Fun Boy Three

Fun Boy Three - evolving out of Ska -looking back every now and then.

Fun Boy Three - evolving out of Ska -looking back every now and then.
Fun Boy Three – evolving out of Ska – looking back every now and then.

Ending up the week, a look at Two-Tone bands with a slight cheat tonight. Fun Boy Three, consisting of Terry Hall, Neville Staple and Lynval Golding were initially founding members of The Specials, but left in 1981. When they did, they left Ska/Rocksteady behind for the most part, and moved in a more eclectic direction, while still maintaining their social commentary edge. They also switched labels – leaving Two-Tone and settling into Chrysalis, which was Two-Tone’s parent label, and set out for successful, albeit short-lived tenure.

The band enjoyed six UK Top 20 hits, including “The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum)” and “Tunnel of Love” and created two albums of which the eponymous Fun Boy Three was the most successful. The follow-up album Waiting, produced by David Byrne, was well-received critically but did not sell as well. The trio’s last UK hit was “Our Lips Are Sealed”, co-written by Terry Hall and Jane Wiedlin of The Go-Go’s, who had a U.S. hit with the song a year earlier. They then toured the United States and split afterwards. They were also credited with helping launch the career in 1982 of Bananarama, whom Hall first saw in The Face magazine. The three women provided credited chorus vocals on the hit “It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It)”; the Fun Boy Three later sang on the Bananarama song “Really Saying Something”.

Tonight it’s a rare live concert from 1983, around the time of their second album, Waiting, recorded for the BBC. There are still some traces of the old days in this set, including a version of Gangsters, which was a signature tune for The Specials. It also includes their version of Our Lips Are Sealed, which was a hit for the Go-Go’s and was co-written by Terry Hall.

Get ready for the weekend.

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