|Birth name||Terence Edward Hall|
|Born||19 March 1959|
Fun Boy Three
Terry, Blair & Anouchka
Terry Hall (born Terence Edward Hall, 19 March 1959, Coventry, England) is the lead singer of The Specials, and formerly of Fun Boy Three, The Colourfield, Terry, Blair & Anouchka and Vegas. He has released two solo albums and also collaborated with many artists including David A. Stewart, Bananarama, The Lightning Seeds, Sinéad O'Connor, Stephen Duffy, Dub Pistols, Gorillaz, Damon Albarn, Tricky, Junkie XL, Leila Arab, Lily Allen and Nouvelle Vague.
Hall was an active member of the burgeoning Coventry music scene of the late 1970s, playing in a local punk band called Squad and being credited as a composer on their "Red Alert" single. This scene also produced musicians such as The Selecter and Hazel O'Connor.
As the frontman for The Specials, Hall primarily struck it big in Britain in 1979 when BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel played their debut single "Gangsters" on his show. The band then went on to release their debut album, Specials, which also contained the hits "A Message To You Rudy" and a slower version of Too Much Too Young.
After the last Specials single Ghost Town", Terry left the band to start a new group called Fun Boy Three with two other band members, Lynval Golding and Neville Staple. The Fun Boy Three's first hit single occurred in late 1981, entitled The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum, which was followed-up in 1982 with "It Ain't What You Do (It's the Way That You Do It)", which was a duet with Bananarama. The Fun Boy Three then provided guest vocals for Bananarama's single, "Really Saying Something". That same year, Hall and his bandmates appeared in the music video for Driving in My Car by Madness and released their debut album, "The Fun Boy Three", which reached # 5 in the UK album charts. In February 1983, Fun Boy Three released their second album Waiting. It contained two Top Ten hits "The Tunnel of Love" and the classic "Our Lips Are Sealed". The latter was a song Hall wrote with Jane Wiedlin, who had already made it a hit in America with her group The Go-Go's.
In 1984 Hall formed The Colourfield, releasing the album Virgins & Philistines in 1985, which included the hit single "Thinking of You". The album spent seven weeks in the UK charts peaking at # 12. This new musical direction would culminate in collaborations with Ian Broudie, and Hall contributing a number of songs to The Lightning Seeds albums. Hall also co-wrote the song "Smoke Ring" for Broudie's debut solo album Tales Told, which was also released as the lead track on the Smoke Rings EP. A second Colourfield album Deception was released in 1987, reaching # 95 in the UK album charts.
In 1989, Hall teamed up with American actress Blair Booth and jeweler Anouchka Groce, and began recording under the moniker of Terry, Blair & Anouchka. After two Top 100 singles, the trio released Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes, which failed to chart.
In 1992, Terry joined forces with Dave Stewart, most famous for his role as one half of the Eurythmics. The duo took on the name Vegas and released Vegas; a slick electronic pop album that was heavily promoted by their label BMG. It failed to chart. Only one of the three singles lifted from the album, "Possessed", managed to break in the UK Top 40, reaching # 32.
Hall began his formal solo career in 1994 with Home. The album was produced by Ian Broudie and managed to climb to # 95 in the British album charts. The following year, he released the single "Rainbows" in collaboration with Damon Albarn of Blur but like the other singles lifted from the album, it failed to set the charts alight and disappeared without a trace.
In 1997, Hall followed up his début album with Laugh. It remains his most successful solo outing, making it to # 50 in the UK album charts. Both albums featured long time collaborator Craig Gannon, the ex Morrissey and Aztec Camera guitarist.
In 2003, Hall collaborated with Mushtaq of Fun-Da-Mental on the album The Hour of Two Lights which contains contributions from a twelve-year-old Lebanese girl singer, a blind Algerian rapper, a Syrian flautist, Hebrew vocalists, a group of Polish gypsies and Damon Albarn.
In 2001 he appeared as a guest on the Gorillaz/D12 collaboration single "911", which was a song about terrorist attacks in the U.S. In 2003, Hall guested on the song, "Never Alone", which appeared on the Junkie XL album Radio JXL: A Broadcast from the Computer Hell Cabin.
In 2007, he provided vocals for many tracks on the Dub Pistols album Speakers and Tweeters, as well as appearing live at the Glastonbury Festival on the Pyramid Stage with Lily Allen and bandmate Lynval Golding. He also played on the Park Stage, once again with Golding and also Damon Albarn and beatboxer Shlomo, playing a version of the Specials classic "A Message To You Rudy". Later that year, he appeared at GuilFest on the BBC2 radio stage, once again with the Dub Pistols and Lynval Golding.
On 6th September 2008, six members of the band performed on the Main Stage at Bestival as the 'Surprise Act'. Jerry Dammers did not play at the festival and owns the trademark rights to the name "The Specials", so the group was billed as "Very 'Special' Guests". On 2nd December 2008, The Specials announced 2009 tour dates to celebrate their 30th anniversary. Jerry Dammers did not join the band on the tour, although relations between the two parties are strong. Terry Hall was quoted as saying "the door remains open to him".