When Ghost town was released in 1981, The Specials were already splitting up. Internal frictions over direction allegedly contributed but it was the spooky melodies, strange chords and the evolving vision of Jerry Dammers the principle songwriter that made this song so special. This song was Number 1 in England for three weeks and became single of the year for most of the important music magazines. Amazingly the song was never on a studio album, only on a later collection of songs. A song about social unrest and urban decay, it told the story of how people felt at the time. The video had the band driving around the deserted streets of London early on a Sunday morning in a 1962 Vauxall Cresta. Another incarnation of The Specials that included Dammers would go on to release Free Nelson Mandela and this is why I have chosen a song by them today with the news of Mandela’s death. Dammers eventually quit the music business to become a political activist.
No comments yet.