Bands Won’t Play No More

Book: Black Swan Green

Author: David Mitchell

Music: Ghost Town

Composer/Artist: The Specials

Recently I wrote a piece about UB40’s One in Ten, a broadside at desolation wrought by Thatcher’s policies. I won’t go over the political and social tragedy that was but this masterpiece from Jerry Dammers (until tonight I thought Terry Hall wrote it) packs a punch way more powerful than One in Ten – which was released a couple of months later than Ghost Town in 1981. A big summer for protest music in the UK. This is dark reggae punctured by that weird calliope / playground music break where they sang “Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?” It’s a strange but satisfying juxtaposition.

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