Slacker Logo

Talk Talk

ON AIR
Advertisement
Advertisement

Bio

With the exception of a handful of common threads -- chief among them the plaintive vocals and haunting lyrics of frontman Mark Hollis -- there is little to suggest that the five studio LPs that make up the Talk Talk oeuvre are indeed the work of the same band throughout. After beginning their career with records virtually epitomizing the new wave era that spawned them, the British group never looked back, making significant strides with each successive album on its way to discovering a wholly unique and uncategorizable sound informed by elements of jazz, classical, and ambient music; their masterful final recordings, while neglected commercially, possess a timelessness rare among music of any genre, and in retrospect they seem the clear starting point for the post-rock movement of the 1990s. The story of Talk Talk begins with singer/songwriter Hollis, the younger brother of Ed Hollis, a disc jockey and producer who went on to manage such punk-era bands as Eddie & the Hot Rods. Mark originally planned to become a child psychologist, but in 1975, he left university to relocate to London, eventually forming a band called the Reaction; Ed Hollis called in a few favors, and in 1977, the Reaction recorded a demo tape for Island Records. Among the tracks was a Hollis original titled "Talk Talk," which later surfaced on the Beggars Banquet punk compilation Streets. After just one single, 1978's "I Can't Resist," the Reaction disbanded, and through his brother, Hollis was first introduced to bassist Paul Webb, drummer Lee Harris, and keyboardist Simon Brenner, with whom he formed Talk Talk in 1981. After recording a number of demos with producer Jimmy Miller, Talk Talk signed to EMI, who assigned Duran Duran producer Colin Thurston to helm their first two singles, "Mirror Man" and "Talk Talk." Clearly, EMI's intent was to mold the band in the spirit of the new romantic movement, and toward that end, they also tapped Talk Talk as the opener on Duran Duran's 1982 U.K. tour. Their debut LP, The Party's Over, was indeed a product of its times, defined by contemporary synth pop sensibilities but with an honesty and lyrical depth absent from most other records of the moment. In 1983, Talk Talk resurfaced with the single "My Foolish Friend," which in itself marked a major leap from the first record with its denser and more mature sound; the subsequent dismissal of Brenner made it plain that the band's days of relying on synthesizers were over for good. The remainder of 1983 was spent writing and recording It's My Life, Talk Talk's breakthrough recording. The turning point was the arrival of producer and multi-instrumentalist Tim Friese-Greene, who was to remain an unofficial fourth member of the band for the remainder of its existence. In Friese-Greene, Hollis found the ideal partner to realize his ambitions; It's My Life made major strides away from The Party's Over, rejecting the debut's new wave trappings in favor of richer, more natural textures. The gambit worked, with the title track becoming a hit on both sides of the Atlantic. Released in 1986, The Colour of Spring continued the trend, and on the strength of the smashes "Life's What You Make It" and "Give It Up," it became Talk Talk's best-selling album to date. A major world tour followed, with EMI allotting an enormous budget for the group's next effort. In 1987, Talk Talk settled into an abandoned Suffolk church to begin working on their fourth LP. EMI executives eagerly awaited the finished product, and they were to continue waiting, as the group worked far past its deadline, seemingly with no end in sight. Already well over budget, Hollis refused to allow label heads any advance tapes, and informed EMI that not only would there be no singles from the record, but that the group would be unable to re-create the complex arrangements on-stage and, as a consequence, would perform no live dates in support of the disc's release. Finally, after some 14 months in the studio, Spirit of Eden was issued to thunderous critical acclaim, albeit little commercial interest; an intricate, meditative work, it bore little resemblance to standard pop music, with its lengthy songs and spacious, organic arrangements perhaps closest in theme and texture to jazz. With relations between EMI and Talk Talk at a breaking point, the label issued an edited single version of the Spirit of Eden track "I Believe in You" without the band's consent. Talk Talk eventually split from EMI, but not without resistance from the label, which subsequently sued the band for making an anti-commercial album (the case was thrown out) and released a pair of compilations, Natural History and History Revisited, without the band's involvement. Talk Talk then signed to Polydor; Paul Webb subsequently left, and the masterful Laughing Stock was recorded primarily with guest musicians. Issued in 1991, the LP marked a complete break from convention, adopting an almost free-form aesthetic; however, it was also Talk Talk's final work -- in 1992, Webb and Harris reunited in 'O'Rang, while Hollis disappeared from view, finally issuing his self-titled solo debut in early 1998. A live Talk Talk release, London 1986, appeared in 1999. ~ Jason Ankeny
Read All Read Less

