Sacrilege! Big successful American band with famous glamorous girl singer doing a cover of introspective arty quiet English lads that really don’t want to be in their videos or in fact in the case of vocalist Mark Hollis – doesn’t even want to make music anymore. And then there’s the videos – Talk Talk have two versions, one for the Americans and one for the Europeans. UK version directed by Tim Pope is a statement against lip synced vids with lovely images of London Zoo where Mark Hollis stands with his mouth firmly shut. Little squiggles appear here and there, no other band members – and it works. Not so said Mr EMI in the US, so they reshot it with the original video as a back drop, the band then exaggerated their performance as a statement about how stoopid the whole thing is. It works too, I wonder if the American label got it or did they think what an enthusiastic band, why on earth would they not want to make videos?
No Doubt’s version is of course a commercial version of the song but Gwen Stefani has such a great voice that for me she/they completely pull it off. The video is of course exaggerated without irony but then No Doubt are/were/still are massive and their/her image pleases the masses, the antithesis of Talk Talk’s raison d’être. No Doubt do at least see the song from the darkside as she murders all her band mates.
The song is great but pre Talk Talk’s adventures into minimalism and experimentation where the real greatness lies. Three albums would follow this one – The Colour Of Spring, Spirit Of Eden and Laughing Stock before they broke up in 1992. Drummer Lee Harris and bassist Paul Webb formed Orang and later Webb joined Portishead’s Beth Gibbons as Rustin Man for the Out Of Season album. Harris played on a Bark Psychosis album in 2004. Mark Hollis made one solo album in 1998 – he hasn’t sung a note since.
Talk Talk – It’s My Life (UK Version)
Talk Talk – It’s My Life (US Version)
No Doubt – It’s My Life