Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis, rest in peace
Mark Hollis, frontman for Talk Talk, has died at age 64. The BBC confirmed the very sad news Tuesday morning with former manager Keith Aspden.”Sadly it’s true. Mark has died after a short illness from which he never recovered.”
Word began spreading online Monday afternoon (2/25), after The The tweeted this:
— THE THE (@thethe) February 25, 2019
Author Anthony Costello had also tweeted “RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon.” Filmmaker Tim Pope, who directed “It’s My Life,” “Life is What You Make it,” “Dum Dum Girl,” and other Talk Talk videos, also wrote “Goodbye to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. Condolences to his lovely family. We had many, many laughs together.” There have also been tributes from Rustin Man (aka Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb), Stars, Ryley Walker, Field Music, Blur’s David Rowntree, Tim Burgess of The Charlatans, and more.
Talk Talk began as a new wave synthpop band, with such hits as “Talk Talk,” “Dum Dum Girl,” and “It’s My Life,” but with 1986’s The Colour of Spring the band began to expand its sound into more pastoral, ambient and jazz territories. Their full transformation came with 1988’s Spirit of Eden, a gorgeous record of four lengthy rock compositions that defied categorization and left behind any pop aspirations. They continued this with 1991’s classic Laughing Stock and those two albums have proven endlessly influential. The band dissolved after that in 1992. Mark Hollis released a self-titled solo album in 1998 that would follow along in much the manner of the final two Talk Talk albums, but then retired from music a few years later, saying “I choose for my family. Maybe others are capable of doing it, but I can’t go on tour and be a good dad at the same time.”
Rest in peace, Mark. Your music lives on. Read tributes from other artists and listen to some of Mark’s work, below.
Been relistening to Mark Hollis’s dream-soaked Spirit of Eden today. His influence upon music was immense and far reaching. A great presence in the modern era who took his bow far too early but has left us so much still to be moved by. #MarkHollisRIP #TalkTalk
— Gary Kemp (@garyjkemp) February 26, 2019
mark hollis was a genius. nobody made music that sounded like his. please spend time listening to his work. this one hurts. badly. pic.twitter.com/y3DXJvASIz
— Stars (@youarestars) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis is up there with Neil Young/Sonny Sharrock/Hendrix for most physical/blasting minimalism/spiritual guitar solos. No matter how far out every phrase belongs. Fucking….bummer. True head
— Ryley walker (@ryleywalker) February 25, 2019
RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon.
Talk Talk – It's My Life (Live at Montreux 1986) https://t.co/eGRfLWHt6r
— Anthony Costello (@globalhlthtwit) February 25, 2019
We are so saddened to hear about the passing of Mark Hollis, lead singer and creative genius from the band Talk Talk. Our thoughts are with his family and friends https://t.co/wYc5u7SCXH
— Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@OfficialOMD) February 25, 2019
I am so, so sad hearing that Mark Hollis has passed…
His music and his entire approach to music has had a more profound effect on me than I can measure.
Go gently now, spring towards the peace that awaits us all…
Talk Talk I Believe In You https://t.co/XI91VIXbBQ
— Richard Reed Parry (@ParryReed) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis RIP. The massed recorders that start at 5.34 in Time It's Time will always be one of the most joyous sounds ever recorded https://t.co/GSUkez6Ybl
— Luke Turner (@LukeTurnerEsq) February 25, 2019
I just heard about Mark Hollis. It’s hard to explain how important and what a constant presence Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock have been in my life for the last 28 years or so. And the Colour of Spring before that.
— Ted Leo (@tedleo) February 26, 2019
Very sad to hear that Mark Hollis has died. You might have experienced the wonder of those final three Talk Talk albums but his 1998 solo album is just as beautiful and has been an endless source of musical and conceptual inspiration to us.
— Field Music (@fieldmusicmusic) February 25, 2019
Really sorry to hear of the death of Mark Hollis. His music was rich and deep, and a huge influence on my development as a musician.
— David Rowntree (@DaveRowntree) February 25, 2019
RIP Mark Hollis and thanks for some of the greatest music ever made
— Andy Bell (@Andybebop) February 26, 2019
Sad news about Mark Hollis. So much beautiful music https://t.co/5I8s98RI6F
— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) February 25, 2019
RIP to the other worldly Mark Hollis. pic.twitter.com/70sYS52HXn
— COLD CAVE (@ColdCave23) February 25, 2019
So sad to hear Mark Hollis has passed.. his music is amongst my most dearly loved… Rest in peace you wonderful soul. pic.twitter.com/DD7eYizhfz
— erol alkan (@erolalkan) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis captured so many of us with his haunting approach to song and the compelling ways he presented simplistic mountains of sound. He was an educator of emotion and a voice for the blood throat shadows of tomorrow. This is a loss amongst many.
— Broken Social Scene (@bssmusic) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis what a beautiful gift you shared with us. Many many nights listening to your records over the decades. Timelessly beautiful. RIP x
— Rachel Goswell (@RachelAGoswell) February 25, 2019
that is a voice we cannot spare to have lost
thank you ghost genius
— Xiu Xiu (@XiuXiuforLife) February 26, 2019
— superchunk (@superchunk) February 25, 2019
Fleet Foxes’ Robin Pecknold wrote in a series of Instagram stories (via Pitchfork):
RIP to a true legend and guiding light creatively and ontologically Mark Hollis. This man has more dignity and self-respect than anybody in the music business. He just stopped. No farewell tour, no cash grab reunion, no series of bad late career mortgage-finance albums, no real interviews, no anything. It wasn’t for him, so he just stopped, because he couldn’t be a good father and tour at the same time. Simple as that. He’s my hero and 64 is far too young.