Talk Talk

Talk Talk was an English art-pop band from London that released three albums on EMI between 1982 and 1986, followed by two further albums on Phonogram and Verve between 1988 and 1991. The band achieved its greatest success with the 1982 album The Party’s Over and its lead-off single “Talk Talk,” a radical reworking of the song “Talk Talk Talk Talk” that front-man Mark Hollis recorded five years earlier with The Reaction.

Members: Mark Hollis (vocals, piano, organ, guitar, variophone, Mellotron), Lee Harris (drums), Paul Webb (bass, backing vocals, 1981-88), Simon Brenner (keyboards, 1981-83)

Talk Talk was formed in 1981 by Tottenham musician and composer Mark Hollis (1955–2019). The other mainstays were drummer Lee Harris and bassist Paul Webb, who both hailed from the unrecorded Essex ska act Eskalator. Keyboardist Simon Brenner rounded the original Talk Talk lineup.

Hollis first appeared in 1977 fronting The Reaction, formed at the encouragement of his older brother, DJ and producer Ed Hollis, then-manager of Eddie and the Hot Rods. They first cut the taut, aggressive “Talk Talk Talk Talk,” included on the multi-artist punk compilation Streets, released on Beggars Banquet. Their second and final release, the pile-driven mod-rocker “I Can’t Resist” (b/w “I Am a Case”), appeared in 1978 on Island.

After the initial onslaught of punk, Hollis took an interest in symphonic-rock, post-bop, and the third stream collaborations between Miles Davis and Gil Evans. It was the combination of intricacy and space on albums like Kind of Blue and Sketches of Spain that informed his next band.


  • The Party’s Over (1982)
  • It’s My Life (1984)
  • The Colour of Spring (1986)
  • Spirit of Eden (1988)
  • Laughing Stock (1991)


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