Music facts, music trivia, interesting stories and much more. Introducing the "Did You Know" page about English 2 Tone and ska revival band, The Specials.
The Specials are an English 2 Tone and ska revival band that was formed in Coventry in 1977. After some changes in the band, the first stable lineup of consisted of Terry Hall and Neville Staple (vocals), Lynval Golding and Roddy Radiation (guitar), Horace Panter (bass), Jerry Dammers (keyboards), John Bradbury (drums), and Dick Cuthell and Rico Rodriguez (horns).
The music of the band combines a danceable ska and rocksteady beat along with the energy and attitude of punk. When it comes to lyrics, the band presents a more focused and informed political and social stance.
The band's hit song "Ghost Town" was written and recorded in a Tottenham, London apartment by keyboardist of the band, Jerry Dammers. The song is about the decline of Coventry, where the band grew up.
Once, a thriving industrial town in the 1960s, Coventry fell on hard times in the 1980s. "Ghost Town" was inspired by scenes noted during the band's UK tour, as in Liverpool, all the shops were shuttered up, everything was closing down, and in Glasgow there were little old ladies on the streets who were selling their household goods.
After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979-1981, Hall, Staple and Golding, left the band in order to form Fun Boy Three. The band continued as "The Special AKA" and later on founder and songwriter Jerry Dammers dissolved the band to pursue political activism.
The Specials reformed in 1993, and have continued to perform and record with different line-ups, none of them involving Dammers.
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