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The Specials — Ghost Town
Album: Single
Avg rating:
6.8

Your rating:
Total ratings: 2761









Released: 1981
Length: 5:42
Plays (last 30 days): 3
This town, is coming like a ghost town
All the clubs have been closed down
This place, becoming like a ghost town
Bands won't play no more
too much fighting on the dance floor

Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town?
We danced and sang, and the music played in a de boomtown

This town's becoming like a ghost town
Why must the youth fight against themselves?
Government leaving the youth on the shelf
This place, is coming like a ghost town
No job to be found in this country
Can't go on no more
The people getting angry

This town's becoming like a ghost town
This town's becoming like a ghost town
This town's becoming like a ghost town
This town's becoming like a ghost town
Comments (410)add comment
 poetdancer wrote:

Just saw them May 25th at the Fox in Oakland - terrific show! And of course they played this song! 
 
Yes!  The San Diego show was terrific as well.  They still bring some great energy...was fun bouncing around the dance floor.  
 Cannon wrote:
I just finished purchasing my tickets for next Friday's show at the HOB in SD, and this song comes on...isn't that Special!
 
Just saw them May 25th at the Fox in Oakland - terrific show! And of course they played this song! 
I just finished purchasing my tickets for next Friday's show at the HOB in SD, and this song comes on...isn't that Special!
Great track.

Still relevant lyrics.
No community centers
No activities for kids
Less night clubs
Less pubs

Funny this came out during a Tory Gov. as well
I am so glad I had a chance to hear this !
Gets incrementally annoying with each hearing.
This adjustment to the lyrics just popped into my head:

Everybody was dance floor fighting! 


*pats self on head, gives self a cookie*
 chinaski wrote:
Our RadioParadise hosts Bill and Rebecca Goldsmith just had their entire hometown of Paradise, California go up in flames in the wildfires raging throughout the state. Paradise is now that ghost town. Let's hope they are alright and post some news. See here:
 
Sorry to hear about the devastation there.  Tragic.
Our RadioParadise hosts Bill and Rebecca Goldsmith just had their entire hometown of Paradise, California go up in flames in the wildfires raging throughout the state. Paradise is now that ghost town. Let's hope they are alright and post some news. See here:
Proclivities wrote:

Other than being from the same decade, in what way are they alike?  The chord progressions, tempos, instrumentation, and subject matters are entirely different.
 

Well I have to agree

The writer/lead singer, Ivan Doroschuk, has explained that "The Safety Dance" is a protest against bouncers stopping dancers pogoing to 1980s new wave music in clubs when disco was dying and new wave was up and coming

No way is that close to Ghost Town message 
 pfreet wrote:
Interestingly, this song and Safety Dance by Men Without Hats are about the same thing.
 
Other than being from the same decade, in what way are they alike?  The chord progressions, tempos, instrumentation, and subject matters are entirely different.
Ghost town as featured on UK comedy "Father Ted": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g9oRWKeKzC8


Interestingly, this song and Safety Dance by Men Without Hats are about the same thing.
TUNE !
 Jota wrote:

It's strange because in the UK we now have 10 Orange asshats influencing government with the DUP, The Hillbilly Taliban, influencing the Conservative party.

 
Hey Jota, you don't speak for everybody in the UK - in fact your region doesn't even want to remain within the UK so shut up and try this on for size...

Tartan hat and wig

 
Listening to this in Coventry right now. Perfect!
 LowPhreak wrote:

Or not. The Orange Asshat and his minions have just gotten started.

 
It's strange because in the UK we now have 10 Orange asshats influencing government with the DUP, The Hillbilly Taliban, influencing the Conservative party.
The Specials were unbelievably good at a gig near here a couple of days ago. Amazingly tight, and so many great songs for a band that was only together for two years and two albums.
 vinylbob wrote:

Relax.  The country will be fine. 

 
Or not. The Orange Asshat and his minions have just gotten started.
 hayduke2 wrote:

always loved this piece of music

scary shit going on it's true, Putin's puppy will hopefully be impeached before we're all screwed 

 
Relax.  The country will be fine. 
 fredriley wrote:
This was a signature song of the early 80s, when the Thatcher regime's wilful destruction of manufacturing industry and associated communities was in full flow. It referred to Coventry in particular, but also applied to so many other manufacturing centres that were being destroyed. See the Wikipedia entry. Regardless of its musical de/merits, it's a classic song of social commentary.

 
always loved this piece of music

scary shit going on it's true, Putin's puppy will hopefully be impeached before we're all screwed 
Funtastic! 
ska ska ska!
 chileflyfishing8348 wrote:
Was that the "Late and Great" Nico  blowing trombone on the track ?

