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Terry Hall (singer)

Terry Hall (singer)

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Terry Hall is the lead singer of The Specials
The Specials
The Specials are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups...

, and formerly of Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three were a short-lived but successful English New Wave Pop band which ran from 1981 to 1983 and was formed by singers Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding after they left The Specials.-History:...

, The Colourfield
The Colourfield
The Colourfield were a British band formed in 1984 in Manchester, when former Specials and Fun Boy Three frontman, Terry Hall, joined up with ex-Swinging Cats members Toby Lyons and Karl Shale...

, Terry, Blair & Anouchka
Terry, Blair & Anouchka
Terry, Blair & Anouchka was a musical outfit, active in the early 1990s. The group was formed by Coventry born singer Terry Hall, American actress Blair Booth and jeweler Anouchka Grose...

 and Vegas
Vegas (duo)
Vegas was a musical outfit, active in the early 1990s. The duo was formed by the former Specials & Fun Boy 3 singer Terry Hall and Eurythmics member David A. Stewart. They released their self-titled début album in 1992 as well as a trio of singles....

. He has released two solo albums and has also collaborated with many artists including David A. Stewart
David A. Stewart
David Allan Stewart , often known as Dave Stewart, is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known for his work with Eurythmics. He is usually credited as David A. Stewart, to avoid confusion with other musicians named "Dave Stewart".-Early life:Stewart was born in Sunderland,...

, Bananarama
Bananarama
Bananarama are an English female pop duo who have had success on the pop and dance charts since 1982. Rather than relying on a two part harmony, the duo generally sings in unison, as do their background vocalists. Although there have been line-up changes, the group enjoyed their most popular...

, The Lightning Seeds, Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad O'Connor
Sinéad Marie Bernadette O'Connor is an Irish singer-songwriter. She rose to fame in the late 1980s with her debut album The Lion and the Cobra and achieved worldwide success in 1990 with a cover of the song "Nothing Compares 2 U"....

, Stephen Duffy
Stephen Duffy
Stephen Anthony James Duffy is an English singer/songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was a founding member and vocalist/bassist of Duran Duran. He went on to record as a solo performer under several different names, and is the singer and songwriter for The Lilac Time with his older brother...

, Dub Pistols
Dub Pistols
Dub Pistols are a London based dub music and big beat band, founded by ex-club promoter, Barry Ashworth, in 1996. The other members of the band were record producer and bassist Jason O'Bryan, Brooklyn producer and lyricist, T. K. Lawrence on vocals, Jap Slut guitarist John King, and turntablist DJ...

, Gorillaz
Gorillaz
Gorillaz is an English musical project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. This project consists of Gorillaz music itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a "virtual band" of cartoon characters...

, Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn is an English singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in many high profile projects, coming to prominence as the frontman and primary songwriter of Britpop band Blur...

, Tricky
Tricky
Tricky is an English musician and actor. As a producer and a musician, he is noted for a dark, rich and layered sound and a whispering sprechgesang lyrical style. Culturally, Tricky encourages an intertwining of societies, particularly in his musical fusion of rock and hip hop, high art and pop...

, Junkie XL
Junkie XL
Tom Holkenborg , better known as Junkie XL or JXL, is a Dutch musician. He uses the name JXL in cases where the term "Junkie" might cause offense. XL is for "Xpanding Limits"....

, Leila Arab
Leila Arab
Leila is an Iranian recording artist, producer and dj based in London.She has worked with prominent European musicians such as Björk, and has released music on Rephlex Records, XL Recordings and Warp Records....

, Lily Allen
Lily Allen
Lily Rose Beatrice Cooper , better known as Lily Allen, is an English recording artist and fashion designer. She is the daughter of actor and musician Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. In her teenage years, her musical tastes evolved from glam rock to alternative...

, Shakespears Sister
Shakespears Sister
Shakespears Sister/Shakespear's Sister is a British-based synth-pop-rock band formed by Irish-born singer–songwriter Siobhan Fahey in 1988, with plaudits including a BRIT Award and Ivor Novello Award. It was Fahey's first musical outing since leaving Bananarama, and initially a solo project...

 and Nouvelle Vague
Nouvelle Vague (band)
Nouvelle Vague is a French musical collective led by musicians Marc Collin and Olivier Libaux. Their name is a play on words, meaning "new wave" in French, and "bossa nova" in Portuguese...

