Talk Talk singer Mark Hollis dies

25 February 2019, 20:41 | Updated: 26 February 2019, 11:17

Mark Hollis in 1990
Mark Hollis in 1990. Picture: Martyn Goodacre/Getty Images

The frontman of the 1980s band, best known for their hit It's My Life, has died, aged 64.

Talk Talk frontman Mark Hollis has died, aged 64.

His bandmate Paul Webb, said in a statement on Facebook: “Musically he was a genius and it was a honour and a privilege to have been in a band with him.

Talk Talk in 1982
Talk Talk in 1982; Mark Hollis is second left. Picture: Michael Putland/Getty Images

“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 a depth of feeling with sound and space like no other. He was one of the greats, if not the greatest.”

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...

Posted by Rustin Man (Official) on Monday, 25 February 2019

The band were best known for their string of 1980s hits including Talk Talk, Today and It's My Life. Talk Talk started life in the New Romantic era, touring with Duran Duran in 1981 - Duran's singer Simon Le Bon tweeted: "Mark was the main songwriter of some truly great songs."

Starting with their third album, The Colour Of Spring, in 1986, Talk Talk explored a richer sound on songs such as Life's What You Make It and Give It Up.

Their 1988 album Spirit Of Eden was a freeform, jazz-influenced, semi-improvised piece that led to friction with their record label EMI, but became a critically-acclaimed, hugely-influential work. Hollis told Q magazine at the time that he felt Spirit Of Eden sounded like a record from the 1960s rather than the 80s: “It's a reaction to the music that's around at the moment, 'cos most of that is shit. It's only radical in the modern context. It's not radical compared to what was happening 20 years ago.”

Talk Talk released one more album, 1991's Laughing Stock, leaving Hollis to release one solo album in 1998 before effectively retiring from music.

Filmmaker Tim Pope, who directed many of Talk Talk's videos including It's My Life and Life's What You Make It, tweeted: "Condolences to his lovely family. We had many, many laughs together."

Others paid tribute to the musician, including Yannis Phillipakis of Foals, Doves, Dave Rowntree of Blur and Tim Burgess of the Charlatans.