Yesterday marked a very sad moment in the world of music with the passing of Talk Talk front man Mark Hollis. He passed-away following a brief illness at the age of 64. Born in London he formed the band with Paul Webb and Lee Harris in 1981. Talk Talk would release five albums, spawning a number of hit singles in both Europe and America.
While the band is probably best known to American audiences for their 1984 hit, "It's My Life," they were a huge influence on an enormous number and musicians and bands who would follow them in the future. Their final two albums, (1988's "Spirit of Eden" and 1991's "Laughing Stock,") while not as commercially successful as their previous records, were critically acclaimed for their experimental direction and are considered highly influential in the creation of the "Post-Rock" genre. Condolences and tributes to Hollis from the some the biggest names in music have been pouring-in since yesterday.
Following the final Talk Talk LP in 1991, Mark Hollis released one eponymous solo-album in 1998 and then retired from music, citing a desire to focus on his family. He would never return for a reunion tour, comeback album, or even an interview. The music he left behind though, continues to inspire new musical artists and shines in his fearlessness in forging-ahead into new territories.
In that spirit, let's cue-up the final Talk Talk album: 1991's "Laughing Stock." Ignored by the general public and given mixed-reviews (NME called it "horrible") upon it's release, the record now enjoys widespread acclaim among critics, artists, and those of us who just really love music. This amazing piece of jazz-infused-rock builds and swirls and back-builds until it abruptly snaps-off at the six-minute mark... A magnificent show and then darkness. It's called "Ascension Day," and it's waiting for you to take a journey with on the Mixed-Up Memories playlist. Rest in Peace, Mark Hollis. -Kristen