What is a talk box?
A talk box is a device where you plug in your guitar and then shape the sound with your mouth to a speechlike tone. It comes with a plastic tube that you put into your mouth and by changing the shape of your mouth you also modify the sound that comes out of your signal. Kind of like singing and playing the guitar at the same time, but with just one output source.
Any good examples?
If you're talking about talk boxes you must mention Peter Frampton who used this effect on both his smash hits "Show Me The Way" and "Do You Feel Like We Do". Another talk box pioneer from the seventies is Joe Walsh, who used it on "Rocky Mountain Way". And while we're into this decade, Nazareth's song "Hair Of The Dog" must also be mentioned. Moving on to the eighties the talk box fell a little out of fashion until Richie Sambora of Bon Jovi picked it up and used it on the song "Livin' On A Prayer" (some years later he would revisit this effect on the song "It's My Life"). Slash of Guns N' Roses also contributed to the revival of the Talk Box on songs like "Anything Goes" and so did Mick Mars of Mötley Crüe on "Kickstart My Heart". Jerry Cantrell proved that the Talk Box could work even in grunge music on the Alice In Chains song "Man In The Box" while Dave Grohl used it on the Foo Fighters song "Generator".
Which pedal should I get?
There are really just three options and the most classic is the Heil Talk Box, manufactured by Dunlop and used by most guitarists. But there are more units out there and the MXR M222 Talk Box and the Rocktron Banshee are fine choices as well. If you're interested in acquiring a talk box, compare these units qualitites and prices and then make up your mind.