.

Early years


Born and raised in Coventry, England, Hall left school before his fifteenth birthday, taking various short-term jobs - bricklayer and apprentice hairdresser among them. He became an active member of the burgeoning Coventry music scene of the late 1970s, playing in a local punk
Punk rock
Punk rock is a rock music genre that developed between 1974 and 1976 in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Rooted in garage rock and other forms of what is now known as protopunk music, punk rock bands eschewed perceived excesses of mainstream 1970s rock...

 band called Squad and being credited as a composer
Composer
A composer is a person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition, for interpretation and performance, or through direct manipulation of sonic material through electronic media...

 on their "Red Alert" single
Single (music)
In music, a single or record single is a type of release, typically a recording of fewer tracks than an LP or a CD. This can be released for sale to the public in a variety of different formats. In most cases, the single is a song that is released separately from an album, but it can still appear...

. Hall has stated that one of his grandfathers was a Jewish watchmaker from Germany .

The Specials



As the frontman for The Specials
The Specials
The Specials are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups...

, Hall first came to prominence in the UK
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 in 1979 when BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1
BBC Radio 1 is a British national radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in current popular music and chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7:00pm including electronic dance, hip hop, rock...

 DJ John Peel
John Peel
John Robert Parker Ravenscroft, OBE , known professionally as John Peel, was an English disc jockey, radio presenter, record producer and journalist. He was the longest-serving of the original BBC Radio 1 DJs, broadcasting regularly from 1967 until his death in 2004...

 played their debut single "Gangsters" on his show. The band then went on to release their debut album, Specials
Specials (album)
Specials is the debut album by British ska revival band The Specials.Released in 1979 on Jerry Dammers' 2Tone label, the album is seen by some as the defining moment in the UK ska scene...

, which also contained the hits "A Message To You Rudy" and a slower version of "Too Much Too Young
Too Much Too Young
Too Much Too Young can refer to:*Too Much Too Young" , a song by The Specials*"Too Much Too Young", a song by Little Angels...

."

In October 1980, The Specials
The Specials
The Specials are an English 2 Tone ska revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a "danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude", and had a "more focused and informed political and social stance" than other ska groups...

 released their second album, More Specials
More Specials
More Specials is an October 1980 album from the ska band The Specials. The album was the band's second, after their self-titled debut, and expanded the group's 2 tone sound to include lounge music and other influences. It includes collaborations with The Go-Go's, Rhoda Dakar from The...

, which boasted two more hit singles with "Do Nothing" and "Stereotype."

The single "Ghost Town", released in June 1981, spent three weeks at number one and ten weeks in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. The b-side song, "Friday Night Saturday Morning", penned by Terry Hall, described a night out at the Coventry Locarno.

The Fun Boy Three


After the last Specials single, "Ghost Town
Ghost Town
"Ghost Town" is the title of a 1981 song by the British ska band, The Specials. The song spent three weeks at number one and ten weeks in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. Addressing themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for...

," was released, Hall left the band to start a new group called Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three were a short-lived but successful English New Wave Pop band which ran from 1981 to 1983 and was formed by singers Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding after they left The Specials.-History:...

 with two of his Specials bandmates, Lynval Golding
Lynval Golding
Lynval Golding is a British musician. He is best known as a rhythm guitarist and vocalist with the British 2 Tone Records band, The Specials....

 and Neville Staple. The Fun Boy Three's first hit single, "The Lunatics (Have Taken Over The Asylum)," was released in 1981 and was followed-up in 1982 with "It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)," a duet with Bananarama
Bananarama
Bananarama are an English female pop duo who have had success on the pop and dance charts since 1982. Rather than relying on a two part harmony, the duo generally sings in unison, as do their background vocalists. Although there have been line-up changes, the group enjoyed their most popular...

. Fun Boy Three then provided guest vocals for Bananarama's single, "Really Saying Something." That same year, Hall and his bandmates appeared in the music video for "Driving in My Car
Driving in My Car
"Driving in My Car" is a single by Madness. It was released on 24 July 1982, and spent eight weeks on the UK Singles Chart, peaking at number four...