 
The late and great Rico Rodriguez.
hahahaha, me hungry for something, brains even {#Laughing}
Was that the "Late and Great" Nico  blowing trombone on the track ?
 
It was almost genius !!!!
I saw the link  but for me it didn't quite catch> {#Roflol} 
Bill, Bill! This is a segué that can happen nowhere else. "Caravan" to this. F*CKING GENIUS.
This was a signature song of the early 80s, when the Thatcher regime's wilful destruction of manufacturing industry and associated communities was in full flow. It referred to Coventry in particular, but also applied to so many other manufacturing centres that were being destroyed. See the Wikipedia entry. Regardless of its musical de/merits, it's a classic song of social commentary.
The Specials "In the Studio" album is great (my failing memory had "Ghost Town" on that album but apparently it's not)
I associate this song with Halloween so much (it has worked really well on my Halloween Party playlist), so it's always weird when I hear it on RP in the middle of June.
 WonderLizard wrote:

Actually, "International Jet Set," "Message to You, Rudy," and "Gangsters" are also on the RP playlist. However, I miss "Our House" and "One Step Beyond."

 
"Our House" and "One Step Beyond" being Madness tracks of course...
This takes me back. I was 11, so I probably didn't catch much of the social commentary.
 Algis wrote:


Quirky.

 
The whole playlist this afternoon = Quirky.  
 freddyfender wrote:

This song is so horrible and annoying that I created another user just so I could rate it sucko-barfo twice.



 



What's your other username?
GaryGibson? :-)



Quirky.
{#Cheesygrin}

Was "Our House" and "One Step Beyond" not by "Madness" ?

Either way, all good tunes.

 

VH1 wrote:

Sorry, but I listen to RP since 16 years daily, I have NEVER heard the songs you listed!

But I concur with you on the Madness songs!

 


 VH1 wrote:
As this is THE ONLY SONG EVER PLAYED ON RP from THE SPECIALS, I am so glad they recorded it, otherwise we would not hear any Specials here at all. Shame! {#Dancingbanana}

 
Actually, "International Jet Set," "Message to You, Rudy," and "Gangsters" are also on the RP playlist. However, I miss "Our House" and "One Step Beyond."
take that man's clarinet away from him right now, besides I prefer Dread Zepplin
dig it,... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CO7FPU7a2g
RIP John Bradbury.
indeed great stuff - great Ska band. Innovative times end 70s early eighties in the UK.
European bands/music (especially UK) is underrepresented on your great radiostation Bill to my opinion. Not so the amount of listeners
from Europe!

Great Song ! 
{#Dance}{#Dance}{#Dance}{#Dance}{#Dance}
just average.
great song and great video.
One is actually laughing ?
Hearted tone
As I said earlier... 'Ground breaking stuff'.    

But the more I hear and think about their influence...   Genius !!
 
 fatcatjb wrote:
pretty cool album cover...what is the skeleton on the left doing? Scrub board?

 
Sleeping or texting....
Don't call me Ska face!  Love the Specials.  :)
This track is smooth and fresh....
 TerryS wrote:

Not sure, but his posture is awful

 
He's probably texting some other skeleton.
Wow. Never really paid attention to the trombone solo before. Nice
 fatcatjb wrote:
pretty cool album cover...what is the skeleton on the left doing? Scrub board?

 
Not sure, but his posture is awful


pretty cool album cover...what is the skeleton on the left doing? Scrub board?
 On_The_Beach wrote:
There just aren't enough trombone solos in rock & roll.  ; )

 
This ain't rock & roll, it's ska!  
 slider23 wrote:
Kill it please..

 
Heck no - it's a great tune.
Kill it please..
Wow. Caravan to this. That was one of the slickest segues I've experience in a while. I feel like time slipped there or something. Totally didn't see/hear it coming. :)

Well done! 
justin4kick wrote:
freddyfender wrote:

This song is so horrible and annoying that I created another user just so I could rate it sucko-barfo twice.

  
Although I totally disagree with you, I find your comment very funny

  

PatriciaC wrote:

I agree... 

