The Specials Frontman Was 63 – The Hollywood Reporter

Terry Hall, frontman of influential UK ska band the Specials and later a member of new wave pop band Fun Boy Three, has died. He was 63.

“We are deeply saddened to announce the passing after a short illness of Terry, our beautiful friend, brother and one of the most outstanding singers, songwriters and lyricists. the best this country has ever produced.” said a statement tweeted from Special’s official account. “Terry is a wonderful husband and father and one of the kindest, funniest, and most genuine people. His music and performances encapsulate the essence of life… joy, pain, humor, struggle for justice, but above all love.”

As the lead singer of the politically and socially conscious Specials, Hall achieved fame and cult status in the United Kingdom through songs such as “Ghost Town”, “Gangsters” and “Too Much Too” Young.” With Fun Boy Three, he achieved chart success with the songs “Summertime” and Bananarama with the hits “’Tain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)” and “Really.” Say Something.”

or Terrence Edward Hall on March 19, 1959 in Coventry, England, his parents worked in the car industry. Hall was traumatized as a schoolboy after he was abducted at the age of 12 by a pedophile and taken to France, where he was sexually abused and subsequently abandoned. In interviews, Hall said the incident left him with a lifelong scar and caused a lifelong depression, forcing him to drop out of school at age 14 after becoming addicted to Valium.

Young Hall has found work as a manual laborer, his only escape thanks to music. He played with local punk bands, including Squad, before being discovered by Jerry Dammers, who suggested he be the frontman of his ska revival band, the Coventry Automatics, who in early 1979 will change its name to Specials. He featured on the Specials’ first single, “Gangsters”, which caught the band’s attention after it was broadcast on BBC radio.

The Specials’ eponymous debut was followed in October 1979. Produced by Elvis Costello and released on Dammers’ indie label 2 Tone Records, the specials There was only one charting single, a cover of “A Message to You, Rudy” by Dandy Livingstone and was initially mixed, but since its release it has become an ancient record. dictionary and has social significance. Released at a time of high youth unemployment in the UK, as well as racial riots, strikes and callous Thatcherite economic reforms, the album strikes at the pervasive sense of despair in the country and hard-to-cover tensions. hidden in society. In 2013, NME ranked the specials at number 260 on its list 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.

A quick follow-up album, Other offerswas released in September 1980. More openly politically inclined, Hall’s first credited record was with the song “Man at C&A.”

However, The Specials’ greatest success came from the single off the album “Ghost Town”, which was released in June 1981. The song, a tribute to a broken Britain, captured the hearts of the times. and spent three weeks at the top of the UK singles chart. chart, quickly becoming the song of a harsh summer torn apart by strikes and riots in 35 British cities. The music video accompanying “Ghost Town,” featuring a moody-looking Hall and band friends driving around a ruined city, was equally influential and became an indelible part. of British popular culture.

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