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   » » Wiki: Ghost Town
Tag Wiki 'Ghost Town'.

" Ghost Town" is the title of a song by the band, . The song spent three weeks at number one and ten weeks in the of the . Addressing themes of , , and in , the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as were occurring in British cities. As such, it is remembered as a major piece of popular .

In Autumn 1980, during the More Specials tour, the band arrived in Glasgow for a performance. The song was inspired by the sight of elderly women selling their possessions on the Glasgow streets. Keyboardist said: "It was unbelievable. It was clear that something was very, very wrong."

In an interview in 2011, Dammers explained how witnessing this event inspired his composition:

The song's sparse lyrics address , and in . Jo-Ann Greene of notes that the lyrics "only brush on the causes for this apocalyptic vision - the closed down clubs, the numerous fights on the dancefloor, the spiraling unemployment, the anger building to explosive levels. But so embedded were these in the British psyche, that Dammers needed only a minimum of words to paint his picture". The club referred to in the song was The Locarno, run by and later renamed Tiffanys, which was also the club setting the scene for the b-side song, "Friday Night and Saturday Morning". It is now Coventry Central Library.

In March 1981, Jerry Dammers asked John Collins, an unknown producer whom he admired for his work on the recently popular track "At the Club" by actor , to produce the band's next single. After bad experiences with high-tech studios provided by major labels, Dammers chose the small-scaled Woodbine Street Recording Studios in to record with Collins.

In a session lasting 10 days, "Ghost Town" was recorded by building up tracks on a , rather than recording the band live together. Collins and drummer were influenced by "What a Feeling" by when recording the drum track. The recording of backing vocals was unplanned and the lack of technology to sample voices meant the four singers in the band had to sing a full vocal track all the way through, causing the lyric "this town is coming like a ghost town" to become like an "hypnotic chant". After mixing the track for three weeks, Collins recreated an idea of over a sound effect which he had used previously on "Lift Off", the B-side of "At The Club". To achieve the effect he wanted, Collins utilised a Transcendent 2000 to create a "ghost" sound, which he used to fade in and out at the beginning and end of the track.

The song spent three weeks at number one and ten weeks in the of the overall.

Once the song reached number 1, Chrysalis Records produced a video to accompany the song. The video consisted of the band driving a around empty streets in , particularly the financial district in the City of London, and Southwark.

Contemporary reviews identified the song's impact as a "instant musical editorial" on ."Pop Beat", , August 15, 1981 's review of the original single argued that the song was the band's "crowning achievement".

The summer of 1981 saw riots in over 35 locations around the UK. In response to the linking of song to these events, singer Terry Hall said: "When we recorded 'Ghost Town,' we were talking about 1980's riots in Bristol and Brixton. "The fact that it became popular when it did was just a weird coincidence." The song created resentment in where residents angrily rejected the characterisation of the town as a town in decline.

Track listing

1981 release
  • 2 Tone CHS TT17 7" 2Tone Discography "Ghost Town" release details
  • "Ghost Town" () - 3:40
  • "Why?" () - 2:59
  • "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" () - 3:32

  • 2 Tone CHS TT1217 12" 2Tone Discography "Ghost Town" 12 Inch release details
  • "Ghost Town (Extended Version)" - 6:02
  • "Why? (Extended Version)" - 3:55
  • "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" - 3:32

1991 re-release
  • 2 Tone CHS TT30 7" (Ghost Town Revisited) 2Tone Discography "Ghost Town Revisited" release details
  • "Ghost Town" - 3:40
  • "Ghost Dub '91" - 4:19

Chart positions "Ghost Town" chart log1 Irish singles chart placings3
12 Specials&titel=Ghost Town&cat=s Norwegian & Dutch Chart Positions @ Retrieved July 2009.

External links

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