Another songwriter who gets some of the recognition but not half of the success they deserve. It is difficult to think of many who are a better lyricist. I wasn't that much into the Specials only really knowing the singles, and there was always the feeling that it was Jerry Dammers band. I didn't really like Funboy Three until this came out.
Our Lips Are Sealed - Funboy Three
Which was followed by the next killer single "Tunnel of Love". However this was just a prelude to what was to come next. The First couple of singles by the Colourfield passed me by and I guess like most people it was only when "Thinking of You" (Beautiful South made a bit of a career of following on from this template) one of those perfect pop songs charted that I sat up and took notice
I bought "Virgins and Philistines", loved it and it remains one of my favourites from the time. Verging on easy listening and with downbeat lyrics it stuck out from the bright shiny stuff in the charts, almost the commercial sound of the 100s of "twee" bands that would appear in the late 80s/early 90s. The track I've posted is a hypnotic song with gorgeous harmonies that sounds like it has come from the soundtrack of some long forgotten sixties film.
The Colourfield fell apart and their follow up lp "Deception" had a more electronic sound which hasn't dated very well, it still had a couple of great songs on "Miss Texas 1967" the standout
Next was a collaboration with Dave Stewart from the Eurythmics under the name Vegas. Again the backing is a little souless but this is more than made up for by the quality of both the songwriting and Terry Hall's voice that just gets better.
Walk into the Wind - Vegas
Finally settling and recording under his own name the mid 90s saw Terry Hall release two solo lps "Home" in 1995 and "Laugh" in 1997 (ironic title as it mainly deals with the breakup with his wife). The first lp followed some co-writing he did with Ian Broudie for the Lightening Seeds "Jollification" lp with Ian Broudie returning the favour and producing "Home". Collaboration continued in terms of songwriting with tracks on these 2 lps c0 written with among others Stephen Duffy, Damon Albarn, Andy Partridge and Nick Heyward
Forever J - Terry Hall
Ballad of the Landlord- Terry Hall
I've not even touched on his recent flirtation with World Music or the short lived Terry , Blair and Anoushka. It does seem that he thrives best when songwriting with a partner and suffers from itchy feet, however whoever he works with he keeps knocking out songs of such great quality.
The circle now closes and he is back touring with the Specials, great for old mods but it's a shame that this probably means we'll not see another solo lp for a while
you can buy an extended version of Laugh here
As for the Colourfield , Vegas and Home it seems that they are all only know available as downloads or overpriced cds on amazon marketplace which is a real shame.