One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Talk Talk

“It’s My Life” by Talk Talk

Here is the second New Wave/Synthpop one-hit wonder of the day. Talk Talk was another band that was a one-hit wonder in the U.S., but had more success in other countries. In the band’s early days, they were compared with Duran Duran, as both bands had a name which was a single word repeated, a Roxy Music-inspired musical direction, and shared the same record label (EMI) and producer (Colin Thurston).

Talk Talk released their first album, The Party’s Over, in 1982. It was successful in the U.K. They achieved huge international success in 1984/85 when they released their second album, It’s My Life. The title track of the album was a hit in several countries, including the U.S., where it peaked at #31 on May 19, 1984.

The band abandoned the New Wave style completely with The Colour of Spring in 1986. That album was a smash hit in the U.K., but the success never translated over to the U.S. Their follow-up, 1988’s Spirit of Eden, while critically acclaimed, did not sell as well as it’s preceding albums. The band then wanted to be released from their contract with EMI.

In 1990, Talk Talk signed a two-album contract with Polydor Records. They released the album, Laughing Stock in 1991. After Laughing Stock, Talk Talk disbanded in 1992, as lead singer/founder Mark Hollis wished to focus on his children. In 1998, Mark Hollis released his self-titled solo debut Mark Hollis, and then retired from the music business shortly afterwards.

However, Talk Talk made an impact beyond the ’80s. The band No Doubt remade “It’s My Life” to be included on their greatest hits album The Singles 1992–2003. The song became a hit for them also, and was nominated for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal at the 47th Grammy Awards.

So, here is both versions of the song:

Talk Talk

No Doubt

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2 thoughts on “One Hit Wonders of the ’80s: 1984 – Talk Talk”

  1. You say “their follow-up, 1988′s Spirit of Eden was a disappointment.”

    Disappointment for who? Are you going by sales figures alone? Both ‘Spirit of Eden’ and “Laughing Stock’ are considered influential and have had a longer lasting appeal over their poppier earlier music (though I’m a fan of all their music). Just sitting back listening with headphones, the experience from listening to this music is akin to ‘Dark Side of the Moon’, sweet bliss. This music was ahead of it’s time.

    Just look at the five star ratings for those last two albums at allmusic:
    http://www.allmusic.com/artist/talk-talk-mn0000790814

    If you can, can you please clarify the word disappointment, or reword that paragraph.

    Thanks!

    Cory

    1. Thanks for your input Cory! Spirit of Eden was critically acclaimed, but did not do as well commercially. Unfortunately, they did not catch on in the U.S. as much as in Europe. They sound like a perfect candidate for an Albums of the ’80s article. Especially if there are more fans like you out there. What’s you’re favorite Talk Talk album?

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