This sumptuous top quality book is brought to you by the same people who produced the recent top notch tomes on Jethro Tull and ELP, which should be recommendation enough before we even begin! Mark Hollis was always something of an enigmatic, reclusive figure right up to his untimely passing in 2019, but boy did he produce some great music once he hit his stride. The transformation from the fairly formulaic new wave debut set by Talk Talk in 1982 to their minimalist farewell of 1991’s Laughing Stock was both radical and remarkable – five albums in eight years, travelling from fairly run of the mill art pop through to almost avant garde experimentation, producing some quite astonishing and beautiful music which has endured to this day. After that, a seven year gap before his last work, a self titled solo effort originally intended to be a Talk Talk album titled Mountains of the Moon, and that was that – twenty years of silence was its only follow up. This book has been put together by A&R man Ben Wardle, and is probably the definitive look at Hollis and his work, drawing on contemporary interviews together with contributions from key figures such as his brother, Ed, and a collection of various sundry collaborators from over the years. It’s a well balanced and very comprehensively researched examination of the life of this maverick and his body of work – the absence of input from, among others, his wife and children, is a pity, but he was, after all, a very private man so that is probably exactly the way he would have wanted it. An extremely good read though, and surely as close to the final word on this subject as we’re ever going to get.
Length of Read:Medium
Might appeal to people who enjoyed…
Listen to Spirit of Eden and Laughing Stock and prepare to be converted!
One thing you’ve learned
If the book interests you, it’s only available by ordering direct from www.markhollisbook.com