History Revisited

Infobox Album
Name = History Revisited: The Remixes
Type = Remix album
Artist = Talk Talk

Released = March 1991
Recorded = 1982-90
Genre = New Wave, synth pop
Length = 57:24
Label = Parlophone/EMI
Producer = Tim Friese-Greene
Reviews =
*"Q": Rating|4|5 [http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Alley/6328/articles/ttq.html link]
*Allmusic: Rating|2|5 [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:pso7gjqrj6ic link]
Last album = "" (1990)
This album = "History Revisited" (1991)
Next album = "Laughing Stock" (1991)

"History Revisited: The Remixes" is a 1991 album comprising remixes of hit Talk Talk songs. It followed the successful greatest hits collection "", released the year before. The band itself did not take part in the making of the album and condemned its release; consequently, they sued their former record label EMI for using Talk Talk material without permission.


Talk Talk formed in 1981 and released four albums with EMI. Around the time of "Spirit of Eden" (1988), the band attempted to extract themselves from their recording contract with EMI. 18 months of litigation followed. [Jim Irvin, "Paradise Lost," "Mojo", March 2006, 54.] Ultimately, Talk Talk won the case on appeal, and in 1990 they left EMI and moved to Polydor. Soon after, EMI released the compilation "Natural History", a retrospective of Talk Talk's career up until that point. The compilation was surprisingly successful: it spent 21 weeks on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at #3,Tim Rice, Paul Gambaccini, and Jonathan Rice, "The Guinness Book of British Hit Albums", 7th ed. (Guinness World Records Limited, 1996).] and went on to sell over one million copies worldwide.James Neiss, " [http://users.cybercity.dk/~bcc11425/BioRC1291.html Talk Talk] ," "Record Collector", December 1991.]


The success of "Natural History" prompted EMI to rerelease more Talk Talk material. They reissued the singles "It's My Life", "Life's What You Make It", "Such a Shame", and "Living in Another World" in 1990 and 1991. Each of the reissues peaked within the top 100 of the UK Singles Chart.

Some versions of the reissued singles included remixes of earlier Talk Talk songs. These remixes, prepared by relatively unknown musicians outside of the band, became the basis for "History Revisited". They were collected together, and two more tracks were added to complete the compilation: a remix of "Happiness is Easy" that Talk Talk members Lee Harris and Paul Webb had made in 1986, and a previously unreleased remix of "Dum Dum Girl" by Justin Robertson. [Ferenc Rozsa, " [http://www.freeweb.hu/talktalk/eng/ttd.htm Talk Talk Discography] ", "Another World", 2004.]

The remixes collected on "History Revisited" modified the source material liberally. Keith Aspden, the band's manager, observed, "They haven't just remixed what is already there. They have practically replaced all the instruments with new poppy dance sounds from other people's records, even including an African chant."" [http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Alley/6328/articles/independent.html History Revisited: Pop remix faces legal challenge] ," "The Independent".]

Critical reception

"History Revisited" was released throughout the world in March 1991. It spent two weeks on the UK Albums Chart, peaking at #35. Barry Mcllheney of "Q" magazine called the album an "interesting example of how anyone with a good tune under their belts can be made instantly danceable with the application of the correct knobs at the appropriate moments." [Barry Mcllheney, review of " [http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Alley/6328/articles/ttq.html History Revisited] ", by Talk Talk, "Q".] James Neiss of "Record Collector" thought otherwise, saying, "Talk Talk got most of their complex originals right first time around. The songs simply don't work with a different beat slung underneath." Chris Woodstra of "Allmusic" gave it a poor rating, saying, "A nice companion piece for fans, but probably the least essential of their catalog." [Chris Woodstra, review of " [http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:pso7gjqrj6ic History Revisited] ", by Talk Talk, "Allmusic".]

Band response and lawsuit

Talk Talk leader Mark Hollis was very unhappy when he found out about "History Revisited". He told "Melody Maker":

I've never heard any of this stuff and I don't want to hear it . . . but to have people putting this stuff out under your name which is not you, y'know, I want no part of it. It's always been very important to me that I've got on with the people we've worked with. People's attitude has always been really important to me. So much of why someone would exist on one of our albums is what they are like as a person. So to find you've got people you've never given the time of day to going out as though it's you . . . it's disgusting.Steve Sutherland, " [http://users.cybercity.dk/~bcc11425/IntMM070991.htm Talk Talk: Silencing the Scams] ," "Melody Maker", September 1991.]
Before it was released, Hollis sent letters requesting that the compilation be stopped, but EMI did not respond. In November 1991, Talk Talk sued EMI, delivering four writs against their former record label."Encyclopedia of Rock Stars", 1st ed., s.v. "Talk Talk."] The band claimed that material had been falsely attributed to them and that they were owed money from unpaid royalties. Talk Talk won the case in 1992, and EMI agreed to withdraw and destroy all remaining copies of the album. [Mark Roland, ed., " [http://www.talktalk.hu/eng/mm951118.html Info Freako: It's the Hollis!] ," "Melody Maker", November 1995.] [David Stubbs, " [http://users.cybercity.dk/~bcc11425/IntVOX0298.html Mark Hollis: Talking Liberties] ," "VOX", February 1998.] Manager Keith Aspden hoped that the case would set a precedent for future recording contracts.

"Laughing Stock", released in 1991, ended up being Talk Talk's final studio album. EMI released several more Talk Talk compilations throughout the 1990s and 2000s, though "History Revisited" remains out of print.

Track listing

#"Living in Another World - '91" – 4:40
#*Remixed by Julian Mendelsohn
#"Such a Shame" – 5:41
#*Remixed by Gary Miller
#"Happiness is Easy (Dub)" – 7:02
#*Remixed by Paul Webb and Lee Harris
#"Today" – 3:24
#*Remixed by Gary Miller
#"Dum Dum Girl (Spice Remix)" – 4:59
#*Remixed by Justin Robertson
#"Life's What You Make It" – 6:14
#*Remixed by BBG
#"Talk Talk" – 5:22
#*Remixed by Gary Miller
#"It's My Life (Tropical Rainforest Mix)" – 5:58
#*Remixed by Dominic Woosey and JJ Montana
#"Living in Another World (Curious World Dub Mix)" – 7:48
#*Remixed by 4 to the Floor
#"Life's What You Make It (The Fluke Remix)" – 6:16
#*Remixed by Fluke


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