Post-Ghost Town points of call. With sell-out shows by the reformed Specials keeping him busy and boosting the pension, now is as good a time as any to be reminded of what Hall got up to after the band first split up. Fun Boy Three retained some elements of The Specials’ sound and political stance, but more maverick offering were to follow.
The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum), FB3’s debut single, was a close cousin to Hall’s previous band’s swansong, Ghost Town. Affairs of the heart were, however, the focus of Tunnel Of Love and Our Lips Our Sealed, the latter hinting at the more melodic concerns of The Colourfield, whose Thinking Of You best exemplified their pop sensibilities. There was a lighter, DayGlo hue to the short-lived trio of Terry, Blair & Anouchka (Ultra Modern Nursery Rhyme).
Vegas, the collaboration with Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart, wasn’t quite as appealing, the songs here from their solitary album lacking the charm of what went before, but the spirit of old was recaptured on Hall’s solo debut Home, produced by Ian Broudie. The constant throughout these two discs is Terry’s signature voice: simultaneously deadpan and yearning, one of the modern music’s most distinctive delights.
Mail On Sunday
Posterity mainly has Terry Hall down as the singer of The Specials. Outside those late-Seventies ska rebels, he has trodden a stylish path. This collection hoovers up much of his good work in the Fun Boy Three, and The Colourfield, the elegant tribute to continental pop that was Hall’s equivalent of Paul Weller’s Style Council.
The 42 songs include the former band’s It Ain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It) and the latter’s Thinking Of You. Smash hits aside, it’s a deep mine of maverick pop excellence. Possessed, a misguidedly optimistic single by Vegas, Hall’s brief collaboration with Eurythmic Dave Stewart, is just one of many great moments that fell through the cracks.