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The Specials — Ghost Town
Album: Single
Avg rating:
6.9

Your rating:
Total ratings: 4066









Released: 1981
Length: 5:42
Plays (last 30 days): 5
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 (472)add comment
 Typesbad wrote:

As a one-time trombone player, I often don't often get to hear my instrument in rock.  That is probably a good thing, but I like it here.



I played trombone in school band and you're right, we never hear the trombone in rock, this is a great track, if strange and VooDoo magic sounding 
As a one-time trombone player, I often don't often get to hear my instrument in rock.  That is probably a good thing, but I like it here.
 slates13 wrote:

Why is this song ever played!?  It is in my bottom 5 from RP

Why do you exist? 

 slates13 wrote:

Why is this song ever played!?  It is in my bottom 5 from RP




Because a LOT of RP listeners LIKE IT!!!  I like it!!!  
Timeless, for me - The Prodigy cover is great too! Think they did it for a Warchild charity album - check out out! 👍
 slates13 wrote:

Why is this song ever played!?  It is in my bottom 5 from RP


'Cause it's in the top 5 or 10 for a whole lotta folks.
Diff'rent strokes, baby.
c.
Why is this song ever played!?  It is in my bottom 5 from RP
The more I hear this, the more I like it!  Thanx RP!
 ziggytrix wrote:


There are some folks who wander these parts who've made it known that they detest animated GIFs.

I reckon no one knows why.

But it was likely a couple of them who thumbed your skull.

I'm one of them.  I can't stand animated GIFs because they're distracting and dumb, and whatever humour they might initially have gets old very, very quickly.
Excellent!!
 rgio wrote:

Glad to hear this one again....thanks Bill.




Sorry, but, are you alive?
I used to skip this song every time it came on.  A few times I wasn't close enough to reach the skip button. Now, I turn it up whenever I can.  
 uksminas wrote:


Thank Mr Skeltal
 Jelani wrote:

Who are the humorless A-holes who gave this two thumbs down?


There are some folks who wander these parts who've made it known that they detest animated GIFs.

I reckon no one knows why.

But it was likely a couple of them who thumbed your skull.
Can't get less than a 1 on this scale, or I would. Every time this comes on, my ears flinch.
Was walking down the strip around this time last year when Vegas was pretty much dead and some lone joker - the only car on LV BLVD at the time - was blaring this tune out at 400 billion watts from his car stereo. Priceless!
Glad Yoko agreed to do background vox
Our local small-town shopping centre plays music which appears to just be a random selection of whatever was released in the 1980s... One day they were playing this. Fantastic song, but definitely not something you want to play in your shopping centre 😉
Hmm, this following the Stones Living In A Ghost Town.. wonder what ghoulish tune will be next?
Ghost Town update: folks are trickling back in but business still down around 30%. Another PPP round may be needed.
Nice programming... The Stones 'Living in a Ghost Town' followed by the Specials 'Ghost Town'. As much as I love the Stones I have to say I prefer the Specials song of these two.
I am a huge specials fan, but for all that is good, why is this the only specials song that is played. There are 15 other songs better than this one.  Please, mix up the specials!!
It goes down 1 level every time I have to turn it down because it hurts my ears.
 FourFortyEight wrote:

OH dear god. I've been hearing this song for 10 years. please put this to rest.



40 years; keep playing it. 
 prickelpit96 wrote:
Perfect for these strange weeks... 
And a  great song too!   

Haha "...weeks..." (Oh had we known then?!)

OH dear god. I've been hearing this song for 10 years. please put this to rest.
actually currently as before...
Too much Covid for the dance floor...
So 2020, it's madness...
Love the descending chromatics.
in the first part of the trombone solo, he plays a melody line that you can hear in an interlude within the song “summertime“ by Sublime. The lyric in that song is, “oh, take this veil from off my eyes.“. it’s a nice call back.
 prickelpit96 wrote:
Perfect for these strange weeks... 
And a  great song too!   
 

Weeks have become months.   

But yeah, great song!


Makes me think of the Farscape theme. Though I suppose if I was older it would have been the other way. 
A great song coming around again in the Covid era...how apt!
A stunning song perfectly capturing Thatcher's Britain.
Love the trombone....
“All the clubs are being closed down. This town is looking like a ghost town” kinda sums up the live music scene in most places. :-(
Stunningly annoying, but it's sure different!
I saw the Specials at a club in San Francisco sometime in the 90's.  They weren't even having a concert.  It was such a random event to walk into a dance club, hear live music, recognize the songs and then...What?  Who?  Is that reallyThe Specials?  It was..  
 rtrt wrote:
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 
 
Pogoing was done to punk in the 70s. By the 80s it was slamming and moshing to hardcore and then industrial music. None of these were done to "New Wave". 
On the last day I had my Year 11s in before lockdown, I played this song, which seemed to sum up all our feelings...
Now THIS is wassup!
Do you remember the Good Old Days before the Ghost Town?
Turning this bad boy all the way up to 10 
Perfect lockdown music!
Quinn Martin's production of the funky chicken
Nice two-fer of this following Rolling Stones "Living In A Ghost Town," Bill!
Never heard it sound so good!
Pandemic theme music. The lyrics are particularly apt. 
 schayler wrote:
It’s just gross and awful and annoying and grating. When the first few notes hit the airwaves I can’t get to my phone fast enough to turn it off.
 
I guess if your were born in 1901 as your profile says, its a little close to home...
Perfect for these strange weeks... 
And a  great song too!   
I was wondering when this song would appear. It was a ghost town this morning for sure.
this song reminds of when my gramma took me to my first punk show.Mosh pits,sixty second quickies and tonnes of rage."Jump in there and bash some heads"she would say.Good Times,thank you gramma and the specials too I guess.
Shades of Oingo Boingo 
 macadavy wrote:
Anyone else noticed the demise of live music venues (stadium concerts excepted) in their own town?  It's all DJs now, they're cheaper than a live band (no offence Bill!).  Too bad! 
where I live there's a resurgence of the whole live music scene.

 uksminas wrote:
 
Who are the humorless A-holes who gave this two thumbs down?
Anyone else noticed the demise of live music venues (stadium concerts excepted) in their own town?  It's all DJs now, they're cheaper than a live band (no offence Bill!).  Too bad! 
HORNS!!  Yippee!
It’s just gross and awful and annoying and grating. When the first few notes hit the airwaves I can’t get to my phone fast enough to turn it off.
Thought this wasn't too bad at the time, now when compared to the utter crap played on mainstream stations these days it sounds brilliant.
How good is this?  10.  That's how good.  Amen.
 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 ?
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.