- 26 Feb 19
The post-rock band, fronted by Hollis rose to fame in the 1980s
Mark Hollis, frontman of Talk Talk, has died at the age of 64. The band were formed in 1981 by Hollis and had a string of hits; ‘It’s My Life’, ‘Today’, ‘Talk Talk’, and ‘Life’s What You Make It’ before branching out in different directions. Hollis released a self-titled solo album in 1998 and then effectively retired from the music industry.
The news was broken by Anthony Costello, a relation of Hollis who said: “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 music icon.”
Tributes have flooded in from fans and peers. Former bandmate Paul Webb said: “I am very shocked and saddened to hear the news of the passing of Mark Hollis. Musically, he was a genius and it was an honour and 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.”
Matt Johnson, of The The, said he was: “Very sorry to hear the news that Mark Hollis of Talk Talk has died. He was behind some of the finest albums of the 1980s/early 1990s. R.I.P”
Yannis Philippakis from the rock group Foals said: “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. R.I.P.”
Tim Pope, the video director who worked with Talk Talk on several music videos, tweeted: “Goodbye to Mark Hollis of Talk Talk. Condolences to his lovely family. We had many, many laughs together.”
Peter Hammill of Van Der Graaf Generator called Hollis "a co-tunneller under the surface of what pop music might mean."
The exact cause of Mark Hollis' death is still unknown. Further tributes below.
"Mark was the main songwriter of some truly great songs” @TalkTalk pic.twitter.com/beH4kGPcmA
— Duran Duran (@duranduran) February 25, 2019
No no no. This is the worst news. Such beautiful music. I know so many people who were inspired by this man. I listen to his records over and over. Loved them. RIP Mark Hollis.
— Stalwart Automaton (@MarkEitzel) February 25, 2019
Mark Hollis was a spirit whisperer and keeper of a secret garden. pic.twitter.com/OCBXisldzl
— JAGJAGUWAR (@jagjaguwar) February 25, 2019
In my top 5 favourite LPs. Very sad. #MarkHollis #RIP. A genius. pic.twitter.com/uhEv8XFdno
— Dave O'Grady (@daveGildedALM) February 25, 2019
Bye Mark Hollis 😢
"Such a shame" Talk Talk (1984) pic.twitter.com/GUU2LmbOZy
— Claire Underwood (@ParisPasRose) February 25, 2019