Babble ‎– The Stone

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Versions (9)

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
9 45387-2 Babble The Stone(CD, Album, ARC) Reprise Records 9 45387-2 US 1994 Sell This Version
9362-45387-2 Babble The Stone(CD, Album) Reprise Records 9362-45387-2 Germany 1994 Sell This Version
CDW 45387 Babble The Stone(CD, Album) Reprise Records CDW 45387 Canada 1994 Sell This Version
WPCP-5533 Babble The Stone(CD, Album) Reprise Records WPCP-5533 Japan 1994 Sell This Version
9 45387-2 Babble The Stone(CD, Album, SRC) Reprise Records 9 45387-2 US 1994 Sell This Version
2 453874 Babble The Stone(Cass, Album) Reprise Records 2 453874 Canada 1994 Sell This Version
9 45387-4 Babble The Stone(Cass, Album, Dol) Reprise Records 9 45387-4 US 1994 Sell This Version
none Babble The Stone(Cass, Album, Promo) WEA none US 1994 Sell This Version
001 Babble The Stone(2x12", Album) Reprise Records 001 Unknown Sell This Version

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mjb

mjb

October 14, 2017
edited about 1 year ago
referencing The Stone, CD, Album, SRC, 9 45387-2

As reviewed by me in May 1994:

Summary: Rich ambient dub in a pop style, comparable to William Orbit's Strange Cargo III, but better (in my opinion!). Babble are the reincarnation of Thompson Twins, and The Stone is their best album in years.

When Joe Leeway left Thompson Twins, Tom Bailey & Alannah Currie struggled to find a new sound. The sparse pop rock concoction they came up with on their last 2 albums turned away more than a few fans, and left me wondering how much of their previous success was due to the spacey production of the the late Alex Sadkin. Bailey and Currie then went off to India to find some inspiration. They came back with not only a lot of inspiration, but quite possibly some good hash and a renewed appreciation of the dub style.

In an effort to distance themselves from Thompson Twins, Currie & Bailey recorded and released The Stone, their first album under the new moniker Babble. The album was released last October with almost zero promotion. [update, 2017: I later found out the album was not commercially released until well into 1994.] A single, "Take Me Away", was remixed by Tony Garcia and Peter Daou and released earlier this year, and is now enjoying airplay on some alternative stations. A recently issued promo interview CD is also circulating in the US.

I was blown away by The Stone. Not since Into The Gap have Bailey and Currie composed such beautiful, lush journeys in sound. Tom's voice is as intense and confident as it was when I reveled in teenage pop euphoria to "Doctor Doctor" in 1984. This time his every utterance is trailed by gallons of liquid reverb as rich synthetic sweeps arc across the headphones in a nearly overproduced style matched only by William Orbit on Strange Cargo III. "Beautiful" features female rapper Q. Tee providing sultry, half-spoken vocals, while the male voice on "Space", presumably Bailey's, is processed to the point of sounding like it came from Ministry's "Jesus Built My Hotrod."

This near-perfect blend of ambient dub with the strong pop song-writing skills of the band we used to call the Thompson Twins deserves far more promotion than it's been getting. At low volume The Stone sounds almost normal, the effects merely an affectation. But through headphones, or loud, oh my gosh, someone get me a joint.
darknesstraveller

darknesstraveller

June 3, 2015
referencing The Stone, CD, Album, ARC, 9 45387-2
There is a large white room at the top of the house. The house itself was an asylum in the days of the Raj. From barred windows, wide-eyed inmates gazed upon Her Majesty’s most infamous penal institution, and either laughed or cried.

In 1991 the inhabitants of the white room escaped. In India they recorded the noise of the bazaars and temples, then returned to the tranquillity of the asylum. Life had somehow changed. They built themselves a studio the size of a shoe-box and painted it sugar pink.

There, the mysterious sounds from their recordings were welded to affluent melodies, dubbed into dance grooves and gradually carved into ‘The Stone.’ This debut of heavy sunshine has a secret ingredient - two members of Babble were part of electro-pop trio The Thompson Twins. Alannah Currie and Tom Bailey now have a young child and an elegant new album on their hands

From the boisterous sonic distortions of ‘Space’ to the hazy laziness of ‘Beautiful’ (with its lullaby rap from Q. Tee) Babble have an open-minded approach to making studio music; incorporating ideas from beatnik photographer and poet Ira Cohen, London song-bird Amy St. Cyr, and Dublin-based artist/biker Charlie Whisker. Some how it all seems to work together.

(written and published 1994)