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Filename G:\EAC What\Terry Hall - Laugh... Plus (1997)\10. Terry Hall - Laugh... plus - I Saw the Light.wav Selected items are only available for delivery via the Royal Mail 48® service and other items are available for delivery using this service for a charge. Hall struggled to write lyrics for a follow-up, he said. “The arrival of the pandemic affected me enormously. I spent around three months trying to figure out what was going on. I couldn’t write a single word. I spent the time trying to figure out how not to die.” Instead, they covered historic protest songs and released Protest Songs 1924-2012 in 2021, which peaked at No 2. And so the last at least five years have been unbelievably brilliant and [I’ve been] appreciating things on a different level which I never thought I would. Like, really simple things. On the way here, I saw a folding bike and that has made my day – that you can fold a bike to that size. It’s like origami. If I get one thing like that every day then I’m so happy. So happy,” he said.

Hall formed Fun Boy Three with his Specials bandmates Staple and Lynval Golding. They also enjoyed chart success for several years, collaborating twice with girl band Bananarama, on It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It) and Really Saying Something. Hall would also land a Top 10 single with Our Lips Are Sealed, a song he co-wrote with US indie star – and then romantic partner – Jane Wiedlin for her band the Go-Go’s.

Taking to social media, the ska icons confirmed that the influential singer had passed away from a “brief illness” at the age of 63. They honoured him as “a beautiful friend, brother and one of the most brilliant singers, songwriters and lyricists this country has ever produced”. Filename G:\EAC What\Terry Hall - Laugh... Plus (1997)\04. Terry Hall - Laugh... plus - Take It Forever.wav In the hours that have passed since he died, Hall’s colleagues have come out in droves to pay their respects. Among them is his former Specials bandmate Neville Staple, who wrote in a tweet: “I was deeply saddened to hear about Terry Hall’s passing on Sunday. [Christine ‘Sugary’ Staple] was called as we arrived in Egypt. One of the few things the band’s seven members agreed on in retrospect was that there frequently wasn’t much to smile about in The Specials On one level, 1983’s Waiting was lighter than their debut – produced by Talking Heads’ David Byrne, it featured the fantastic, poppy hit single Our Lips Are Sealed (on the US version), which Hall had written with Jane Wiedlin of the Go Gos about their clandestine relationship – but it also contained Well Fancy That!, a disturbing account of the abuse Hall had suffered as a child, after being abducted by a paedophile ring during a school trip to France. If you wanted evidence of Hall’s catholic music taste – not always apparent in The Specials – Waiting opened with a jaunty cover of the theme music from the 1960s film adaptations of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries.

Unfortunately, the band were possibly enjoying themselves too much, and a combination of drink and drugs with an intense work schedule made relationships fractious. “For the first album, we were all drunk, and we had a lot of fun,” says Golding. “By the second album, we were falling apart. It was very painful to make.” In 2008, inspired by the Pixies’ reunion in 2004, Hall announced that he would be reforming the Specials for a tour and new music, albeit without founding member Jerry Dammers, who claimed he had been forced out. But Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes failed to make the charts. Similarly, there were few takers for Vegas, the electronic duo he formed with Dave Stewart of Eurythmics, or indeed for Hall’s 90s solo albums Home and Laugh, despite the strength of their songs – listen to Hall’s version of the Lightning Seeds’ Sense, which he co-wrote with Ian Broudie, or the glorious chiming guitars of Sonny and His Sister. Better still was 2003’s The Hour of Two Lights, which found Hall collaborating with Mushtaq Uddin of Fun-Da-Mental: a remarkably ambitious album of musical fusions that involved Algerian rappers, Polish Gypsy band Romany Rad, a 12-year-old Lebanese vocalist and jazz pianist Zoe Rahman. It could have been a worthy mess, but instead it worked, conjuring up a sense of global menace. If anyone conversant with the Specials’ oeuvre could spot Hall’s vocals a mile off, it was still like nothing else he’d released, testament to his musical restlessness.Afterwards, you get these 17- or 18-year-olds coming to you and talking about the music and the effect it has on them. This one kid, he had a Specials tattoo on his arm and when I met him, he started crying. I thought I'd done something to upset him, but it was the songs, the multiracial thing, it had really touched a young generation. It's fantastic, but it's pretty strange. And that's when I started thinking, oh my God, perhaps the Specials should reform." Next, he formed the trio Terry, Blair & Anouchka, who delved even deeper into 60s and 70s-inspired pop on their solitary album Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes, a genuine lost classic. Improbable as it seemed, Hall had a genuine facility for sunshine pop; as if to underline where they were coming from, it concluded with a cover of Captain & Tennille’s corny-but-fantastic 1975 hit Love Will Keep Us Together. Just as the global influence of The Specials became readily apparent, thanks to a wave of American ska-punk bands, Hall had never seemed further from the music they were inspired by. Terry Hall and Neville Staple performing with The Specials in 1980. Photograph: David Corio/Redferns

Oh blimey. I’m not one to rush on here when someone dies. Terry Hall, though. He was such a lovely bloke. A sweetheart. Neville Staple, Hall’s bandmate in the Specials and Fun Boy Three, said he was “deeply saddened” by the news.The Official Charts Company – Dub Pistols Featuring Terry Hall". Official Charts Company . Retrieved 31 May 2009. Almost 22 ago, Terry Hall followed up his debut solo album Home with 1997’s Laugh an album which featured collaborations with the likes of Stephen Duffy and Damon Albarn. It is released on vinyl for the first time next month. Relations within the band became fraught, exacerbated by a punishing work schedule - "we played everywhere," says Bradbury, "including a caravan park in Crosshands, which, with all due respect to the people who live there, is a little out of the way" - and the kind of arguments that bands with a less determinedly political stance might never face: there was much heated discussion over the ideological correctness of travelling by limousine.

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