Shock news that Mark Hollis singer and front man of the highly regarded band Talk Talk passed away yesterday aged 64.
For many Talk Talk were an era defining band, using the studio in highly creative ways, contrary to much of what was happening in the mainstream, while still producing classic pop. Much of this was down to Mark Hollis passionate vocal delivery, expert songwriting and adventurous production.
Although their golden era was the 1980s, Talk Talk were considered by many to be less fixed in time than the era that defined them, their atmospheric, synth driven, emotional brand of pop was encapsulated in songs "Talk Talk" '82, "Its My Life" '84, "Such a Shame" '84. With only 5 studio albums to their output, Talk Talk's most commercially successful work was 1984's "It's My Life" and 1986 "The Colour Of Spring".
But for many their album "Spirit of Eden" was the pinnacle of their work. Although less commercial and lacking in releasable singles, it was quoted as being "the kind of record which encourages marketing men to commit suicide"
Recorded in 1988 they had carte blanch from their label EMI to do what they wanted, and record executives were in fact banned from the studio during the recording. The creative bones of the album were rooted in hours of improvised recordings which the band, together with engineer Phil Brown edited together in the digital domain.
Talk Talk split in 1991 after the album Laughing Stock was released, with Hollis taking time to be more family oriented and after a solo album "Mark Hollis" was released in 1998, he retired from the music business all together.
No doubt that Talk Talk and Mark Hollis' work have been a major influencer in subsequent generations of musicians.
Our condolences to his family and friends.
Mark Hollis 1955-2019