 
{#Roflol}{#Clap}

A quick whip-round for freddyfender! 

Any chance of threaded posts at RP? 
A touch of Madness about this one - and that's good - talking about Madness, how about playing some
Great tune.
like this one. Would have got an 8 instead of a 6 if I'd waited awhile.
 justin4kick wrote:
freddyfender wrote:

This song is so horrible and annoying that I created another user just so I could rate it sucko-barfo twice.

 
Although I totally disagree with you, I find your comment very funny

 
I agree... 
I can't stand this song. I feel the need to change the station every time I hear this...sorry.
Nice transition from Caravan ... now how 'bout Istanbul was Constantinople?
I love this song!  It's a bit long but it is fun!!
Have not heard this for years. What a hoot. Love it. Took me a second to recognize it.
uuhh what the..........?
{#Fight} "To much fighting on the dance floor"
...reminds me when I lived in the UK...  they played this one a LOT!  Been a LONG time since I got to hear this one...  Thanks for playing! {#Clap}
The song that started it all
Very nice song! {#Surprised}
Long version AND the original single artwork - you're All Class, Bill.
There just aren't enough trombone solos in rock & roll.  ; )
how can you not hear this song and think of the opening scene in "shaun of the dead"


 Liz: It's just with Ed here, it's no wonder I always bring my flat-mates out and then that only exacerbates things.
Shaun: What do you mean?
Liz: Well you guys hardly get on, do you?
Shaun: No, what does "exacerbate" mean?
Liz: It means um, to make things worse.
Shaun: Right. Well I mean, it's not that I don't like David and Di.
Shaun: Guys, it's not that I don't like you.
David, Dianne:  It's all right.

love it!

I couldn't believ that thuis has a 6.7 when I looked up -- this groundbreaking classic?  I figured a 8.1.

A 10 for me -- just a perfect song that holds up over time.

{#Dancingbanana} {#Bananajam} {#Drummer}   {#Guitarist}  {#Dancingbanana_2}
Shaun of the Dead :)
Ground breaking stuff from these guys !
Great band. Winner of the objective truth medal.
Rude Boy! More ska plz!
Tidy, very Tidy indeed!
Huge memories from this, as I was very much into Ska in my early teens. 

Jamaican calypso, american jazz & blues, reborn in Coventry, England :)
 overlandrover wrote:
I'm sorry - every time I hear this song it makes me think of that Father Ted episode!
 
nothing to be sorry about!!! it always reminds me of Father Ted too... :D... as for the song...well...meh...soso...
They're coming to the U.S.!  Can't wait to see them live.
If I never hear this song again... well. That'd be OK.
6.6! You're kidding.
2 > 1
 Bobert_ParkCity wrote:
Early dub - with a social/political message. What's not to love?  
 
You meant 2 Tone, right? You're welcome.
 Carl wrote:

True, and, once again, like Yoda, you speak.
 

Thanks for being my lone friend, Carl.

Together we could reach any summit!

Master-class tongue...!


 Stingray wrote:
A great SPECIALS album this was!
 
True, and, once again, like Yoda, you speak.

A great SPECIALS album this was!

 

PS

Why we never hear Linton Kwesi Johnson


You're just jackin' with our heads on this one, Bill.  It's a nonevent.
 Proclivities wrote:

Not that it matters much, but Toronto is, on average, colder than NYC in the winter, and it gets much more snow.  Great tune.
 
Toronto does not get that much snow, it on the wrong side of the lake, Buffalo on the other hand gets oodles.

That said, I remember hearing the Specials like it was yesterday back at Uni in Waterloo (near toronto, FWIW) and I love it as much now as I did the first time I heard it.



 Bobert_ParkCity wrote:
Early dub - with a social/political message. What's not to love?  
 



Exactly. Love The Specials and if your understand where they were coming from you can appreciate their music even more.
 apd wrote:

Summers are quite hot in Toronto (but not as hot as NYC), winters are cold (but not as cold as NYC); we have an embarrassing mayor and the most far-right federal government in our history, but the mayor will be gone in the next two years, and even extreme-right Canadians make American Democrats look like Republicans, so... c'mon up.
 
Not that it matters much, but Toronto is, on average, colder than NYC in the winter, and it gets much more snow.  Great tune.
{#Sunny}
 Byronape wrote:

Typically for the US, we are about 20 years behind the UK.  This current bout of Union busting is doing the same damage Thatcher did.  Except over here, our politicians are smart (ie corrupt) enough to be sure that they are getting paid fat bank for it too.

