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TALK TALK were an English rock band, active from 1981 until their breakup in 1992. Their early hit singles include "Today", " Talk Talk " (both 1982), "It\'s My Life " and " Such a Shame " (both 1984). Although the band only experienced moderate success in their native country, they established some international success. Talk Talk moved away from synth-pop towards more experimental music in the mid-1980s, helping to pioneer what became known as post-rock . They achieved moderate success in Europe and the UK with the subsequent singles "Life\'s What You Make It " (1985) and "Living in Another World" (1986), and in 1988 they released their fourth album _Spirit of Eden _, which was commercially less successful.

Friction with the band's label, EMI , resulted in legal action and countersuing. The band switched to Polydor for their final album, 1991's _Laughing Stock _, but broke up soon afterwards. Singer Mark Hollis released one solo album in 1998 before retiring from the music industry. The band's founding bass player and drummer, Paul Webb and Lee Harris, played in several bands together; long-term collaborator Tim Friese-Greene continued in the business as a musician and producer.

CONTENTS

* 1 History

* 1.1 1981–83: Formation * 1.2 1984–86: Commercial success * 1.3 1987–92: Experimental period

* 2 Break up * 3 Legacy and influence

* 4 Discography

* 4.1 Studio albums * 4.2 Live albums * 4.3 Compilation albums * 4.4 Singles * 4.5 Other appearances

* 5 Videography * 6 Bibliography * 7 References * 8 External links

HISTORY

1981–83: FORMATION

Talk Talk began as a quartet consisting of Mark Hollis formerly from _The Reaction_ (vocals/main songwriter), Lee Harris (drums), Paul Webb (bass guitar), and Simon Brenner (keyboards). In their early years they were often compared with Duran Duran . In addition to a band name consisting of a repeated word, the two shared a Roxy Music -inspired musical direction, as well as the same record label ( EMI ) and producer ( Colin Thurston ). The band also supported Duran Duran on tour in late 1981.

The band released their first single, "Mirror Man", on EMI in February 1982. The single was not a great success, but was quickly followed by their self-titled single in April 1982 (a rerecording of a track by The Reaction) which reached No.52 in the UK. The band's first album, titled _The Party\'s Over _, was released in July 1982. The band had their first UK Top 40 hits with the singles "Today" (UK No. 14) and a re-release of " Talk Talk " (UK No. 23). These singles also were hits in other countries including Ireland, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand. The re-release of the " Talk Talk" single reached the U.S. Top 75. The album was produced by Colin Thurston , who was Duran Duran 's in-house EMI producer at the time, but picked by Hollis because of his involvement with David Bowie 's _"Heroes" _. It was a moderate success in the UK reaching No.21, and was later certified Silver by the BPI for sales of 60,000 copies by 1985. It was a Top 10 hit in New Zealand.

They were introduced to a much wider live audience in October 1982 when they supported Genesis at their reunion concert with original lead singer Peter Gabriel at Milton Keynes Bowl , England.

Brenner left after the 1983 non-LP hit single "My Foolish Friend", which was produced by frequent Roxy Music collaborator Rhett Davies . At this point, Talk Talk was now a trio, as Brenner was never officially replaced. However, Tim Friese-Greene was recruited to assist with the recording of their second album, _It\'s My Life _, and he soon became the band's producer as well as keyboardist and Hollis' frequent songwriting partner. Although a major contributor to the band's studio output, Friese-Greene never officially joined the band; and as such did not regularly play with the touring band, and was absent from the band's publicity material.

1984–86: COMMERCIAL SUCCESS

Although major success still eluded them in the UK, Talk Talk achieved considerable international success in 1984/85, particularly in continental Europe , North America and New-Zealand with the album _It\'s My Life _. The accompanying single "Such a Shame" (a song inspired by the book _ The Dice Man _) became a Top 10 hit in Austria , France , Germany , Italy , Netherlands and Switzerland during this period. The title track of the album was also a Top 10 hit in Italy (where a remix of six songs from the albums and non-album singles, _It's My Mix_, was the #86 best-selling album of 1985 ), and entered the U.S., Canadian, French, German, New Zealand and Netherlands Top 40. A third single, "Dum Dum Girl", was a success in some European countries and in New Zealand; however, the album and its singles were largely ignored in the UK. Commercial success notwithstanding, the band made deliberate choices that moved them away from the mainstream. The music video for "It's My Life", for instance, featured a grumpy Hollis who mocks lip-synching; after EMI protested, they re-shot the video, turning it into "a total piss-take of lip-synching", in Alan McGee 's words.

