RIP Mark Hollis


I’m kind of lost for words to describe the impact of his music on me…

Maybe someone can relate.


Whoa. Those later Talk Talk records and his solo record are such touch points. I still listen to them often after all these years and they still unfold more and more magic. Glad he took time away from the rush of music - sounds like he knew that value of the time he had.


Thanks for replying. I think what’s pertinent for linesers is how incredibly technical the work on those records was… It sounds like a band in an intimate room but it’s all an illusion, it’s hundreds of hours of studio footage comped together on 2-inch tape machines…

I hope they catch the Lee Harris impersonator one day (no one will understand this reference).


I only very recently got into Talk Talk, but I was very saddened to hear he died. I think Laughing Stock especially deals with silence / quietness and simplicity beautifully; I expect for it to be a perennial personal touchstone.


he’s responsible for some of my absolute favorite work. i had been digging into those later records and solo record for some minimalist drum inspiration, really saddened to hear he’s gone. he was only 64.

i really had hope he was going to return to music someday.


He represents more than words can describe, his retreat from the music business / world also meant a lot to me, like the whole point of his art was to make me ponder what language music is and what we use it for and why we should make the space for it, be the space 30 years of almost silence hidden in Maroco or anywhere else after releasing some of the most intense, meaningful and intimately gigantic music of this era.

I won’t have the words for it, that’s why it’s such a beautiful beautiful thing that there’s still this music for us to listen to anytime we need it.


Huge loss for music. I still listen to Laughing Stock on a regular basis and consider Mark to be one of my biggest influences as a musician.


When I joined a band called Parlour 20 years ago with some local luminaries, I got a big stack of CDs from the mastermind that he sort of wanted to share as touch points for where he was. Some didn’t make sense right away - the Fall and Talk Talk notably. At some point probably a decade later, Talk Talk made sense :slight_smile:

I end up listening to “Spirit of Eden” the most, but it’s far from their only incredible work. Time to revisit his solo album, as it’s been far too long. Maybe I’ll re-read the Phill Brown chapters on his work with Talk Talk too as that captured a bit of the energy in those sessions.

One of my favorite things about their work is the mystery. Too few really embrace that anymore.


Also lost for words.

I was selfishly hoping for more music from him, but I’m thankful for the amazing work that still exists now he’s gone.


I posted this to a couple of social media platforms:

Talk Talk’s final three albums—and Hollis’ solo album—remain my absolute favorite music, period. Desert island. Nothing else compares.


Total RIP here. Those last two Talk Talk albums (Laughing Stock and Spirit of Eden) saved my life a few years ago. Peace and Respect.

I know there were personal struggles in his music. I totally respect that, and I’m so glad he was here.


Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock tap into, open up into something preverbal and directly spiritual for me. I can think of only a handful of albums/artists capable of doing that. For me, it’s the rarest and most prized quality in music and what I always hope to someday achieve. I can’t think of any higher praise I can give for a musician. RIP.


There was really nothing like those records at that time (or even since). It’s like they were ripped out of time and space and randomly dropped into the late 80s/early 90s. monumental works from a true visionary. “Ascension Song” is quite fitting right now. RIP.


It’s really nice to see so much love for his music here, and very hard to believe he was only 64. A huge loss.

This might feel a little beside the point, but I was thinking last night that the processes Mark and Tim Friese-Greene developed for making records might have impacted me as much as the actual recordings. I love that during the Laughing Stock sessions he was very selective about which of the previous tracks musicians would hear while writing and recording their parts. For instance, a bass player might only hear some percussion and a keyboard overdub. Fascinating way of building a song I always thought. I also believe that for his solo album the only mics used were a stereo tube pair setup in one spot in an orchestral studio. They would move musicians around the room as they recorded their individual parts to place them in the stereo field.


Talk talk was one of those bands I’d heard of but never listened. 3 minutes into spirit of Eden - incredible! RIP


pretty heartbroken right now. but so grateful for the music.

lovely to read this thread


I’m one of those folks who came to them early, mostly due to life’s what you make it being one of the greatest pop songs ever written, and never dug into later albums. I am rectifying that now.


I very rarely see mentions of his solo album. It’s one of my favorite records ever.
Some compositional aspects blow my mind. The sound (and the silence) is amazing.
Mark Hollis also made the only recordings of Harmonica that I love, and is responsible for my love for the Clarinet.


Have been unexpectedly and overwhelmingly sad about this ever since I found out. There’s something very, very hard to articulate about why his music means so much, and why he as a person embodies something so very powerful: these are, I think, wrapped up in the timelessness of the music and the completeness of his retreat from public view, but saying any more than that feels like it cheapens things somehow.

This interview with him remains one of my favourite examples of talking about the creative process:


“That first track on the Spirit of Eden, for me the first two notes summed up what the album was for me. It was just not concerned about the number of notes. It was just concerned about how those two notes were played. Certainly I’d say its true that the most important for me about any record is the silence. It’s above everything; I would rather hear one note than I’d would hear two, and I would rather hear nothing than I would hear one.”

Mark Hollis in the interview above at 12:20.