I was very sad to hear of the death of Mark Hollis on Monday, February 25, 2019.
The music he made with Talk Talk, and the solo album he released in 1998, is some of the most beautiful and mysterious I have ever heard. There wasn’t much of it, but it touched me deeply for 30 years. For anyone who hasn’t heard The Colour Of Spring, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock in particular, I would urge immediate investigation.
I spent most of the Monday night and Tuesday morning following his death writing a piece for the Guardian on the beauty of Hollis’s voice and words. Several other writers also contributed pieces. Orchestrated by Laura Snapes, the Guardian‘s coverage in the aftermath of his death was superlative. The various pieces are collected here, and they are all excellent.
In the years before Hollis’s death, I wrote several other pieces about Talk Talk. Here are some of them:
Talk Talk: 10 of the Best – the Guardian, May 2017
Talk Talk: Natural Order review – Uncut, January 2013
The Band Which Disappeared From View – the Guardian, September 2012
A tremendously positive 10 / 10 review of Cowboy Song has appeared on PopMatters:
‘It is … difficult not to acknowledge that Cowboy Song might be one of the best rock biographies of all time.’
Read the full review here.
The latest coverage of Cowboy Song in the US includes reviews by Under the Radar, Austin Chronicle, and a feature in Houston Press.
I was also pleased to get commendations from Craig Finn and Cass McCombs, two writers and musicians I admire greatly:
“Cowboy Song is pretty amazing. I’ve been a Lizzy fan for a long time but I learned a massive amount of new things from the book and it made me love them even more.” – Craig Finn, The Hold Steady
“I’ve always held it impossible for biography to encompass a life, especially the life of someone as vibrant as Phil Lynott. Cowboy Song has changed my mind. A touching portrait of one of my favorite musicians.” – Cass McCombs
Out now, published by Es Pop Ediciones, in rather fine style.
Cowboy Song is published in the US this week, by Chicago Review Press. It is available at all the usual outlets, including Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I recently wrote a blog for CRP on my favourite Lynott songs.
Cowboy Song is out now in paperback in the UK & Ireland
Behind The Locked Door was published in paperback in the US at the end of 2016. Here are recent reviews from the Houston Press and from Rockyoulike