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Mark Hollis Vinyl, CD & tapes by Mark Hollis at Norman Records

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Talk Talk
The Party’s Over

It still beggars belief that this record was made by the same people who made 'Laughing Stock'.  This is Talk Talk in full throes of their early 'new romantic' sound. Having supported Duran Duran there is a certain similarity in sound but even when in synth pop excess mode Talk Talk were clever and literate. Witness the hit singles 'Today' and 'Talk Talk'.  

Talk Talk
It’s My Life

This is the one where things started to change. Producer and multi instrumentalist Tim Friese-Green was drafted in and immediately set about turning the previous 'new romantic image' into something more special. Still the hits kept coming with 'Such a Shame', 'Dum Dum Girl' and the stellar title track beautifully combining mainstream pop and sophisticated production.   

Mark Hollis
Mark Hollis

Following the sad passing of Mark Hollis earlier this year we all collectively turned back towards the impressive career arc of his band Talk Talk. Lesser referenced was his self-titled solo album released in 1998. It didn't help that the record was out of print at the time but this re-issue is a chance to wallow again in the intimate grooves of a record that was initially intended to be released under the Talk Talk moniker. It is a gorgeous thing full of woodwind, jazz- inflected drumming, pastoral guitar and Hollis's fascinated mumbling verse. So quiet that you can hear the squeak of the musicians chairs. Essential.