party's Over

The album was produced by Colin Thurston, who had previously worked with David Bowie and Duran Duran: because of the connection with the latter, and, added to the fact that the bands were stable mates, not to mind the Double Double name, Talk Talk were auto-labelled as the new “Duran” when they initially hit the music mainstream, something which greatly rattled Hollis.

The first album was (Hollis) “y’know moderately successful, but nothing more than that. All I’ve ever wanted from this thing is to make good records and they’re (EMI) allowing us to do that.” . It peaked in the UK album charts at 21.  Four singles were released from the album, the title track was not one of them.

“The party’s over
Much older than you’d say
This friend of no one
Time, creases on your face”

Paul Webb was quoted by “Electronic Soundmaker & Computer Music” in July 1984 as saying of the album: “We’d barely been in a studio…it was the first serious recording we’d ever done. Looking back on it, it feels a bit dated but it had the energy and that’s what Talk Talk was all about at the time.”  And energy is what you get in the performance of this song.

A little bit 80’s, (well  A LOT), “The Party’s Over” is very synth driven – across the verse it takes on a very poppy double four time tempo, however, the melodic bass line hook props it up, giving it some credibility; two overlapping dark and light loops, like under and over train tracks.  BUT, all the drama is saved for the chorus and it is here the strength of Hollis’ vocal ability takes things up a notch, underpinned by Harris’ noisy, bish-bash-bosh drumming with some background electric guitar riffing adding edge.

This is a song that progressively ramps up; Hollis’ vocal becomes more determinedly accusatory, and, the instrumental goes up some decibels, until it becomes more about the guitar and percussion.  Then in the finale, it is a noise-fest of guitar/drum/piano/keyboard and vocal – a grand hurrah and a very opposite of what Talk Talk were to become musically in less than two years.

Autographed

I’m posting two live recordings of this song – the first a live video recording from Florence 1984, whilst the second is audio only, from the much talked about 1984 Utrecht concert, sound-wise, this is a far superior recording (hard core fans rave about the sound quality of the gig, not to mention the performance!!).  There is quite the difference between the two vocal & musical performances.

As usual, I’m also including the lyrics.

Just remember, the party’s not over yet……….there’s way more to come!!

Talk Talk “The Party’s Over” (1982)

The party’s over
I never thought you’d stay
The love of laughter
My truth’s no longer sane

The party’s over
Much older than you’d say
This friend of no one
Time, creases on your face

Take a look at the kids
I’ve been losing track
This crime of being uncertain
Of your love is all I’m guilty of

The party’s over
I never thought you’d stay
A style of reason
This life of masquerade

Take a look at the kids
I’ve been losing track
This crime of being uncertain
Of your love is all I’m guilty of

Take this punishment away Lord
Name the crime I’m guilty of
Too much hope I’ve seen as virtue
Name the crime I’m guilty of

Songwriter
HOLLIS, MARK DAVID

Music
HOLLIS/BRENNER/WEBB/HARRIS

Published by
Lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

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