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Information Specials - Ghost Town - Old Gold reissue

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HarryJ185
Gangster
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Joined: 10 Dec 2008
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Post subject: Specials - Ghost Town - Old Gold reissue Reply with quote

I see someone is selling Ghost Town - the Old Gold reissue - with picture sleeve from 1987, on eBay for 50 quid!

Seems bizarre to list a reissue at such a high price compared to the value of the original Two Tone releases.
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Thu Sep 14, 2017 11:22 pm
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Sugarman
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I have both of those Specials Old Gold singles they are very easy to find but a little harder to find with picture sleeves still not worth £50 Laughing
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Fri Sep 15, 2017 8:55 pm
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mangeire
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You have to take those prices with a pinch of salt, no one is actually buying those items. If the seller has an ebay shop, it doesn't really cost him anything to keep on relisting it. I've seen many items with stupid prices listed on ebay for years at this stage, they're like the ebay equivalent of spam
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Sat Nov 04, 2017 11:14 am
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marigold
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I wish I knew/could remember the background info/which changes over time - is this so? I was wondering : )


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=awRry8jfETI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFJI6Z2bzL8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rX4WTQIxU1E

(Below/underneath the U. Tube Post)

funkmoses
Published on May 7, 2013

Ghost Town" is a 1981 song by the British ska band The Specials. The song spent three weeks at number one and ten weeks in the top 40 of the UK Singles Chart. Addressing themes of urban decay, deindustrialisation, unemployment and violence in inner cities, the song is remembered for being a hit at the same time as riots were occurring in British cities. As such, it is remembered as a major piece of popular social commentary.

In March 1981, Jerry Dammers asked John Collins, an unknown producer whom he admired for his work on the recently popular reggae track "At the Club" by Babylon actor Victor Romero Evans, 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 Leamington Spa to record with Collins.
In a session lasting 10 days, "Ghost Town" was recorded by building up tracks on a 8-track, rather than recording the band live together. Collins and drummer John Bradbury were influenced by "What a Feeling" by Gregory Isaacs 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 fading in 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 synthesiser to create a "ghost" sound, which he used to fade in and out at the beginning and end of the track.
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Tue Dec 11, 2018 10:32 pm
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Trojan
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More details from the man himself, John Collins



http://2-tone.info/articles/john_collins.html


I wonder if the version with Terry's toasting will ever surface?
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Last edited by Trojan on Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:20 am; edited 2 times in total
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:37 am
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Imani
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Good article. In a fan club newsletter published at the time of Ghost Town's release, there was some additional lyrics that don't appear on the recording. 'If you happen to be lucky, and you want to get a curry...' is all I can recall. I'd have to dig it out.

Definitely a Sly and Robbie influence on that song's beat.
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 10:23 am
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marigold
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Many thanks Trojan - a great article with interesting questions and answers - I wish the recording of "Ghost Town" had been filmed.

The article reads like a biographical movie and this Specials Forum is a great primary resource for someone one day - as so many are here for oral history recording, a timeline of records/recorded and released makes this relevant to what was happening in The U.K. at the time.

Jonn Collins production worked! - for me without any music theory - I read this like a pig looking at a wristwatch : ) but appreciate the process he describes.....

https://www.rewindmuseum.com/electronicsmagazines.htm#mag1
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:18 pm
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Trojan
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I know quite a few people on here have stated that the Too Much Too Young EP was the crowning glory for both 2 Tone and The Specials. And I agree that it is a superb document of the band, but for me Ghost Town is where it's really at. It's just perfect in every way.
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 3:48 pm
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Imani
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I was delighted when Too Much Too Young topped the charts though from my memories of school, Ghost Town had an appeal to a wider audience, not just 2 Tone followers. Kids who weren't even Specials fans were saying how much they liked the song.

Earlier this year I was thinking about the last scene in the Ghost Town video, and it struck me that in a way, they were telling us they were going to split up. Even the song itself was as much about the band as it was the country. Ghost Town was like an event, in hindsight. Not only a song.

It's quite funny when I read people saying The Jam should have never split up. But their fans had a good five years of the band - they should have tried being into The Specials in the autumn of '81. Razz Surprised
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Wed Dec 12, 2018 7:00 pm
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Imani
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And now it's time for 'Two Tone Fact Of the Day':

The verses in Too Much Too Young share the same melody as the original Batman Theme

If you're sitting comfortably at home, you might like to attempt it. Sing "Ain't he cute? No he ain't".... etc, and then the riff that goes 'ner ner-ner ner-ner ner-ner ner Batmaaaan!'

See?

Another one of those when the whim arises.
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Thu Dec 13, 2018 8:44 pm
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marigold
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Q: How many caped crusaders does it take to change a light-bulb?
A: None – they like it dark.

Be one with the Whim Imani Cool
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Thu Dec 13, 2018 9:13 pm
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