" by Madness
Madness (band)
In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

 and released their debut album, Fun Boy Three
Fun Boy Three (album)
Fun Boy Three is the debut album by Fun Boy Three, a band consisting of three ex-members of the UK ska band The Specials: Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding. It was released in 1982 and was re-released in 1999 as Fame...

, which reached #7 in the UK Albums Chart
UK Albums Chart
The UK Albums Chart is a list of albums ranked by physical and digital sales in the United Kingdom. It is compiled every week by The Official Charts Company and broadcast on a Sunday on BBC Radio 1 , and published in Music Week magazine and on the OCC website .To qualify for the UK albums chart...

. In February 1983, Fun Boy Three released their second album, Waiting
Waiting (Fun Boy Three album)
Waiting is the second and final studio album by the Fun Boy Three. It was released in 1983 and featured the hit single "Our Lips Are Sealed," co-written by Terry Hall and previously performed by The Go-Go's....

, which contained two Top Ten hits: "The Tunnel of Love" and "Our Lips Are Sealed
Our Lips Are Sealed
"Our Lips are Sealed" is a song written by Go-Go's guitarist Jane Wiedlin and Specials and Fun Boy Three singer Terry Hall. It was first recorded by The Go-Go's as the opening track on their 1981 album Beauty and the Beat and served as their debut American single...

." The latter was a song Hall had written with Jane Wiedlin
Jane Wiedlin
Jane Marie Genevieve Wiedlin is an American musician, singer-songwriter, and actress. She is best known as the rhythm guitarist of the all-female New Wave band The Go-Go's.-Early life:...

, who had already had success in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

  with her group The Go-Go's
The Go-Go's
The Go-Go’s are an all-female American rock band formed in 1978. They made history as the first all-female band that both wrote their own songs and played their own instruments to top the Billboard album charts....

.

The Colourfield


In 1984, Hall formed The Colourfield
The Colourfield
The Colourfield were a British band formed in 1984 in Manchester, when former Specials and Fun Boy Three frontman, Terry Hall, joined up with ex-Swinging Cats members Toby Lyons and Karl Shale...

, releasing the album Virgins & Philistines
Virgins & Philistines
-US version:-Personnel:* Terry Hall - all instruments and voices* Toby Lyons - all instruments and voices* Karl Shale - all instruments and voicesAdditional Musiciains* Paul Burgess - drums* Pete de Freitas - Drums on "Take" & "Cruel Circus"...

in 1985, which included the hit single "Thinking of You." The album spent seven weeks in the UK chart, peaking at #12. This new musical direction would culminate in collaborations with Ian Broudie
Ian Broudie
Ian Broudie is a British singer-songwriter, musician and record producer from Liverpool, England. After emerging from the post punk scene in Liverpool in the late 1970s as a member of Big in Japan, Broudie went on to form the short-lived groups Original Mirrors and Care in the early 1980s as well...

 and Hall contributing a number of songs to Broudie's albums as The Lightning Seeds. Hall also co-wrote the song "Smoke Ring" for Broudie's debut solo album Tales Told
Tales Told
Tales Told is British singer/songwriter Ian Broudie's debut release, staging a return to his roots with traditional instruments - real drums, acoustic guitars and fiddles with no studio trickery....

, which was also released as the lead track on the Smoke Rings EP. A second Colourfield album, Deception
Deception (album)
-Personnel:* Terry Hall - all instruments and voices* Toby Lyons - all instruments and voices-Additional personnel:*Gregg Mangiafico – Keyboards*Sammy Merendino – Drum Programming*Roland Orzabal - Guitar on "Running Away" and "Confession"...

, was released in 1987, reaching #95 in the UK Albums Chart.

Terry, Blair and Anouchka


In 1989, Hall teamed up with American actress Blair Booth and jeweler Anouchka Groce and began recording under the moniker of Terry, Blair & Anouchka
Terry, Blair & Anouchka
Terry, Blair & Anouchka was a musical outfit, active in the early 1990s. The group was formed by Coventry born singer Terry Hall, American actress Blair Booth and jeweler Anouchka Grose...

