On this date (3.24) in 1984, London New Wave band Talk Talk debuted on the BILLBOARD Hot 100 with their second American hit (1982’s “Talk Talk” reached No. 75), and one of my all-time favorite songs, “It’s My Life.” It’s the title track of the band’s second album.
“It’s My Life” was their fifth chart single in their U.K. homeland, but stopped at No. 46. Here in the U.S., it fared better, spending 2 weeks at No. 31 in May 1984 and a week at No. 1 on BILLBOARD’s Dance chart. Sadly, it was the only time they reached the Top 40 (in 4 tries) here in America. Around the globe, “It’s My Life” was a No. 7 hit in Italy, and reached the Top 40 in at least 5 other countries.
It took six years, a second re-release of the single and a greatest hits collection (NATURAL HISTORY: THE VERY BEST OF TALK TALK) for “It’s My Life” to become their biggest U.K. hit, reaching No. 13 there.
Nearly 20 years after the 1984 release of “It’s My Life,” Gwen Stefani and No Doubt’s updated and faithful cover of “It’s My Life” (also supported by a greatest hits collection) fared even better than the Talk Talk original. Co-produced with Nellee Hooper, who has worked with the likes of Sinéad O’Connor, Soul II Soul, Björk, Massive Attack, Madonna and U2, the No Doubt cover of “It’s My Life” found new life and then some, and it was a Top 10 hit in at least 11 countries worldwide, including No. 1 in Poland and a No. 10 peak on the Hot 100 in January / February 2004. It was even nominated for a Grammy Award.
I know my singles chart nerdiness has been a bit more prominent in today’s post. It’s partly because I AM a singles chart nerd and I love finding out what a song did on the Hot 100 and other charts worldwide, and it’s partly because I’m really tired. Many people have their own take on the meaning of this song, but as for my take, I think, simply, it’s a statement of reclaiming your life and calling people out who challenge that…
“It’s my life / Don’t you forget…”