The solo album created by Mark Hollis, the late musician who co-founded post rock band Talk Talk, is being given a new vinyl reissue.
Hollis, who earned critical and commercial success in the 1980s and 1990s with his band, passed away in February after “a short illness from which he never recovered” aged just 64.
Constantly pushing new boundaries with his music, Hollis weaved in and out of different genres such as rock, synth pop, art pop and, in his later years, taking direct influence from numerous experiential jazz musicians. When Talk Talk disbanded in 1992, Hollis took a step back from the music industry before returning five years later with his first and only solo album, Mark Hollis.
Despite the mix of aforementioned genres, Hollis took a surprise turn to minimalism and created a quiet, gentle and deeply personal record. Given his desire to keep the sound sparse, Hollis refused to play the material live: “There won’t be any gig, not even at home in the living room. This material isn’t suited to play live,” he said upon its release.
Hollis’ self-titled debut is noted for the song ‘A Life (1895 – 1915)’ which sits proudly on the centre of the tracklisting, an epic piece of music inspired by a British soldier: “That was someone born before the turn of the century…and dying within one year of the First World War at a young age,” Hollis once explained. “It was based on Vera Brittain’s boyfriend. It’s the expectation that must have been in existence at the turn of the century, the patriotism that must’ve existed at the start of the war and the disillusionment that must’ve come immediately afterwards. It’s the very severe mood swings that fascinated me.”
Now, in memory of Hollis’ life and career, UMC and Polydor Records have announced a special reissue of the record which will be made available October 18th.