 Only in politics can you sell out the people you promised to protect, lie about it publicly, and then get even more money for doing the same thing again.

And people thought lying about getting a BJ was bad.  Of course, NAFTA didn't do us any favors either...

So, what's the weather like in those northern countries with a decent government and national healthcare?
 
Summers are quite hot in Toronto (but not as hot as NYC), winters are cold (but not as cold as NYC); we have an embarrassing mayor and the most far-right federal government in our history, but the mayor will be gone in the next two years, and even extreme-right Canadians make American Democrats look like Republicans, so... c'mon up.
Could have sworn this was the Clash.
Was heading out for the night (to see the Wombats) but now I have to delay a song.
Early dub - with a social/political message. What's not to love?  
These last three songs in the set have been awful. But many like them and that's what counts. Stay true Bill{#Wave}
 fredriley wrote:

It still is, going by the last time I saw the centre last year. A necessary correction: the industries didn't wither, they were deliberately destroyed by the Thatcher administration which systematically promoted Finance Capital at the very real expense of Manufacturing Capital. Manufacturing industry in the UK has never recovered from the destructive onslaught of the Thatcher regime.
 
Thatcher and Reagan held hands as they jumped us both off the cliff....
 Byronape wrote:

Typically for the US, we are about 20 years behind the UK.  This current bout of Union busting is doing the same damage Thatcher did.  Except over here, our politicians are smart (ie corrupt) enough to be sure that they are getting paid fat bank for it too.

 Only in politics can you sell out the people you promised to protect, lie about it publicly, and then get even more money for doing the same thing again.

And people thought lying about getting a BJ was bad.  Of course, NAFTA didn't do us any favors either...

So, what's the weather like in those northern countries with a decent government and national healthcare?
 
...cold.
 GrooVy wrote:
Fun! Great horn work too! ...i just wish he told me where this place is... i'd love to buy more land where no one is! =)

 
I agree.....great trombone work
This song reminds me of Siobhan smiling and well if you knew what that meant you'd smile too
 fredriley wrote:
It still is, going by the last time I saw the centre last year. A necessary correction: the industries didn't wither, they were deliberately destroyed by the Thatcher administration which systematically promoted Finance Capital at the very real expense of Manufacturing Capital. Manufacturing industry in the UK has never recovered from the destructive onslaught of the Thatcher regime.
 
Typically for the US, we are about 20 years behind the UK.  This current bout of Union busting is doing the same damage Thatcher did.  Except over here, our politicians are smart (ie corrupt) enough to be sure that they are getting paid fat bank for it too.

 Only in politics can you sell out the people you promised to protect, lie about it publicly, and then get even more money for doing the same thing again.

And people thought lying about getting a BJ was bad.  Of course, NAFTA didn't do us any favors either...

So, what's the weather like in those northern countries with a decent government and national healthcare?
freddyfender wrote:

This song is so horrible and annoying that I created another user just so I could rate it sucko-barfo twice.

 
Although I totally disagree with you, I find your comment very funny
I'm sorry - every time I hear this song it makes me think of that Father Ted episode!


 vaiodon wrote:
Dark.. I attended college in the Specials' home town around the time this came out (turn of the 1970s/1980s). Coventry was becoming a ghost town as the established big manufacturing industries withered and died. 
 
It still is, going by the last time I saw the centre last year. A necessary correction: the industries didn't wither, they were deliberately destroyed by the Thatcher administration which systematically promoted Finance Capital at the very real expense of Manufacturing Capital. Manufacturing industry in the UK has never recovered from the destructive onslaught of the Thatcher regime.
 prettyvacant wrote:
is it from this album even?
 
nope - not from either of the first two albums. In fact, I'm not sure what album it's from - it may have been a single-only release. But it's certainly on all of the "Best of" albums.
is it from this album even?
 hschlossberg wrote:
Good song, but way overplayed on RP.
 
Yeah, once a month for the last few months.  Get real..

Drink! Feck!  Gerrls!  {#Drunk}
Good song, but way overplayed on RP.
Great song!
Fun! Great horn work too! ...i just wish he told me where this place is... i'd love to buy more land where no one is! =)

This song certainly seems to divide opinion.
I remember it fondly as an reflective classic from my youth...and for me it seems to have stood the test of time.