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 release
Single by Talk Talk
from the album The Colour of Spring
B-side "It's Getting Late in the Evening"
Released
Format
Recorded 1985–86
Studio
Genre New wave[3][4]
Length 4:29 (7" version)
Label
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s) Tim Friese-Greene
Talk Talk UK singles chronology
"Dum Dum Girl"
(1984) Dum Dum Girl1984
"Life's What You Make It"
(1986) Life's What You Make It1986
"Living in Another World"
(1986) Living in Another World1986
Alternative cover
1990 reissue
1990 reissue

"Life's What You Make It" is a song by the English band Talk Talk. It was released as a single in 1986, 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. Artist James Marsh created the single's cover illustration.

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

Conception[edit]

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.[5]

Personnel[edit]

Talk Talk
Additional musicians

Credits as per The Colour of Spring album notes.[6]

Track listings[edit]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1985–1986) Peak
position
Australia (Kent Music Report)[10] 70
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[11] 14
Canada Top Singles (RPM)[12] 48
France (SNEP)[13] 49
Germany (Official German Charts)[14] 24
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 17
Italy (FIMI)[16] 14
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40)[17] 13
Netherlands (Single Top 100)[18] 11
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[19] 11
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[20] 17
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[21] 16
US Billboard Hot 100[22] 90
US Billboard Hot Dance Club Play1[22] 22
US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Maxi-Singles Sales1[22] 40
US Billboard Top Rock Tracks[22] 26
US Cash Box[23] 88
Chart (1990) Peak
position
Ireland (IRMA)[15] 23
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[24] 23

1Remix

Cover versions[edit]

For the 2012 benefit tribute album Spirit of Talk Talk, "Life's What You Make It" was covered by singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik in a duet with Rachael Yamagata.[25] Several other artists have recorded the song since its original release.

The Divine Comedy recorded an acoustic version of the song in 1993, made available on a limited edition of A Secret History... The Best of the Divine Comedy. German rock band Zinoba recorded a version that featured in the closing credits of the 2004 film Gegen die Wand (Head-On) directed by Fatih Akin. The Gathering covered the song on their 2005 album Accessories – Rarities and B-Sides. A cover version was included as a bonus track on the UK release of Weezer's 2008 album Weezer. Australian post-punk singer Rowland S. Howard also covered the song for his second solo album Pop Crimes in 2009. In 2011 the Danish band Dúné recorded the song for the film ID:A.[26]

More recently, a Placebo cover version of "Life's What You Make It" featured on both a double A-side (with "Jesus' Son") and the band's Life's What You Make It EP in 2016.[27] American indie rock band Joywave covered the song for a Spotify Singles release for the music streaming service in 2018.[28]

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.[29]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Unwin, Neville; Goodyer, Tim (April 1986). "Talkback". Home and Recording Studio. 
  2. ^ Marsh, James; Roberts, Chris; Benjamin, Toby (2015). Spirit of Talk Talk (Paperback ed.). London: Rocket 88. p. 74. ISBN 978-1-90661-595-6. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Sendra, Tim. "Various Artists – Pop & Wave, Vol. 3". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 7 May 2015. 
  5. ^ Jim Irvin, Mojo, April 2006
  6. ^ The Colour of Spring (liner notes). Talk Talk. EMI Records. 2012. p. 2. 
  7. ^ Marsh, James; Roberts, Chris; Benjamin, Toby (2015). Spirit of Talk Talk (Paperback ed.). London: Rocket 88. p. 220. ISBN 978-1-90661-595-6. 
  8. ^ Neiss, James (December 1991). "Talk Talk". Record Collector. London: Diamond Publishing Group. p. 23. 
  9. ^ Neiss, James (December 1991). "Talk Talk". Record Collector. London: Diamond Publishing Group. p. 22. 
  10. ^ "Forum – ARIA Charts: Special Occasion Charts – CHART POSITIONS PRE 1989". Australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Ultratop.be – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  12. ^ "Top RPM Singles: Issue 0670." RPM. Library and Archives Canada. Retrieved 5 June 2013.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It" (in French). Les classement single. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  14. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It". GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  15. ^ a b "The Irish Charts – Search Results – Life's What You Make It". Irish Singles Chart. Retrieved 16 July 2013.
  16. ^ "I singoli più venduti del 1986" (in Italian). Hit Parade Italia. Creative Commons. Retrieved 30 May 2013. 
  17. ^ "Nederlandse Top 40 – Talk Talk - Life's What You Make It" (in Dutch). Dutch Top 40. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  18. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It" (in Dutch). Single Top 100. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  19. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It". Top 40 Singles. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  20. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Talk Talk – Life's What You Make It". Swiss Singles Chart. Retrieved 1 May 2014.
  21. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  22. ^ a b c d "Talk Talk – Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 21 August 2008. 
  23. ^ "CASH BOX Top 100 Singles – Week ending FEBRUARY 8, 1986". Cash Box. Archived from the original on 2 October 2012. 
  24. ^ "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 26 June 2013.
  25. ^ Wert, Thaddeus (14 October 2012). "Spirit of Talk Talk: A Well-Deserved and Respectful Tribute". Progarchy. Retrieved 28 July 2017. 
  26. ^ "dunesite". Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  27. ^ "Life's What You Make It". Placeboworld.co.uk. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 6 August 2016. 
  28. ^ Fleisher, grace (12 January 2018). "Joywave reveals exclusive Spotify Singles ahead of 2018 tour dates". Dancing Astronaut. Retrieved 13 January 2018. 
  29. ^ 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]