The artist James Marsh designed the first cover image for _It's My Life_ based on the band's name. He followed the theme for subsequent singles, remaining the band's artistic frontman and creating all their covers and posters throughout their career.

Talk Talk abandoned the synthpop style completely with their third album, _ The Colour of Spring _, released in 1986. It became their biggest studio album success in the UK, making the Top 10 (and certified Gold by the BPI for sales over 100,000 copies), in part due to the Top 20 single "Life\'s What You Make It ", which was also successful internationally. Another single, "Living in Another World", charted in the Top 40 in Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, Belgium and Italy (and just outside the Top 40 in the UK and France). By this time, all Talk Talk songs were being written by Hollis and Friese-Greene.

The extended line-up for the 1986 tour consisted of Hollis, Webb and Harris, plus John Turnbull (guitars), Rupert Black and Ian Curnow (keyboards), Phil Reis and Leroy Williams (percussion), and Mark Feltham (harmonica). Most notable among these concerts was their appearance at the Montreux Jazz Festival , 11 July 1986, released on DVD in 2008 as _ Live at Montreux 1986 _.

1987–92: EXPERIMENTAL PERIOD

The success of _The Colour of Spring_ afforded the band a bigger budget and schedule for the recording of their next album. Over a year in the making, and featuring contributions from many outside musicians, _ Spirit of Eden _ was released in 1988, on EMI's Parlophone label. The album was assembled from many hours of improvised instrumentation that Hollis and Friese-Greene had edited and arranged using digital equipment. The result was a mix of rock, jazz, classical, and ambient music. Critically praised, the album reached the UK Top 20 and was certified Silver by the BPI for sales of over 60,000 copies. The band announced they would not be attempting to recreate the album live (since, according to Hollis, "People would just want to hear the songs as they are on the album and for me that's not satisfying enough"). Without touring and without music videos and singles as the band originally intended, there was little marketing left that the record company could do; in the end the band grudgingly agreed to a video for the remixed version of "I Believe In You", released as first single. Hollis, though, was unhappy with the video, as he made clear in an interview with _ Q Magazine _: "I really feel that was a massive mistake ... I thought just by sitting there and listening and really thinking about what it was about, I could get that in my eyes. But you cannot do it. It just feels stupid. It was depressing and I wish I'd never done it."

During the making of _Spirit of Eden_, Talk Talk manager Keith Aspden had attempted to free the band from their record contract with EMI. "I knew by that time that EMI was not the company this band should be with", Aspden said. "I was fearful that the money wouldn't be there to record another album." EMI, however, wished to keep the band on their roster. After many months of litigation, the band ultimately succeeded in extracting themselves from the contract. EMI then sued the band, claiming that _Spirit of Eden_ was not "commercially satisfactory", but the case was thrown out of court.

With the band now released from EMI, the label released the retrospective compilation _ Natural History _ in 1990. It peaked at number 3 on the UK album chart and was certified Gold by the BPI for sales of over 100,000 copies. It was also an international success and eventually went on to sell more than 1 million copies worldwide. The 1984 single "It's My Life" was also re-released, and this time became the band's highest charting single in their native country, reaching number 13 on the UK Singles Chart . A re-release of the single "Life's What You Make It" also reached the Top 30. Following up on this renewed popular interest in the band, the label then released _History Revisited _ in 1991, a compilation of new remixes, which made the UK Top 40 (it also reached the Top 30 in Germany and the Top 75 in the Netherlands). The band sued EMI for releasing the remixed material without their permission.

In 1990, Talk Talk signed a two-album contract with Polydor Records . They released _Laughing Stock _ on Polydor's Verve Records imprint in 1991. By this time, Webb had left the group and Talk Talk had morphed into what was essentially a brand name for the studio recordings of Hollis and Friese-Greene, along with a bevy of session studio players (including long-term Talk Talk drummer Harris). _Laughing Stock_ crystallised the experimental sound the band started with _Spirit of Eden_ (which has been retroactively categorised as "post-rock " by some critics). _Laughing Stock_ peaked at No. 26 in the UK Albums Chart .

BREAK UP

After _Laughing Stock_, Talk Talk disbanded in 1992, as Hollis wished to focus on his family. Paul Webb rejoined Lee Harris, and the two went on to form the band .O.rang , while Tim Friese-Greene started recording under the name Heligoland . In 1998, Mark Hollis released his self-titled solo début _Mark Hollis _, which was much in keeping with the minimalist post-rock sound of _Spirit of Eden_ and _Laughing Stock_, but he retired from the music industry shortly afterwards.