Albums by
Talk Talk

false

    6 songs

    On Air

    Spirit of Eden

    9 songs

    On Air

    It's My Life

    6 songs

    On Air

    Laughing Stock

    8 songs

    On Air

    The Colour of Spring

    15 songs

    On Air

    Essential

    12 songs

    On Air

    Remixed

    28 songs

    On Air

    Asides Besides

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Very Best of Talk Talk

    12 songs

    On Air

    The Essential Talk Talk

    9 songs

    On Air

    Party's Over

    12 songs

    On Air

    Introducing

    16 songs

    On Air

    The Collection

    14 songs

    On Air

    Natural History 1982-1988

    12 songs

    On Air

    Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk [UK]

    13 songs

    On Air

    Spirit of Eden

    17 songs

    On Air

    The Colour of Spring

    9 songs

    On Air

    The Party's Over

    8 songs

    On Air

    Colour Of Spring

    9 songs

    On Air

    The Party's Over

    7 songs

    On Air

    The Colour of Spring

    8 songs

    On Air

    Colour Of Spring

    9 songs

    On Air

    The Party's Over

    4 songs

    On Air

    Spirit of Eden [4 Tracks]

    4 songs

    On Air

    Talk Talk Video 45

See All Albums

Top Songs by
Talk Talk

  1.   Song
    Popularity
  2.   It's My Life
  3.   Talk Talk
  4.   I Believe in You
  5.   Ascension Day
  6.   Myrrhman
  7.   Runeii
  8.   Life's What You Make It
  9.   Eden
  10.   Happiness Is Easy
  11.   New Grass
  12.   After the Flood
  13.   Taphead
  14.   Living in Another World
  15.   Desire
  16.   John Cope
  17.   The Rainbow/Eden/Desire
  18.   Does Caroline Know
  19.   It's Getting Late in the Evening
  20.   Call in the Night Boy
  21.   Happiness Is Easy (12 Inch Mix)
  22.   Wealth
  23.   Without You
  24.   Time It's Time
  25.   April 5th
  26. See All Songs

Stations & Shows Featuring
Talk Talk

    On Air

    Gwen Stefani: DNA

    On Air

    101 Greatest New Wave Songs

    On Air

    '80s Alternative

    On Air

    Chillwave

    On Air

    Post-Rock Soundscapes

    On Air

    Duran Duran: DNA

    On Air

    New Wave Deep Dive

    On Air

    Metropolitan Mood

    On Air

    '80s Hits

    On Air

    Alternative Chill

    On Air

    Radiohead: DNA


Artists Related to
Talk Talk

On Air

Ultravox

On Air

Heaven 17

On Air

Bronski Beat

On Air

General Public

On Air

Kajagoogoo

On Air

Naked Eyes

On Air

Thomas Dolby

On Air

ABC

On Air

Alphaville

On Air

Missing Persons

On Air

Visage

On Air

Level 42

On Air

Gary Numan

On Air

Haircut 100

On Air

Blancmange

On Air

Yaz

On Air

The The

On Air

Falco

On Air

China Crisis

On Air

Dead or Alive

On Air

Icehouse

On Air

Information Society

On Air

Spandau Ballet

On Air

Propaganda

See All Related Artists

Loading Sliders...
  1. + -

 
 
Advertisement

LIVE STREAM...

LIVE STREAM...
Casting to |