Editor’s Note: The Albumism staff has selected what we believe to be 50 fantastic first solo albums recorded by artists who departed—or simply took a temporary hiatus from—their respective groups, representing a varied cross-section of genres, styles and time periods. Click “Next Album” below to explore each album or view the full album index here.
MARK HOLLIS | Mark Hollis
Selected by Rayna Khaitan
Released in the dead of winter in 1998, Mark Hollis’ stunningly self-aware solo record still unnerves like a ghostly whisper. Jazzy, minimalist and haunting, Hollis’ self-titled opus creates a drowsy atmosphere that lulls, but is far too intricate and unpredictable to allow you to sleep. In fact, for all its hazy, hushed acoustics, it puts you on alert, commanding you to take pause and be in the moment: “And yet I'll gaze / At the colour of spring / Immerse in that one moment / Left in love with everything.”
Like Wordsworth’s self-reflective The Prelude, Mark Hollis marks the culmination of an artist’s career. After creating five studio albums with synthpop-turned-post-rock trio Talk Talk, Hollis quit the band in 1992, having won the hearts of fans and critics with his liquid-honey vocals and remarkable gift for experimental songwriting. With Mark Hollis, Hollis delivers a deliberate farewell to both fans and music, leaving an enriching world of poetry that begs to be visited.