Talk Talk – by Rachel Grace Almeida

This week, Mark Hollis, frontman and co-founder of the British band Talk Talk lost his battle with cancer. He was 64. The news was confirmed by bassist Paul Webb and his longtime manager Keith Aspden, who wrote, “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.”

While Hollis retired from music two decades ago, his legacy can be found in the way that Talk Talk have influenced a generation of musicians, from Radiohead and Sigur Rós to These New Puritans. Talk Talk were founded in 1981, scoring a string of timeless hits such as It’s My Life and Such a Shame, two singles that embody the buoyant synth pop sound of their early trajectory, before the band drifted to more indefinable, experimental sonics, arguably never bettered than in their masterpiece Spirit of Eden.

To honour the legacy of a musician widely held up as a genius, Crack Magazine’s Junior Editor Rachel Grace Almeida selects Talk Talk’s best tracks, mixed by Daniel Linke. “Mark Hollis’ voice was distinctively arresting, unlike any other frontman of his time – or, perhaps, ever,” she says. “He was one of the best pop songwriters that ever lived, but he was also this introverted, off-centre genius whose music brings the drama. He was one of a kind.” With a tracklist comprised mostly of tracks from one of their earlier albums – It’s My Life (1984) – and one of the band’s later releases, Laughing Stock (1991), celebrate the differing eras of Hollis’ life via the mix above.

Tracklist
Desire
Have Your Heard the News
Tomorrow Started
It’s My Life
I Don’t Believe in You
Eden
Renee
Dum Dum Girl
Mirror Man
The Party’s Over
Ascension Day
Taphead
Happiness is Easy
The Last Time