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Mark Hollis 1955-2019

It’s kind of impossible to tell you how much the Talk Talk albums Spirit of Eden, Laughing Stock and the Mark Hollis solo album mean to me. It is impossible. Mark Hollis is in that pantheon of my all time favorite musicians … Baden Powell, Brigitte Fontaine, Bill Evans, Robert Wyatt, Tim Buckley, Nina Simone, John Coltrane, Lenny Breau. When I was a teenager it was Wyatt and Buckley. A little older, it was Coltrane and Evans, then Fontaine, Breau and Powell. Discovering that final Talk Talk album ‘Laughing Stock’ was like being 14 years old again and hearing Blue Afternoon or Alabama for the first time. And years later coming across the self titled Mark Hollis solo album … wow. Listening to it always felt like a rare privileged world I somehow discovered and completely by accident was allowed in. Below is a first track from that album, it has always torn me apart in a way that is, like I said, impossible to describe. The quiet. The heartbreak. The beauty. Perfect. Imperfect. The intimacy. Perhaps the most intimate record ever recorded. I can go on for hours about this one song alone. It starts with 16 seconds of silence … need I say more. This is such a sad day. Rest in peace Mark Hollis.