Webb also collaborated under the name of Rustin Man with Portishead lead singer Beth Gibbons and released _Out of Season _ in 2002, while Lee Harris featured on the Bark Psychosis 2004 album, _///Codename: Dustsucker _.

LEGACY AND INFLUENCE

Talk Talk's influence upon musicians has exceeded the band's visibility among the general public. Along with the band Slint , Talk Talk are credited with inventing "post-rock " in their last two albums, _Spirit of Eden_ and _Laughing Stock_. The artists who have praised the band or cited them as an influence include Tears for Fears , Matthew Good , Elbow , Shearwater , M83 , Bark Psychosis, Cedric Bixler-Zavala of The Mars Volta , Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree , Storm Corrosion (a joint project between Opeth 's Mikael Åkerfeldt and Porcupine Tree's Steven Wilson), Steve Hogarth of Marillion , Richard Barbieri of Japan and Porcupine Tree, and Death Cab for Cutie . The bands Placebo , Weezer , The Divine Comedy and The Gathering covered their song "Life's What You Make It" and No Doubt scored a hit with a cover of "It's My Life" in 2003. Lights recorded a cover of "Living In Another World" in 2012. Guy Garvey of the band Elbow has said: "Mark Hollis started from punk and by his own admission he had no musical ability. To go from only having the urge, to writing some of the most timeless, intricate and original music ever is as impressive as the moon landings for me."

A tribute album and anthological book, both titled _Spirit of Talk Talk_, were released in 2012. The book includes all the artwork James Marsh did for the band, and hand-written lyrics (by the band). The album (a double CD) includes covers by various artists, proceeds going to the conservation organization BirdLife International.

Hollis and Talk Talk continue to be praised as artists who did not cave in to the pressures of corporate and commercial interests. Says Alan McGee , "I find the whole story of one man against the system in a bid to maintain creative control incredibly heartening."

DISCOGRAPHY

STUDIO ALBUMS

YEAR TITLE CHART POSITIONS

UK US AT CA FRA ES GER ITA NL NO NZ AUS SWE SWI FIN BE

1982 _The Party\'s Over _ 21 132 – – – – – – – – 8 94 47 – – –

1984 _It\'s My Life _ 35 42 – 59 12 – 4 10 3 – 27 – 49 2 – –

1986 _ The Colour of Spring _ 8 58 16 14 – 5 11 8 1 12 7 71 25 3 15 9

1988 _ Spirit of Eden _ 19 – – – – – 16 30 32 – – – – 12 – 3

1991 _Laughing Stock _ 26 – – – 26 – – – 60 – – – – – – –

LIVE ALBUMS

* _ London 1986 _ ( Hammersmith Odeon ) (1998)

COMPILATION ALBUMS

* _It's My Mix_ (1985; released only in Italy and Canada) * _Mini LP_ (1985, contains remixes only and similar to _It's My Mix_). * _Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk _ (1990): UK No. 3, Germany No. 10, Netherlands No. 16, New Zealand No. 20, Switzerland No. 27 * _History Revisited: The Remixes _ (1991): UK No. 35 * _The Very Best of Talk Talk_ (1997): UK No. 54, Norway No. 20 (in 2002) * _ Asides Besides _ (1998) * _ 12x12 Original Remixes _ (2000) * _The Collection _ (2000) * _Remixed_ (same as _12x12 Original Remixes_) (2001) * _Missing Pieces _ (2001) * _Time It's Time_ (2003) * _The Essential _ (2003) * _ Introducing ... Talk Talk _ (2003) * _Essential_ (2011) * _Natural Order_ (2013)

SINGLES

YEAR TITLE CHART POSITIONS ALBUM

UK SINGLES CHART CA FR GER NL NZ IRL IT SA SWI US HOT 100

1982 "Mirror Man" – – – – – – – – – – – _The Party's Over_

" Talk Talk " 52 – – – – – – – – –

"Today" 14 – – – – 10 16 – – – –

" Talk Talk" _(Reissue)_ 23 – – – – – – – 1 – 75

1983 "Another Word" – – – 25 – – – – – – –

"My Foolish Friend" 57 – – – – – – – – – – _Non-LP single_

1984 "It\'s My Life " 46 30 25 33 30 32 – 7 – – 31 _It's My Life_

" Such a Shame " 49 – 7 2 9 39 – 4 – 1 89

"Dum Dum Girl" 74 – – 20 31 34 – – – 24 –

"Tomorrow Started (Live)" _(Dutch release)_ – – – – – – – – – – – —

1985 "It's My Life" _(Reissue)_ 93 – – 33 – – – – – – – _It's My Life_

1986 "Life\'s What You Make It " 16 48 49 24 11 11 17 14 – 17 90 _The Colour of Spring_

