Talk Talk – It’s My Life – 1984

It’s My Life” is a song by the English new wave band Talk Talk. Written by Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene, it was the title track on the band’s 2nd album and released as its 1st single in January 1984. It reached #46 on the UK Singles Chart, but did better in several other countries, reaching #33 in Germany, #32 in New Zealand, and #25 in France. In North America, it entered the Top 40 in both the United States (at #31) and Canada (at #30). It peaked at #1 on the US Dance Club Songs chart.

The single was re-released in the UK in 1985, but reached only #93. In 1990, however, “It’s My Life” was reissued again to promote the compilation album Natural History: The Very Best of Talk Talk. This time, the song was a hit in the UK, reaching #13, the band’s highest chart-placing single in its native country.

There are two versions of the video for “It’s My Life”. The first, envisioned by director Tim Pope as a statement against the banality of lip-synching, consists almost entirely of footage from the 1979 BBC wildlife documentary Life on Earth, interspersed with shots of Talk Talk lead singer Mark Hollis standing in various places throughout the London Zoo. He keeps his hands in his coat pockets and his mouth pointedly shut tight, the latter often obscured by hand-drawn animated lines that occasionally appear in the documentary footage sequences as well.

The 2nd version, recorded at the behest of EMI, consisted of the entirety of the original video projected on a green screen behind Hollis on guitar and vocals as well as his two bandmates as they lip-synched and mimed the song, deliberately poorly and with comic exaggerated gestures.

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