. After two singles, the trio released Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes
Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes
-Personnel:* Blair Booth - Keyboards and Vocals* Anouchka Groce - Guitar and Backing Vocals* Terry Hall - Vocals* Jeremy Green - Arrangements* Bob Sargeant - Producer on tracks: 1 to 7, 9, 10* Jeremy Green - Producer on tracks: 4 to 6, 8, 9...

, which failed to chart.

Vegas


In 1992, Terry joined forces with Dave Stewart
David A. Stewart
David Allan Stewart , often known as Dave Stewart, is an English musician, songwriter and record producer, best known for his work with Eurythmics. He is usually credited as David A. Stewart, to avoid confusion with other musicians named "Dave Stewart".-Early life:Stewart was born in Sunderland,...

, most famous for his role as one half of the Eurythmics
Eurythmics
Eurythmics were a British pop rock duo, formed in 1980, currently disbanded, but known to reunite from time to time. Consisting of members Annie Lennox and David A...

. The duo took on the name Vegas and released Vegas
Vegas (Vegas album)
Vegas is the self-titled début album by the duo of ex-Eurythmics member David A. Stewart and Terry Hall formerly of The Specials.The album was promoted by three singles - "Possessed" and "She" in September and November of 1992 and "Walk Into The Wind" in April 1993.-Track listing:All songs written...

, a slick electronic pop album that was heavily promoted by their label BMG
BMG
Bertelsmann Music Group, , was a division of Bertelsmann before its completion of sale of the majority of its assets to Japan's Sony Corporation of America on October 1, 2008. It was established in 1987 to combine the music label activities of Bertelsmann...

. It failed to chart. Only one of the three singles lifted from the album, "Possessed," managed to break the UK Top 40, reaching #32.

Solo


Hall began his formal solo career in 1994 with Home
Home (Terry Hall album)
Home is the debut solo album of Terry Hall. It was released over fifteen years after Hall entered the music industry. The album was produced by Ian Broudie of the The Lightning Seeds, whom Hall had collaborated with on the album Sense ....

. The album was produced by his former collaborator Ian Broudie. The following year, Hall released the single "Rainbows" in collaboration with Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn is an English singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in many high profile projects, coming to prominence as the frontman and primary songwriter of Britpop band Blur...

 of Blur
Blur (band)
Blur is an English alternative rock band. Formed in London in 1989 as Seymour, the group consists of singer Damon Albarn, guitarist Graham Coxon, bassist Alex James and drummer Dave Rowntree. Blur's debut album Leisure incorporated the sounds of Madchester and shoegazing...

, but like the other singles lifted from the album, it failed to make much impression on the chart.

In 1997, Hall followed up his début album with Laugh. It remains his most successful solo outing, making it to #50 in the UK Albums Chart. Both albums featured long time collaborator Craig Gannon
Craig Gannon
Craig Gannon , is an English guitar player. Previously best known for being the second guitarist in The Smiths, he is now a composer for film and television.-Career:...

.

Terry Hall and Mushtaq


In 2003, Hall collaborated with Mushtaq of Fun-Da-Mental
Fun-Da-Mental
Fun-Da-Mental is a British-based multi-ethnic hip-hop–ethno-techno–world fusion music group formed in 1991. The group is notable for its energetic fusion of Eastern and Western musical forms, for its outspoken political stance, and for its strong Islamic affiliation and advocacy. Fun-Da-Mental's...

 on the album The Hour of Two Lights which contains contributions from Blur's Damon Albarn, a twelve-year-old Lebanese
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 girl singer, a blind Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

n rapper, a Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n flautist, Hebrew vocalists and a group of Polish
Poland
Poland , officially the Republic of Poland , is a country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the west; the Czech Republic and Slovakia to the south; Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania to the east; and the Baltic Sea and Kaliningrad Oblast, a Russian exclave, to the north...

 gypsies.

Recent years


In 2001, Hall appeared as a guest on the Gorillaz
Gorillaz
Gorillaz is an English musical project created in 1998 by Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett. This project consists of Gorillaz music itself and an extensive fictional universe depicting a "virtual band" of cartoon characters...

