Life's What You Make It (Talk Talk song)

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"Life's What You Make It"
Life's What You Make It (Talk Talk song).jpg
Original version
Single by Talk Talk
from the album The Colour of Spring
B-side "It's Getting Late in the Evening"
Recorded 1985–86
Genre New wave[1][2]
Length 4:29
Producer(s) Tim Friese-Greene
Talk Talk singles chronology
"Dum Dum Girl"
"Life's What You Make It"
"Living In Another World"
Alternative cover
1990 release

"Life's What You Make It" is a song by the English band Talk Talk. It was released as a single in 1985, the first from the band's album The Colour of Spring. The single was a hit in the UK, peaking at no. 16, and charted in numerous other countries, often reaching the Top 20.

Filmed at Wimbledon Common, London, the promotional video for the single shows the band performing in the early hours in a natural history setting. The video, directed by Tim Pope, enjoyed heavy rotation on MTV.

The track was re-released as a single in 1990, charting for a second time.


The song was one of the last to be conceived for The Colour of Spring, following concern from the band's management at the lack of an obvious single among accumulated work. Initially unwilling, Mark Hollis and Tim Friese-Greene, the principal source of original material for the band, accepted the task as a challenge. Friese-Greene: "I had a drum pattern loosely inspired by Kate Bush's Running Up That Hill and Mark was playing Green Onions organ over the top." (Making no. 3 in the UK Singles Chart, "Running Up That Hill" had been released in August 1985.) The track was embellished with David Rhodes' guitar hook.[3]

Track listings[edit]


Chart (1985–86) Peak
Australia (Kent Music Report)[4] 70
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[5] 14
Belgium (VRT Top 30 Flanders)[6] 14
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[7] 48
France (SNEP)[8] 49
Germany (Official German Charts)[9] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 17
Italy (FIMI)[11] 14
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[12] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[13] 11
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[14] 11
Poland (LP3)[15] 21
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[16] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[17] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[18] 90
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play1[18] 22
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales1[18] 40
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks[18] 26
US Cash Box[19] 88
Chart (1990) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[10] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 23


Cover versions[edit]

The Divine Comedy did an acoustic version of the song in 1993, available on the limited edition of A Secret History... The Best of the Divine Comedy. German rock band Zinoba recorded a version that featured in the film Gegen die Wand (Head-On), directed by Fatih Akın (2004), during the closing credits. The Gathering covered the song on their 2005 album Accessories - Rarities and B-Sides. Also, a cover version was included as a bonus track on the UK version of Weezer's 2008 album Weezer. Australian post-punk singer Rowland S. Howard also covered the song, on his second solo album Pop Crimes, in 2009. In 2011 the Danish band Dúné made a version of the song in connection to the movie ID:A.[21]

On 19 August 2016, Placebo have released a cover version of "Life's What You Make It", as a double A-side along with the single "Jesus' Son". Additionally, the song is included on Placebo's EP Life's What You Make It, released on 7 October 2016.[22]

In popular culture[edit]

The track appeared in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City in 2002, where it plays on the pop radio station, Flash FM.[23]


  1. ^ Phillips, Amy (31 August 2012). "Talk Talk's Mark Hollis Resurfaces With New Music for the Kelsey Grammer TV Show "Boss"". Pitchfork. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 
  2. ^ Sendra, Tim. "Various Artists – Pop & Wave, Vol. 3". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  3. ^ Jim Irvin, Mojo, April 2006
  4. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  5. ^ " – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  6. ^ "Radio 2 Top 30 : 11 januari 1986" (in Dutch). Top 30. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0670." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  8. ^ " – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  9. ^ " – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  10. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Life's What You Make It". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  11. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1986" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  12. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Talk Talk - Life's What You Make It search results" (in Dutch) Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  13. ^ " – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  14. ^ " – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  15. ^ "LIFE'S WHAT YOU MAKE IT – Talk Talk" (in Polish). LP3. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  16. ^ " – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  17. ^ "Archive Chart: 1986-02-08" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  18. ^ a b c d "Talk Talk – Awards". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  19. ^ CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 8, 1986 at the Wayback Machine (archived 2 October 2012). Cash Box magazine.
  20. ^ "Archive Chart: 1990-09-15" UK Singles Chart. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  21. ^ "dunesite". Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Life's What You Make It". 4 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016. 
  23. ^ Phares, Heather. "Original Game Soundtrack – Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Vol. 4: Flash FM". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 21 June 2013. 

External links[edit]