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Mark Hollis

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Mark David Hollis (born 4 January 1955, Tottenham, London) is an English musician and singer-songwriter. He achieved commercial success in the 1980s as singer with the synthpop/post-rock band Talk Talk, but retired from the music industry after his 1998 solo debut album.

The younger brother of Ed Hollis, a disc jockey and producer who went on to manage bands such as Eddie and the Hot Rods, Hollis originally planned to become a child psychologist but in 1975 left university to relocate to London, where he eventually formed a band called The Reaction. In 1977, The Reaction recorded a demo for Island Records; among the tracks was a Hollis original titled “Talk Talk” which later surfaced on the Beggars Banquet punk compilation Streets. After just one single, 1978’s “I Can’t Resist,” The Reaction disbanded, and through his brother, Hollis was first introduced to musicians Paul Webb, Lee Harris and Simon Brenner, with whom he formed Talk Talk in 1981, soon signing to the EMI label.

In 1998, he released an eponymous solo debut album, Mark Hollis, and participated in occasional musical projects, including playing melodica and bass guitar on Anja Garbarek’s 2001 album Smiling & Waving, as well as producing it. He has now retired from the music industry. He has stated about his decision to retire from performing, “I choose for my family. Maybe others are capable of doing it, but I can’t go on tour and be a good dad at the same time.

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