The music industry is paying tribute to Talk Talk’s Mark Hollis following the musician’s death aged 64.
Hollis’ former manager Keith Aspden confirmed the news last night (February 25): “Sadly it’s true. Mark has died with after a short illness from which he never recovered.”
Hollis (above, centre) was born in London on January 5, 1955.
Talk Talk released five albums, debuting in 1982 with The Party’s Over and releasing It’s My Life in 1984. The Colour Of Spring (1986) was followed by Spirit Of Eden (1988) and Laughing Stock (1991).
Talk Talk disbanded in 1992 and Hollis released a self-titled solo album in 1998 via Polydor, after which he withdrew from the music business, saying, "I choose for my family. Maybe others are capable of doing it, but I can't go on tour and be a good dad at the same time."
Aspden told the BBC: "I can't tell you how much Mark influenced and changed my perceptions on art and music. I'm grateful for the time I spent with him and for the gentle beauty he shared with us."
It’s My Life is Talk Talk’s biggest-selling single according to the Official Charts Company, with 195,058 sales to date. Compilation The Very Best Of, from 1997, has 109,479 sales to date.
Parlophone has worked on various reissue campaigns with Talk Talk’s catalogue, which has been celebrated by consecutive generations.
Tributes to Hollis have been led by Aspden, Hollis' cousin-in-law Anthony Costello and former Talk Talk bassist Paul Webb (aka Rustin Man), with messages appearing from across the industry on social media. Read a selection below.
View this post on Instagram
I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis. Musically he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him. I have not seen Mark for many years, but like many musicians of our generation I have been profoundly influenced by his trailblazing musical ideas. He knew how to create depth of feeling with sound and space like no other. He was one of the greats, if not the greatest. . . . . #markhollis #talktalk
RIP Mark Hollis. Cousin-in-law. Wonderful husband and father. Fascinating and principled man. Retired from the music business 20 years ago but an indefinable musical icon.— Anthony Costello (@globalhlthtwit) February 25, 2019
Talk Talk - It's My Life (Live at Montreux 1986) https://t.co/eGRfLWHt6r
RIP Mark Hollis and thanks for some of the greatest music ever made— Andy Bell (@Andybebop) February 26, 2019
We are profoundly saddened by the news that #MarkHollis has passed away. A hugely innovative & inspirational music talent that found expression through groundbreaking, now classic albums, & whose unique, distinctive sound & style with #TalkTalk was of its time but timeless also. pic.twitter.com/zdt01lGAvJ— bpi music (@bpi_music) February 26, 2019
Mark Hollis— Xiu Xiu (@XiuXiuforLife) February 26, 2019
that is a voice we cannot spare to have lost
thank you ghost genius
Trying to find the words to express my sadness about the passing of #MarkHollis #TalkTalk— Paul Epworth (@paulepworth) February 25, 2019
Hearing Spirit Of Eden blew my 18 year old mind to such a degree I set out to try and learn how on earth they had created this transcendent masterpiece. That search turned into a career.
Rest in peace Mark Hollis of the band Talk Talk. ???? pic.twitter.com/TIoB0cmdz7— Amoeba Music (@amoebamusic) February 25, 2019
I always wanted to meet Mark Hollis & say thank you for his music. Hope he knew how much he meant to so many of us. RIP ????— Yannis Philippakis (@YnnsPhilippakis) February 25, 2019
We are so saddened to hear about the passing of Mark Hollis, lead singer and creative genius from the band Talk Talk. Our thoughts are with his family and friends https://t.co/wYc5u7SCXH— Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (@OfficialOMD) February 25, 2019
We never aped him, but I doubt without Mark Hollis’ music if there would be a Gomez. His expansive creativity was gravitational upon us. We’d sit and listen to Spirit Of Eden over and over and over. #RIPMarkHollis— GOMEZ (@gomeztheband) February 25, 2019
A genius: gone. #MarkHollis— apparat (@apparatofficial) February 25, 2019
Bye,Bye , Mark Hollis-Edwyn,— Edwyn Collins (@EdwynCollins) February 26, 2019
R.I.P. Mark Hollis,, a truly gifted individual.— Psychedelic Furs (@pfurs) February 26, 2019
So sad to hear Mark Hollis has passed.. his music is amongst my most dearly loved... Rest in peace you wonderful soul. pic.twitter.com/DD7eYizhfz— erol alkan (@erolalkan) February 25, 2019
RIP Mark Hollis, massive influence, gone too soon, legacy is enormous. PD pic.twitter.com/am9PRjtuXw— Paul Draper (@PaulDraper) February 25, 2019
Sad news about Mark Hollis. So much beautiful music https://t.co/5I8s98RI6F— Tim Burgess (@Tim_Burgess) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis is up there with Neil Young/Sonny Sharrock/Hendrix for most physical/blasting minimalism/spiritual guitar solos. No matter how far out every phrase belongs. Fucking....bummer. True head— Ryley walker (@ryleywalker) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis was a spirit whisperer and keeper of a secret garden. pic.twitter.com/OCBXisldzl— JAGJAGUWAR (@jagjaguwar) February 25, 2019
Very sad to hear that Mark Hollis has died. You might have experienced the wonder of those final three Talk Talk albums but his 1998 solo album is just as beautiful and has been an endless source of musical and conceptual inspiration to us.— Field Music (@fieldmusicmusic) February 25, 2019
Really sorry to hear of the death of Mark Hollis. His music was rich and deep, and a huge influence on my development as a musician.— David Rowntree (@DaveRowntree) February 25, 2019
one of the most amazing writers of my generation. I was lucky enough to spend some time with him at our studios September Sound in the 90s when he was working on new music. This is incredible. https://t.co/PVAU1yk2CZ— bella union (@bellaunion) February 25, 2019
So sad about Mark H... he made some of the most moving music I have ever heard.. pic.twitter.com/oAc75ymaoT— graham coxon (@grahamcoxon) February 25, 2019