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Laughing Stock is the fifth and final studio album by Talk Talk. Released in 1991, it was the only album the band released on the jazz-based Verve Records, after acrimoniously leaving EMI.
Like its predecessor, Spirit of Eden, the album featured improvised instrumentation from a large ensemble of musicians, including as many as seven violists on occasion, and the lyrical themes are often religious. The recording sessions have attained near-mythical status among underground music fans; Tape Op magazine ran an extensive article detailing the demanding recording sessions, marked by Mark Hollis' perfectionist tendencies, and his use of candles and incense to set the mood. Engineer Phill Brown stated that the album, like its predecessor, was "recorded by chance, accident, and hours of trying every possible overdub idea." However, compared to prior Talk Talk albums, he goes on to note that "Laughing Stock is a different beast. I am very proud of the album, it's probably one of my best projects.... but I find it dark and claustrophobic."
Original bass guitarist Paul Webb had left the band prior to recording, reducing Talk Talk to the duo of Lee Harris and Mark Hollis.
The cover art is by James Marsh, responsible for most of Talk Talk's artwork. Though similar to the cover of the band's previous album, the birds on Laughing Stock's spherical tree form the shapes of the Earth's continents.
Critical reception 
Reviews of the album were generally good; manyMiles Davis's In a Silent Way album.
tended to emphasize the fact that it spanned several genres, with some noting a stylistic kinship with
Pitchfork Media listed Laughing Stock as 11th best album of the 1990s, describing the album as "a record that makes its own environment and becomes more than the sum of its sounds."
Track listing 
All songs written and composed by Tim Friese-Greene and Mark Hollis.
||"After the Flood"
There is a brief, untitled instrumental fragment preceding "Taphead" at the beginning of side 2 on the LP/cassette version. This is present on the US CD, but the UK omits it with "After The Flood" crossfading into "Taphead".
2011 Vinyl Reissue 
On October 11th, 2011, Ba Da Bing Records released Laughing Stock on vinyl. This marks the first time that the album has been issued on vinyl in the US.  Some copies of the reissue have been alleged to contain a defect in the audio quality, with noticeable background noise, particularly during the quiet moments of the recording.  
- Additional personnel
- Tim Friese-Greene - organ, piano, harmonium
- Mark Feltham - harmonica
- Martin Ditcham - percussion
- Levine Andrade, Stephen Tees, George Robertson, Gavyn Wright, Jack Glickman, Wilf Gibson, Garfield Jackson - viola
- Simon Edwards, Ernest Mothle - acoustic bass
- Roger Smith, Paul Kegg - cello
- Henry Lowther - trumpet, flugelhorn
- Dave White - contra bass clarinet
- Tim Friese-Greene - producer
- Phill Brown - engineer
- James Marsh - cover illustration