A sad sad loss to the music scene and the world in general.
Groundbreaking and inspirational front man.
What a kick in the teeth to start your day
Incredibly sad and taken far too early I just can’t believe it
Very sad news. I'm slightly too young to truly remember his impact in the 70's and early 80's, but his legacy and influence on British music
Same, but very glad to get to see them twice in their recent incarnation. Such a decent guy, singer and co-writer of some great non-specials tunes. RIP Sir.
Sad news. I saw the Colourfield many years ago and the only thing I can remember is how annoyed he looked throughout the show, but I suspect that was his stage face. Can't believe Shane MacGowen has outlived him.
Properly sad news. For many of us who vividly remember the tense atmosphere at the end of the seventies and beginning of the eighties, I suspect it feels like a real loss. In all his incarnations he offered insight, good sense and an immediately distinctive voice.
I'm wary of being some sad old man nostalgic for his youth but 1978-1984 feels like peak Peel and a period of incredible creativity in British music. What do youngsters have today? Wet Leg???
Wet Leg are alright tbf, as hype bands go
I'm trying to think - almost all of the music I'm listening to at the moment as a relative yoof (28) is either old(ish) and/or American
Music has really fallen off a cliff in many ways, in my opinion, at least as far as popular music. There is an overriding generic nature to how music is produced that does not really benefit creativity, or even encourage striving to improve individual skills.
Auto-tune is used far too widely now, and it removes the human aspect from singing. Even the greatest singers are not truly pitch perfect, but that slight quaver around the true note identifies the humanity. Now most songs peg every vocal to the exact pitch, and it becomes very robotic as a result (like a vacuum cleaner was taught to sing and given more than one note), and we instinctively recognize this in our subconscious much like we would when CGI is being used in a movie. It is also used extensively in live shows - you could literally take someone who cannot sing in tune and make them a star now as a result. It discourages vocalists from excelling at their craft, as it is all going to be "fixed" in production anyway.
Another issue is composition. This has become very generic too, with a lot of songs written in studio in tandem with the producer, who will have an eye on the actual production more than the artistic expression. Mainstream songwriting has become very generic and vapid, in general. An interesting article came out recently which analyzed all #1 hits in the U.S.A. since the 1950s, and one trend it found was that there was a pretty decent, consistent percentage of #1 hits with key changes up until around 2010, at which point it dropped off to nothing (I think one #1 since then). Key changes within songs are not the end all and be all, but a fair indicator that some nuance and sophistication in popular songwriting is being lost.
Finally, from a guitarist perspective, most guitar based music has shifted away from the solo concept with (to my mind) the punk philosophy still being generally triumphant in mainstream, with solo-based guitar bands in more niche genres like death metal. Almost every legendary guitarist seems to belong to yesteryear as a result.
LadBaby, the man who knocked Harold Shipman off the perch as Nottingham's most hated man, is due his 5th Christmas number one this week. Time to stop music now.
I was just out of single figures when the Specials came around. I genuinely felt that The Specials was the single band when music stopped being a sound and became a more rounded experience. Suddenly I listened to what the person was saying and wanted to know about what he was saying. I am sure everyone has that band or that song but for me that lit something and from that time onwards going to Venus, Scorpion and then later Oven Ready Records (what's that slightly sweet smell?) was a different experience. Two-Tone was MY era and Terry Hall was the centre of all of that. I'm sad that later generations were fed music differently as it really was exciting.
I don’t agree with Julie Burchill about many things, but she was right about John Peel. Not sure his reputation would have survived #metoo.
Martin Duffy joins Terry Hall
Martin Duffy, who played keyboards for Primal Scream and The Charlatans, has died at the age of 55.
Duffy started out in cult 1980s indie band Felt before joining Primal Scream for their 1991 album Screamadelica.
Maybe we're just getting old matey, you aren't supposed to like what the kids are listening to. Luckily these days there's so many specific stations and streams you can happily listen to whatever you like.
@Shev A few years ago I would have agreed entirely, but there is plenty of great bands and artists around. Sadly the charts these days just doesn't reflect this.
Going to small venues in Dalston and Hackney I've discovered some amazing bands from UK, Europe and the States, often playing to no more than 100 or so punters.
@StrongestTeam & @Wycombe85 yes, I was really speaking about mainstream tendencies. Indie is the way to go for any artistic control, but it is a shame well composed songs don't get as much of a look-in now in the mainstream, as the next generation will have to dig further to find good influences. Popular music has always been based around fashion and fad (a flag bearer comes along with a sound and everyone copies them till the fashion dies out) but the current fads are pretty grim. At this rate we'll have A.I.-created Avatars singing algorithm-spawned songs for our hits by 2040.
Nah, there has been loads of great music out this year. Talking British artists alone FKA twigs, Nilüfer Yanya, Let’s Eat Grandma and Real Lies have all released good albums.
Kids of today will never appreciate getting on a coach to Marble Arch, walking to HMV Oxford street, ordering an import, returning 10 days later to pick up your exciting new find and then realising you ordered the wrong fecking album when you got home and listened to it.
Very sad news and far too young (forgive the unfortunate pun). As others have already said, The Specials were basically THE seminal band who sparked the 2Tone era and paved the way for Madness et al, as well as the ska-punk movement in the 90’s and 00’s.
There was a short documentary on 2Tone Records on the BBC not so long ago - might still be on iPlayer. Apparently Steven Knight (who wrote Peaky Blinders) is also writing a drama about the 2Tone era, although I guess we could be waiting a while for that to hit our screens.
‘Gangsters’ was a great record and ‘Ghost Town’ too