A Perfect Silence: Authoritative New Biography Of Talk Talk Frontman Mark Hollis
by Geoff Ford
Mark Hollis: a perfect silence is the first in-depth biography of enigmatic Talk Talk founder Mark Hollis, based on new interviews with friends, musicians, collaborators and record company executives, plus extensive original research. Ben Wardle’s authoritative volume is to be published in the spring, by Rockett88 Books, and tells the full and fascinating story of Hollis from his earliest beginnings through to his untimely end.
Mark Hollis achieved critical acclaim as the co-founder and lead singer of Talk Talk in the 80s and 90s. As the principal songwriter Hollis wrote or co-wrote most of Talk Talk’s music, including their best-known singles It’s My Life and Life’s What You Make It.
From synth-pop beginnings in 1981, Talk Talk’s style became increasingly adventurous under Hollis’s direction. For their third album, The Colour of Spring (1986), Talk Talk adopted an art pop sound. The album won critical and commercial favour and remains their biggest commercial success. The band’s final two albums, Spirit of Eden (1988) and Laughing Stock (1991), were radical departures from their early work, developing an experimental and contemplative style with jazz, folk, classical and experimental influences. Although these failed to achieve commercial success, both albums have been recognised as early landmarks of post-rock music and critically acclaimed retrospectively.
Hollis returned to the studio with a self-titled 1998 solo album, continuing the direction of Talk Talk’s sound but in a more minimal, sparse, acoustic style, before largely retiring from the recording industry to concentrate on family life. He passed away in February 2019 following a short illness, aged 64.
Mark Hollis: a perfect silence is on presale now at a pre-order discount. The book is available in two distinct editions, each featuring a cover design created by long-time Talk Talk collaborator James Marsh. The Signature slipcase edition has been signed by James and Ben Wardle.