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Terry Hall 1959-2022

Terry Hall 1959-2022

David Knight - 20th Dec 2022

Terry Hall, lead singer of The Specials, an unmistakeable presence from the moment that the Coventry ska outfit burst on the music scene at the end of the 1970s, has died at the age of 63.

With his deadpan demeanour and distinctive West Midlands-accented voice, he was a key ingredient in The Specials' mission to mix politics and social issues with the irresistable driving ska beat.

Terry was the frontman of an seven-strong group - in its original line-up - that featured a number of remarkable musicians and characters. And as main vocalist he held the attention like no other in iconic videos, including the groundbreaking video for the band's no.1 single Ghost Town.

Directed by Barney Bubbles in 1981, the video sees the band cruising around a deserted London in an old car. It's minimalist, cinematic concept was as groundbreaking at the time as the song itself. Terry's doleful expression, as he sang the song from the frontseat of the car, was central to its impact.  And the same applied in every music video and TV performance that he performed in the band's original line-up.

Terry left The Specials with fellow vocalist Neville Staples and guitarist Lynval Golding to create Funboy Three and begin his stint as an early Eighties pop star, again mixing great pop tunes with a higher level of lyrical content.

From the late Noughties he then fronted the revived Specials, which enjoyed a very successful second phase, including the release of a new album in 2019, the politically-charged Protest Songs. Last night The Specials announced that Terry had passed away on Sunday evening, after a short illness.   

Our sincere condolences go out to his wife Lindy, the rest of his family and friends. 

 

 

David Knight - 20th Dec 2022

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