Mark Hollis

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Mark Hollis

Postby depeon on Tue Feb 26, 2019 4:02 am

Mark Hollis, lead singer of Talk Talk, dies at age 64, reports say
Hollis and the ‘post-rock’ band made a name with 1980s hit singles including It’s My Life

Guardian music

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Mon 25 Feb 2019 21.19 GMT Last modified on Tue 26 Feb 2019 08.41 GMT
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Mark Hollis.
Mark Hollis. Photograph: ITV/Rex/Shutterstock
Figures from the world of music have paid tribute to Mark Hollis, frontman of the band Talk Talk, after it was reported that he had died at the age of 64.

With Hollis as its singer and creative mastermind, the group made a name with 1980s hit singles such as It’s My Life, Today, Talk Talk and Life’s What You Make It. They progressed to albums like Spirit of Eden, which was hailed as a “masterpiece”, and Laughing Stock.

His cousin-in-law Anthony Costello tweeted on Monday: “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’s bassist Paul Webb, aka Rustin Man, paid tribute to Hollis on Instagram. “I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis,” he wrote. “Musically he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him. I have not seen Mark for many years, but like many musicians of our generation I have been profoundly influenced by his trailblazing musical ideas.”


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In an interview with Q’s backpages at the time, later republished in the Guardian, Hollis expressed awareness that he could be “a difficult geezer” but that was because he refused to “play that game” that came with the role of musician in the spotlight.

“It’s certainly a reaction to the music that’s around at the moment, ‘cos most of that is shit,” Hollis also said of Spirit of Eden. “It’s only radical in the modern context. It’s not radical compared to what was happening 20 years ago. If we’d have delivered this album to the record company 20 years ago they wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.”

Hollis released his first and only solo album, also called Mark Hollis, in 1998. When asked about his decision not to tour anymore or maintain a public persona, he said: “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.” He later retired from the music industry, and was little heard from publicly. An article about him last year was headlined “How to disappear completely.”

His last known music was created for TV drama Boss starring Kelsey Grammer and TI.
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Re: Mark Hollis

Postby Foales Arishes on Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:34 am

Crushed by this news... devastated. The author of the music that has had the deepest effect on me, and in some small (maybe not so small) way has changed the core of my being... It's strange how the music of someone you don't know can have such a profound effect, but that is how true art works...

The music he, his band and those many collaborators created was something of spiritual beauty, that will live with me to my dying day. I always carried the hope that he may have come out of the shadows and give us some new work, but that can sadly never be.

It will make listening to his work very hard for a long while.


Rest in peace, and deepest condolences to his family and all those close to him.
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Re: Mark Hollis

Postby Kev in P.B. on Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:39 pm

Mark Hollis was one of those artists that reassured me that David Sylvian's music was not the only diamond in the music world during the late 80's-90's worthy of continuing to seek out and listen to over time. "Eden", "I Believe in You" and "New Grass" are revelatory - poems, but his/their music as Talk Talk is like watching a Tarkovsky movie: achingly beautiful little reveries that make it difficult to believe a mere human could conceive it, let alone make it. I listen to his music frequently, and regret that he never made much more (w/the exception of "Mark Hollis"), but you have to respect him for saying all that he wanted to say, then walking away to get on with life and the things that are even more important than music:family.
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Re: Mark Hollis

Postby Blemished on Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:42 pm

Beautifully put, Foales and Kev. I've been deeply upset by his passing, as his music has meant so much to me over the years. It's part of the fabric of my life, as I know it is for so many others. Spiritual beauty is exactly the right way to describe his work.

I also find it difficult to grasp, as he was a near-neighbour and familiar face for many years - only recently moving away. I used to see him around regularly and did once summon the courage to speak to him to tell him how much l loved his work. He was a very private, family man, and - by the accounts of those who knew him well - had a great sense of humour. He was a keen cyclist and looked fit and well when I last saw him, so it's all the more shocking that he's passed at such a relatively early age.

In some ways it's a pity that there wasn't anything more than snippets after 98, especially as Phill Brown has commented that he was still working on music. Mark also told someone I know that he still wrote music. But I don't think the desire to release more was there and it seems fitting that he closed his public musical life those three perfect final albums, not to mention some of the wonderful songs that came before.

Really can't believe that he's gone. Rest in peace, Mark.

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Re: Mark Hollis

Postby Quiet Visitor on Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:18 am

Blemished wrote:Beautifully put, Foales and Kev. I've been deeply upset by his passing, as his music has meant so much to me over the years. It's part of the fabric of my life, as I know it is for so many others. Spiritual beauty is exactly the right way to describe his work.


The music of Talk Talk has been part of my life as well, especially in the mid '80s. I know most people prefer the later works of the band, but my personal favorite is It's My Life.

It's a sad thing that one of the last things Mark recorded even has a Japan-connection: Anja Garbarek's Smiling & Waving (2001) couples him with Steve Jansen in the track The Gown.
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Re: Mark Hollis

Postby depeon on Fri Mar 01, 2019 7:02 am

A sad sad week. I hope he is at peace
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