“Talk Talk” – Do you remember one of the great bands of the nineteen-eighties?

It actually is a shame to use that play of words, since “Such a Shame” is one the most famous songs by the band. And the band is Talk Talk. Formed in 1981 they had some major hits before singer Mark Hollis decided to make rather moody music. Almost jazz. Or was it jazz? In the end it was music that could change a life. Very detailed, very melodic, sometimes sounding like it could open a window in the skies.

So now take a walk down memory-lane and remember, or discover, one of the great bands of the nineteen-eighties. We present the ultimate knowledge guide to Talk Talk after the jump and below…

A top three of their most underrated songs (as chosen by the team of the transatlantic diablog) there too. Plus: Audio of a Live-Show, artwork and cool links…

The band.
Formed by mastermind Mark Hollis (born in Tottenham, England) in 1981 the band had three other members: Lee Harris (drums), Paul Webb (bass) and Simon Brenner (keyboards). In October 1982 the band supported Genesis at their reunion concert with original lead singer Peter Gabriel at Milton Keynes Bowl, England. They then became known to a wider audience and had some major hits: “It’s My Life”, “Such a Shame”, “Dum Dum Girl”, “Life’s What You Make It” and “Living in Another World” – all of them sounded very different to the common sound in the 1980s. In 1983 Simon Brenner left the band and was replaced by Tim Friese-Greene, who became keyboard player, producer, and Hollis’ frequent songwriting partner. In 1992 the band quit…

Most famous show.
Probably a show the band played at London’s Hammersmith Odeon in 1986. 13 years later is was released on CD. Or is it the Montreux show that is most famous?

1. Tomorrow Started
2. Life Is What You Make It
3. Does Caroline Know?
4. Living In Another World
5. Give It Up
6. It’s My Life
7. Such A Shame
8. Renée

Among them: Guy Garvey singer of the band Elbow. His band’s bassist has the order to play Talk Talk’s song “New Grass” at Garveys funeral – if he dies before him, of course.

Famous cover.
Probably No Doubt’s version of “It’s My Life”. Released 2003.

Best bass part.
As played by Paul Webb who played in a reggae-band before he joined Talk Talk – and you can hear that in a good way.


Top three of underrated songs.
1. Pictures of Bernadette
2. Eden
3. John Cope

Best online achive.
The largest database of articles and more available at Snow in Berlin.


Cover artwork.
Most of the covers by the band did not show the band. Mostly artwork of animals, insects, birds. All that by James Marsh. He still works as a designer. Here’s more and his shop – T-Shirt maybe?

The second night in London.
Just listen…

(Video TTLaughingstock)

Band today?
Talk Talk sounded like some recent bands. Very rhythm-driven, very melodic, very innovative. Today Marc Hollis has mostly retired from music. But not completely. Here’s a recent musical output. A short song recorded for the US-TV-series “Boss”. It’s called “ARB Section 1”. The track was part of a larger body of music created for the film ‘Peacock’, but never used.

(Music by Mark Hollis)

Tim Friese-Greene still works as a musician and producer. More here. And here’s more about Bass-Player Paul Webb.

More about that topic:
Wikipedia about Talk Talk
A new compilation album by Talk Talk (curated by Mr. Hollis) reviewed by UNCUT magazine



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