No song better captured the mood of the day than this June, 1981 single. Much of More Specials had pushed towards "Ghost Town's haunting atmospheres, but it's here they reached fruition. From the eerie wind that blows across the intro to the gothesque melody bleeding out of Jerry Dammers' keyboard, through the wordless chorus that evokes spirits crying in the ether, The Specials conjured up the darkest of milieus.
The image it offers is one of pure desolation and utter barrenness, the empty streets whipped by deadly breezes, while ghostly images momentarily shimmer brightly, cruel reminders of happier days before the holocaust struck.
The lyrics only brush on the causes for this apocalyptic vision - the closed down clubs, the numerous fights on the dancefloor, the spiraling unemployment, the anger building to explosive levels. But so embedded were these in the British psyche, that Dammers needed only a minimum of words to paint his picture, leaving Lynval Goldings' music to fill in the empty spaces.
To outsiders, "Ghost Town" would prove to be eerily prophetic, but to those who walked the streets of England's urban centers where the pressure was dropping ever more heavily,
the line "Can't go on no more," was self-evident. Two weeks after it's early June release, as the single spirited its way to the top of the charts, it was to provide a terrifying aural backdrop as the country's inner cities began going up in smoke, a deadly domino effect that swiftly engulfed most of the nation.
This was to be The Specials' greatest achievement, the grand finale of their career, for as England burned, the band disintegrated, rent asunder by the departure of the group's vocal trio for the Fun Boy Three. The Specials as were, would go on no more.