UKNY For March 3
The albums of Talk Talk and Mark Hollis (collage by Laura Fedele, WFUV)
Twenty years ago, Mark Hollis, the singer, songwriter and architect of Talk Talk, walked away from the record industry and never really looked back. He intuitively understood the deafening mastery of silence, in art and in life; even the sad news of his death on Monday, which slowly spread on social media, was wreathed in uncertaintly until confirmed by his former manager.
Over the course of just six albums —Talk Talk's five albums stretching nearly a decade, from 1982-1991, and Hollis' 1998 self-titled solo album — he gently wrought an arresting legacy for a generation of musicians, a body of work as influential for his musician peers as the Beatles had been for their contemporaries. Hollis and his Talk Talk cohorts — bandmates Lee Harris, Paul Webb (who left after Spirit of Eden), and briefly Simon Brenner (who departed early, after The Party's Over), producer and co-writer Tim Friese-Greene, and engineer Phill Brown — eschewed formula for freedom and innovation. Not just freedom — a revolution that knew no boundaries of genre.
Although all of Talk Talk's albums were excellent, it's the final two albums, 1988's Spirit of Eden and 1991's Laughing Stock, that are most lovingly listened to with awe and reverence by an avalanche of musicians and producers who cite Hollis and the band as significant forebears of their own adventures in the studio: Radiohead, Sigur Rós, Doves, Elbow, St. Vincent, Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky, Zero 7, Broken Social Scene, Bon Iver, Foals, Blur, and scores more. For anyone who has never explored Talk Talk beyond their few radio hits, like "It's My Life" or "Such a Shame," a beautiful and breathtaking valley awaits via the band's latter masterpieces.
On UKNY at 11 tonight, half of the show will be devoted to the music of Hollis and Talk Talk, plus new releases from Foals, Jessie Ware (working with Metronomy's Joseph Mount), Rachel Chinouriri, and Perth's Carla Geneve.
Miss the show? You can catch up to UKNY on demand in the Weekend Archives.
1. Foals, “Sunday,” Everything Not Saved Will Be Lost -Part 1
2. Jessie Ware, “Adore You,” single
3. C Duncan, “Health,” Health
4. Rachel Chinouriri, “Riptide,” single
5. (Perth, AU) Carla Geneve, “2001,” single
6. Talk Talk, “New Grass,” Laughing Stock
7. Mark Hollis, “The Gift,” Mark Hollis
8. Talk Talk, “The Rainbow,” Spirit of Eden
9. Talk Talk, “Chameleon Day,” The Colour of Spring
10. Zero 7 feat. Only Girl, “The Colour of Spring,” (Mark Hollis cover), EP 3