"Living in Another World" 48 – 44 34 22 – – 26 – 23 –

"Give It Up" 59 – – – – – – – – – –

"I Don't Believe in You" 96 – – – – – – – – – –

1988 "I Believe in You" 85 – – – 65 43 – – – – – _Spirit of Eden_

1990 "It's My Life" _(2nd Reissue)_ 13 – – 49 – – 23 – – – – _Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk_

"Life's What You Make It" _(Reissue)_ 23 – – – – – 23 – – – –

"Such a Shame" _(Reissue)_ 78 – – – – – – – – – –

1991 "Living in Another World '91" _(Remix)_ 79 – – – – – – – – – – _History Revisited: The Remixes_

"After the Flood" – – – – – – – – – – – _Laughing Stock_

"New Grass" – – – – – – – – – – –

"Ascension Day" – – – – – – – – – – –

2003 "It's My Life" (Liquid People vs. Talk Talk) 64 – – – – – – – – – –

OTHER APPEARANCES

* In 2002, Sandra released a cover version of "Such a Shame" which was not a hit. * In 2002, the song "Life's What You Make It" was featured in the _Grand Theft Auto: Vice City _. * In 2003, No Doubt released a cover version of "It's My Life" which became a major international hit. * Brenner and Hollis received co-credits for Alex Gold's 2003 song " LA Today " (featuring Phil Oakey ) * In 2006, the song "It's My Life" (extended version) was featured in the _Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories _. * In 2011, "It's My Life" was featured in _Saints Row: The Third _.

VIDEOGRAPHY

* _ Live at Montreux 1986 _ ( Montreux Jazz Festival ) (DVD, 2008) * _Live in Spain 1986_ ( Plaza Mayor, Salamanca , Spain ) (DVD, 2012)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

* _Guinness Rockopedia_ – ISBN 0-85112-072-5 * _The Great Rock Discography_ – 5th Edition – ISBN 1-84195-017-3

REFERENCES

* ^ Harvell, Jess (21 October 2011). " Talk Talk / Mark Hollis: Laughing Stock / Mark Hollis". Pitchfork Media . Retrieved 6 April 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Phillips, Amy. " Talk Talk\'s Mark Hollis Resurfaces With New Music for the Kelsey Grammer TV Show "Boss"". pitchfork.com. Retrieved 19 June 2016. * ^ Ankeny, Jason. " Talk Talk Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 May 2017. They were '80s synth-poppers who got more musically ambitious on each successive album. * ^ _A_ _B_ Hegarty, Paul ; Halliwell, Martin (2011), _Beyond and Before: Progressive Rock Since the 1960s_, New York: The Continuum International Publishing Group, ISBN 978-0-8264-2332-0 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Chuter, Jack (November 2015). _Storm Static Sleep_ (PDF). Function. * ^ Seabrook, Thomas Jerome. _Bowie in Berlin: A New Career in a New Town_. Jawbone. pp. 250–51. ISBN 978-1-906002-08-4 . * ^ " Talk Talk – The Party\'s Over (Album)". _Charts.org.nz_. Hung Medien / eMedia Jungden. 2011. Retrieved 31 December 2011. * ^ Crane, Larry; Eckman, Chris (2010). "Sharing food and conversation with Phil Brown". In Larry Crane. _Tape Op: The Book about Creative Music Recording, Volume 2_. Hal Leonard. pp. 74–77. ISBN 978-0-9779903-0-6 . * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk – Such A Shame". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 4 February 2010. * ^ "Hit Parade Italia – Indice per Interprete: T". Hitparadeitalia.it. Retrieved 4 February 2010. * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk – Such A Shame". hitparade.ch. Retrieved 4 February 2010. * ^ "Gli album più venduti del 1985" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Retrieved 25 September 2013. * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk – It\'s My Life". charts.org.nz. Retrieved 4 February 2010. * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk – It\'s My Life". dutchcharts.nl. Retrieved 4 February 2010. * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk - Dum Dum Girl". _Hitparade.ch_. Retrieved 11 March 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ _D_ McGee, Alan (9 April 2008). "Wherefore art thou Mark Hollis". _ The Guardian _. * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk - Life\'s What You Make It". _Hitparade.ch_. Retrieved 2017-06-16. * ^ Deevoy, Adrian (28 August 2013). " Talk Talk: \'You should never listen to music as background music\' – a classic interview from the vaults". _ The Guardian _. Retrieved 25 September 2013. * ^ Irvin, "Paradise Regained", 54. * ^ Neiss. * ^ Buckley, Peter. "The rough guide to rock". Rough Guides, 2003. vii. ISBN 1-84353-105-4 * ^ Myers, Ben (28 February 2012). "How Talk Talk spoke to today\'s artists". _ The Guardian _. Retrieved 25 September 2013. * ^ "Music Genres". AllMusic . Retrieved 11 March 2013. * ^ aliciabrissou (29 January 2010), _Roland Orzabal interview in Montreal_, retrieved 13 September 2016 * ^ Corus Radio (24 May 2011), _An Evening With Matt Good - Part 1 of 2_, retrieved 13 September 2016 * ^ "Elbow makes its bones in \'Seldom Seen Kid\'". NY Daily News. 19 April 2008. Retrieved 11 March 2016. * ^ "A Body, Not Just a Brain": An Interview with Shearwater\'s Jonathan Meiburg – Arts. The Wesleyan Argus. Retrieved on 10 April 2012. * ^ "M83". Chicago Innerview. Retrieved 11 March 2016. * ^ Wallace, Wyndham (14 August 2014). "I Put A Spell On You: The Story Of Bark Psychosis & Hex". _ The Quietus _. Retrieved 28 March 2017.

