Terry Hall obituary | Terry Hall

Famous for being deadpan, moody and somewhat intimidating, Terry Hall rose to fame in the late 1970s with Coventry’s breakthrough multi-ethnic band, The Specials. They emerged in the punk aftermath with a Fijian, politically charged mix of ska and nuhi wave, debuting to immediate success with his album The Specials, which reached his No. 4 spot in the UK charts. rice field. For a time, the Specials’ 2 Tone Records operation became the UK’s most successful record his label, with releases on Madness, The Beat and Selector in addition to the Specials’ own releases.

Their second album, More Specials, featured a broader, more jazzy musical palette and charted at number five. A ghost town in 1981.

Hall commented, “I don’t think music can change anything.” Because “All you can do is get your point across,” but The Specials captured the treacherous, dangerous vibe of the 1980s turn with eerie intensity. Ghost towns, in particular, evoked a chilling sense of social decay and economic decline that ravaged riot-ravaged Britain.

The Specials found themselves on the edge of a storm, with neo-Nazis frequently targeting their gigs. Hall and the band’s keyboardist Jerry Dammers were arrested when they walked in trying to break up a brawl between fans and security at a gig in Cambridge. were fined £400 each.

Terry Hall (right) and Neville Staple with The Specials in London, 1980. Photo: David Corio/Red Ferns

However, when recording Ghost Town for an appearance on Top of the Pops, Hall and his bandmates Neville Staple and Lynval Golding felt that the band had been forced to leave the band as a result of internal personality clashes. They left to form Fun Boy Three.

Building on the previous band’s ska legacy, Fun Boy Three charted in the UK Top 10 with their eponymous debut album (1982), releasing the infectiously catchy “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That)” was a Top 5 hit single. You Do it), and the addition of the female trio Bananarama greatly increased chart familiarity. Hall took them on board after seeing them published in Face magazine.

The same integrated team had another Top 5 hit with “Really Saying Something,” which also reached the top 20 of the US club charts. Fun Boy Three disbanded after a tour of the United States, after their second album “Waiting”, “Tunnel of Love” and “Our Lips Are Shield” Top 10 hits.

Terry Hall, third from left.  1982 with Bananarama and members of the Fun Boy Three.  The two trios have had a string of hits together.
Terry Hall, third from left. 1982 with Bananarama and members of the Fun Boy Three. The two trios have had a string of hits together. Photo: LJ Van Houten/Shutterstock

Hall was born and raised in Coventry, but his childhood was marred by a horrific experience of sexual abuse. handed over to the organization. He wrote about the episode in the song Well Fancy That, a song he recorded with Fun Boy Three in 1983. The song contained the following lyrics: Hall commented: It was very difficult for him to write, but he wanted to convey his feelings. ”

A traumatic event caused Hall to take Valium at the age of 13, and the effects of these experiences continued to haunt him. In 2004 he attempted suicide after which he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and had to be controlled with antipsychotics.

He dropped out of school at 14 and took temporary jobs as a bricklayer and an apprentice hairdresser before joining the punk band Squad as lead singer. Hall described the band negatively. When the squad supported an early incarnation of the Specials then known as the Automatics, Damers was impressed and invited Hall to join them. Hall liked the automatic tune well enough to embrace it, but it needed polishing and refinement before its unique special sound emerged.

Terry Hall on stage at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival.
Terry Hall on stage at the 2009 Glastonbury Festival. Photo: Jim Dyson/Getty Images

Hall’s post-Fun Boy Three career found him hopping between a bewildering variety of projects. In 1984 he formed Colorfield with Toby Lyons and Karl Scheer and produced the Top 20 album Virgins and Philistines (1985) and a string of singles, of which only “Thinking of You” was released. It left a lot of impressions on the charts. Hall also collaborated on songwriting with The Lightning Seeds’ Ian Braudy before forming Terry, Blair and Anoushka in 1989 with Anoushka Grove and American actress Blair Booth.

The trio, united by their love of cheesy ’60s pop, covered Captain & Tennille’s hit “Love Will Keep Us Together,” but their solo album Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes failed to chart. Two singles did not do better. “A lot of what I’ve done is pretty much a windup,” Hall admitted. “Terry, Blair and Anoushka were completely pissed off by us and everyone else.”

Another project was Vegas, a collaboration between Hall and Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. Her version of Charles Aznavour reached the top 50, but their solo albums did not fare. (From Fan da Mental).

He has also been part of various reunions of the Specials since 2008 and was one of the original three remaining members.The band’s comeback album Encore (2019) topped the UK charts. rice field. Released in 2021, Protest Songs 1924-2012, a collection of his versions of covers of famous socio-political songs from decades, came in at number two.

Hall is survived by his second wife, Lindy Heyman and their son, Orson, and two sons, Leo and Felix, from a previous marriage to Janet, who ended in divorce.

Terrence Edward Hall, singer-songwriter, born March 19, 1959. He died on December 19, 2022.

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