07/07/81: The Specials' Ghost Town goes to no. 1 in UK

On Tuesday 7 July 1981 the single Ghost Town by Coventry group The Specials went to no. 1 in the UK charts.

The song spent three weeks at number one and 10 weeks in total 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, most recently in Toxteth, Liverpool.

Internal tensions within the band were also coming to a head when the single was being recorded, resulting in the song being the last single recorded by the original seven members of the group before splitting up.

By the end of the year the song had won over the critics to be named single of the year in Melody Maker, NME and Sounds, the UK's top three weekly music magazines at the time.

see also: Ska for the madding crowd, Alexis Petridis, theguardian.com,  08/03/2002

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