At the beginning of the 1980s there were a lot of bands that went through a rapid development within a very short time. Examples are XTC, Prefab Sprout, The The or Julian Cope: artists who don't just deliver nice chart food, wear the latest fashion and are easy to market, but develop their own ideas and rebel in a creative way. If they don't make as much money as their record companies expect from them, they often react with thumbscrews and lawyer's letters - an experience that Mark Hollis, Lee Harris, Paul Webb and their producer and unofficial fourth band member Tim Friese-Greene also have to make at some point.
EMI will engage Talk Talk as a synthiepop act, touring with Duran Duran and swimming on the New Romantic wave. With success: Their second album "It's My Life" turns the rather unpretentious Londoners into pop stars in 1984 with the hits "It's My Life", "Such A Shame" and "Dum Dum Girl". However, Hollis sees himself primarily as a musician and refuses to comply with the laws of industry where he can: He hardly gives interviews, cultivates the image of the mysterious wearer of sunglasses and perceives videos as a farce - an attitude he makes clear in the clip for "It's My Life", in which he moves his lips so asynchronously to the singing that it seems like a parody. The unique style of the band also includes the distinctive cover design of James Marsh.
Further conflicts are programmed: Talk Talk leave their synthiepop influences behind and try their hand at an ambitious mix of rock, jazz, classic and ambient on their fourth album "Spirit Of Eden" 1988. The publication is accompanied by the announcement not to tour and not to decouple anything, which leads to the open conflict with EMI: The label insists on releasing "I Believe In You" as a single and producing a video about it. Hollis gives vent to his dissatisfaction in a rare interview with the British magazine "Q", in which he speaks of a "gigantic mistake": the (bad) cinematic staging deprives the listener of the opportunity to develop images to music himself. She therefore restricts art and castrates it.