* ^ "Influences". _thecomatorium.com_. 25 April 2005. Retrieved 28 March 2017. _Q_: Does music sometimes make you cry? _Cedric Bixler-Zavala_: Yeah definitely. Talk Talk records...because you get moved by them...The last one they did, where they did a complete turnaround musically - _Laughing Stock_ - it's a good rainy day album. I think a person in the band was getting a major divorce and you can hear it in the album. I was attracted to it to it cause the guy who told us about it told us that they recorded it with candles and stuff and it was real dark album for them and the label hated it. So instantly I was attracted to it...It's a big downer, but you know, downer music is good, though, too. * ^ Prasad, Anil (2012). " Steven Wilson Art as a mirror". _www.innerviews.org_. Retrieved 28 March 2017. * ^ " Storm Corrosion - Fan Q&A - Making Something Different". _YouTube_. Roadrunner Records UK . 19 April 2012. Retrieved 28 March 2017. * ^ Randall, David (2004). "10QUESTIONS with... STEVE HOGARTH (MARILLION)". _www.getreadytorock.com_. Retrieved 28 March 2017. * ^ Powell, Jim. "The Richard Barbieri Interview". _www.2uptop.com_. Retrieved 28 March 2017. * ^ Death Cab For Cutie on Arcade Fire, U2 and their influences – Q25. YouTube (28 July 2012). Retrieved on 10 April 2012. * ^ Lights- Living in Another World feat. Darkstars (+ Download!). YouTube. Retrieved on 8 October 2011. * ^ Alexander, Phil, ed. (May 2012). "All back to my place - Guy Garvey". _Mojo Magazine_. No. 222. London: Bauer. p. 9. ISSN 1351-0193 . * ^ Battan, Carrie (25 January 2012). " Talk Talk Celebrated With Tribute Album, Book". _ Pitchfork Media _. Retrieved 25 September 2013.

* ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk - The Colour Of Spring". _Austriancharts.at_. Retrieved 11 March 2016. * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Roberts, David (2006). _British Hit Singles & Albums_ (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 547. ISBN 1-904994-10-5 . * ^ " Talk Talk – It\'s My Mix". Discogs. Retrieved 25 September 2013. * ^ " Talk Talk: It\'s My Mix". Ultratop. Retrieved 25 September 2013. * ^ Steffen Hung. " Talk Talk - Such A Shame". _Austriancharts.at_. Retrieved 11 March 2016.

EXTERNAL LINKS

* Talk Talk discography at Discogs

* v * t * e

Talk Talk

* MARK HOLLIS * LEE HARRIS * PAUL WEBB * SIMON BRENNER

ALBUMS

* _The Party\'s Over _ * _It\'s My Life _ * _ The Colour of Spring _ * _ Spirit of Eden _ * _Laughing Stock _

LIVE ALBUMS

* _ London 1986 _

SINGLES

* "Mirror Man" * " Talk Talk " * "Today" * "Another Word" * "My Foolish Friend" * "It\'s My Life " * " Such a Shame " * "Dum Dum Girl" * "Tomorrow Started (live)" * "Life\'s What

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