Three years after forming in 1981, the English band Talk Talk released a song that was one of the biggest hits in their repertoire, “It’s My Life,” the title track of their second album.
Music videos had become a significant part of music marketing in the early 1980s. I remember this single being accompanied by a video that switched between scenes of animals free in nature and shots of lead singer Mark Hollis (1955-2019) in a zoo with animals in captivity. I remember a friend commenting at the time how beautiful the video was, though when I first saw it, I focused on the animals that weren’t free and didn’t see the beauty in that.
Cruising around YouTube today, I found a version of the song by the UK cover band Murdoch’s Crazy Eyes, performed in pandemic lockdown style, remotely from the musicians’ homes. It’s a pretty solid cover, though the lead vocalist doesn’t quite match the late Hollis’s unmistakable sound.
The song is one I listened to a lot during the 1980s and since. It has retained its standing as a powerful example of 80s synthpop by a band that later moved on to more experimental post-rock in the mid-80s.
The American band No Doubt also covered the song in 2003, in a spectacular wall-of-guitars version featuring then-lead singer Gwen Stefani.
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Today, I’m posting the three versions of the song for you to sample. As well, below the videos, I’ve started including a link to lyrics.
Here’s the cover version I found today, by Murdoch’s Crazy Eyes:
Plus, the official music video of the song from the Talk Talk YouTube channel (if you look through the comments, you’ll see near the top that one person took time this year to list the names of all the species that appear, along with the respective time stamps in the video):
And finally, the No Doubt cover, from their YouTube channel:
If you click on the link, you’ll find an unofficial version of the lyrics.