Posted June 2, 2006 by Mike Mineo in Features


It’s a shame that for the most part, Talk Talk are only known as the original writers to the song that Gwen Stefani made more fortunes off of in the annoying cover of ‘It’s My Life’. The reason why I think that perhaps may be because the original was just so damn great. Talk Talk was led by the enigmatic and creative Mark Hollis, whose vocals have that certain dramatic and unique flair to them that draw comparisons from vocalists such as Morrissey or much of the works in Roxy Music’s experimental era. Their discography is odd in a creative sense, but highly enriching. Starting off as a simple electronic pop band in their first few albums, they eventually evolved into one of the creators of the uprising of the post-rock genre, in several epic songs that are so beautifully composed you wouldn’t even know that it was the same band who wrote such simple but addictive hits as ‘It’s My Life’.

The songs below are their more accessible, yet less complicated songs ranging from the early to middle part of their career. While their sound changed dramatically with each album, there was not one bad album they released in their 10+ years of playing together. ‘Talk Talk’ really describes the band quite well, other than the mocking title. From Hollis’ energetic “Hey!” in the beginning of the song, it is easy to recognize how catchy the song would eventually fold out into. ‘It’s My Life’ has probably been heard from everyone to your sister to your grandmother, whether it was Talk Talk’s original version or (most likely) No Doubt’s cover. One listen to the original clearly shows which is stronger and who the true innovators were, as Hollis’ vocals during the chorus are nearly flawless as you can sense his emotions in his haunting and heartfelt lyrics. ‘My Foolish Friend’ was another hit, in producing one of their more darker songs. Like mainly every song they wrote during this era, it has a hook that is hard to pass up. The band disbanded in 1991 after five albums, all of which are recommended. Hollis went on to create a very good solo album in 1998 and is apparently now retired.


Talk Talk – Talk Talk



Talk Talk – It’s My Life



Talk Talk – My Foolish Friend




Mike Mineo

I'm the founder/editor of Obscure Sound, which was formed in 2006. Previously, I wrote for PopMatters and Stylus Magazine. Send your music to [email protected].