Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Mark Hollis and Talk Talk rarities

This article compiles the extant rarities from the career of Hark Hollis (1955-2019).

First, if you are unaware of this music, you are in for a rare treat. I am not going to repeat here the story of how a synth-pop group with rare sensibilities morphed into one of the most incredible expressions of pure music imaginable. Instead, just obtain the following catalogue. I've even indicated my suggested purchase order, which defers the first rather slick albums until after you've heard the masterworks.

5. Talk Talk: The Party's Over (EMI, 1982)
6. Talk Talk: It's My Life (EMI, 1984)
1. Talk Talk: The Colour of Spring (EMI, 1986)
2. Talk Talk: Spirit of Eden (Parlophone, 1988)
3. Talk Talk: Laughing Stock (Verve, 1991)
4. Mark Hollis: Mark Hollis (Polydor, 1998)

Two compilations are also valuable:
Talk Talk: Asides Besides (EMI, 1998)
Talk Talk: Missing Pieces (Pond Life, 2001)

If you already have all those records, here are the rarities...

This is a rehearsal cassette from "Eden", posted online by Tim Friese-Green, Talk Talk collaborator and producer.

"Recorded shortly before going into the studio, probably at John Henry rehearsal rooms. This is Mark on guitar, Lee on drums, and myself on piano and organ (the bass was always addressed in the studio once the basic track was down, which is why it doesn't feature here)."

The remainder are all links to music on YouTube, so I won't bother embedding code.

Demo by Mark Hollis, from 1979 (!) Might have been recorded at the time of The Reaction.
Crying in The Rain

The Reaction was a pre-Talk Talk band with radically different arrangements of familiar songs. These three tracks are from a set of nine recorded as a demo at Nashville Rooms Studios, 1979.
Have You Heard The News

300 Cubs was another version of the same band. More synths now.
Strike Up The Band

Further information would be much appreciated in the comments. At least eight additional early demos plus three BBC Sessions are out there somewhere.



robin said...

I previously posted an appreciation here:

hddaly22 said...

From the set of nine recorded as demos in 1979, which were the other songs not mentioned aside from Candy, HYHTN & Renée?

robin said...

This is the listing I have, though I don't know where it came from.

The Reaction at Nashville Rooms Studios (1979):

Mirror Man
I Keep On Telling You
Crying In The Rain
It's A Question Of Time
Have You Seen The News?
Souled Out

hddaly22 said...

That's really cool.

Did The Reaction ever write demos for Living In Another World and Happiness Is Easy?

robin said...

No idea!

ruireb said...

I think this one is missing:
"Talk Talk Talk Talk" by The Reaction released on Beggars Banquet compilation "Streets" in 1977

And here's a YouTube link to Carolyn by The Reaction:

Rob said...

I have a demo called Caroline which contains sections of Living In Another World.

Anonymous said...

Older link to Caralyn on Vimeo -

Anonymous said...

Seems those Reaction links are broken but searching on YT I found this at least:

Spellbinding stuff.

SomeGuy said...

What's the source of a lot of these demos? It'd also be nice to have them in better quality, the YouTube compression really makes them sound bad. Anyone know where the original downloads are?

Unknown said...

Unknown said...

all are here :

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