 & D12
D12
D12, an acronym for The Dirty Dozen, is an American hip hop group from Detroit, Michigan. D12 has had chart-topping albums in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia...

 collaboration single "911", which was a song about terrorist attacks in the US
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

. Hall sings the chorus along with Gorillaz frontman Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn
Damon Albarn is an English singer-songwriter and record producer who has been involved in many high profile projects, coming to prominence as the frontman and primary songwriter of Britpop band Blur...

, while D12 rap their verses. In 2001, Hall guested on the song "Never Alone," which appeared on the Junkie XL
Junkie XL
Tom Holkenborg , better known as Junkie XL or JXL, is a Dutch musician. He uses the name JXL in cases where the term "Junkie" might cause offense. XL is for "Xpanding Limits"....

 album Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin
Radio JXL: A Broadcast From the Computer Hell Cabin
Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin is the third album by electronic music producer Junkie XL. Released in 2004, the double album features collaborations with a number of other artists. The songs on the first disc are generally short and vocally-driven much like modern pop, though...

.

In 2007, Hall provided vocals for many tracks on the Dub Pistols
Dub Pistols
Dub Pistols are a London based dub music and big beat band, founded by ex-club promoter, Barry Ashworth, in 1996. The other members of the band were record producer and bassist Jason O'Bryan, Brooklyn producer and lyricist, T. K. Lawrence on vocals, Jap Slut guitarist John King, and turntablist DJ...

 album Speakers and Tweeters
Speakers and Tweeters
Speakers and Tweeters is the third studio album released by London-based band, the Dub Pistols. Many of the tracks feature vocals by ex-Specials singer Terry Hall.-Track listing:All songs co-written by band members Barry Ashworth, T. K...

and also appeared live at the Glastonbury Festival
Glastonbury Festival
The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, commonly abbreviated to Glastonbury or even Glasto, is a performing arts festival that takes place near Pilton, Somerset, England, best known for its contemporary music, but also for dance, comedy, theatre, circus, cabaret and other arts.The...

 on the Pyramid Stage with Lily Allen
Lily Allen
Lily Rose Beatrice Cooper , better known as Lily Allen, is an English recording artist and fashion designer. She is the daughter of actor and musician Keith Allen and film producer Alison Owen. In her teenage years, her musical tastes evolved from glam rock to alternative...

 and former Specials bandmate Lynval Golding. He also played on the Park Stage, once again with Golding and also Damon Albarn and beatboxer Shlomo
Shlomo (human beatbox)
Simon Shlomo Kahn is a British beatboxing artist.-Background and career:Shlomo is of Israeli, Iraqi and German descent and grew up in the village of Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. He can speak Hebrew, Aramaic and Arabic; he is a classically trained percussionist and a jazz drummer.His original...

, playing a version of The Specials' "A Message to You Rudy." Later that year, he appeared at GuilFest
GuilFest
GuilFest, formerly the Guildford Festival of Folk and Blues is a music festival held in Stoke Park, Guildford, England each July. The festival, like the larger Glastonbury Festival, features a range of genres including rock, folk, blues, and in recent years pop...

 on the BBC 2 radio stage, once again with the Dub Pistols and Golding.

The Specials reformation


On 30 March 2008, Hall stated that The Specials would be reforming for tour dates and possibly some recording.

On 6 September 2008, six members of the band performed on the Main Stage at Bestival
Bestival
Bestival is a four-day music festival held at the Robin Hill country park on the Isle of Wight, England. It has been held annually in late summer since 2004. The event is organized by DJ and record producer Rob da Bank and is an off-shoot of his Sunday Best record label and club nights. The initial...

 as the "Surprise Act." The Specials' original keyboardist and primary composer Jerry Dammers
Jerry Dammers
Jeremy David Hounsell "Jerry" Dammers is a British musician who is a founder and keyboard player of the Coventry, England based ska revival band The Specials, The Special A.K.A...

did not play at the festival and owns the trademark rights to the name "The Specials," so the group was billed as "Very 'Special' Guests". On 2 December 2008, The Specials announced 2009 tour dates to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Jerry Dammers did not join the band on the tour, although relations between the two parties are strong. Hall was quoted as saying "the door remains open to him".

Discography


External links