Music Features

RIP Mark Hollis: The Best of Talk Talk

The 80's frontman passed away at 64.

It was confirmed today that Mark Hollis, frontman of Talk Talk, has died after a short illness at the age of 64. One of the co-founders of Talk Talk, Paul Webb, shared this touching tribute to the singer:

Hollis' longtime manager, Keith Aspden said, "I'm still trying to accept this but sadly it's true, Mark has died after a short illness from which he never recovered. Deeply felt sorrow for a remarkable person who remained true to himself throughout his life. I can't tell you how much Mark influenced and changed my perceptions on art and music. I'm grateful for the time I spent with him and for the gentle beauty he shared with us."

Talk Talk was formed in 1981 when Hollis met drummer Lee Harris, bassist Paul Webb, and keyboardist Simon Brenner. Mark Hollis' voice was the sound of the 80s, perfectly tortured but emotive, tender but gruff. He was responsible for such hits as "It's My Life" and "The Rainbow." He released five records with Talk Talk before they split up in 1991 and a solo album in 1998 before virtually going off the grid.

In tribute to the life and work of Mark Hollis, we've compiled a list of the top five best Talk Talk songs of all time.

"It's My Life"

Talk Talk - It´s My Life www.youtube.com

One of the band's most popular songs, this solid pop song made it to the Top 10 in the US and the Top 20 in the UK upon its release in 1984.

"The Rainbow"

Talk Talk - THE RAINBOW - 1988 www.youtube.com

Released on their 1987 experimental album Spirit of Eden, this iconic tune features aspects of jazz, electronica, classical, folk, blues, and prog rock.

"New Grass"

Talk Talk - New Grass (Video) www.youtube.com

A definite stand out on Laughing Stock, this guitar-heavy piece is meditative and powerful. The specific musical voice of Mark Hollis is incredibly clear here.

"After the Flood"

Talk Talk - AFTER THE FLOOD - 1991 www.youtube.com

Featuring more soul influences than other eras in Talk Talk's career, these are some of Hollis' strongest lyrics.

"Life's What You Make It"

Talk Talk - Life's What You Make It Official Music Video www.youtube.com

Another Talk Talk classic, this song leans more towards rock, but still features plenty of 80s pop effects, and, of course, Hollis' infectious voice.


Brooke Ivey Johnson is a Brooklyn based writer, playwright, and human woman. To read more of her work visit her blog or follow her twitter @BrookeIJohnson.


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