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Fun Boy Three’s Lynval Golding and Neville Staple remember ‘genius’ Terry Hall: ‘He’s one of the best writers to come out of England’ [Exclusive]

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Fun Boy Three Credit Press Courtesy

Lynval Golding and Neville Staple are celebrating the life and legacy of their Specials and Fun Boy Three bandmate, the late Terry Hall, with a box set of their work as a trio.

After departing the group in the early ‘80s, Fun Boy Three emerged in 1982 with their eponymous debut album, co-produced with Dave Jordan, preceded by the new band’s first single, The Lunatics (Have Taken Over the Asylum); a reflection on Britain’s Conservative government, by Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, at the time. 

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“That was meant to be the natural follow-up to [The Specials’ single] Ghost Town and it still stands up to this day. Terry is a genius as a lyricist and it’s so sad that it’s taken him not being here anymore for people to realise that he’s one of the best writers to come out of England,” insists Lynval, speaking in RETROPOP’s September issue. “But Luntacs hasn’t aged; it’s just passed on from generation to generation, and just look at the lunatics of this generation – they’re crazy!”

That record included their hit collaboration with Bananarama, It Ain’t What You Do (It’s the Way That You Do It), while follow-up, ‘Waiting’ (1983), includes their version of Our Lips Are Sealed, co-written by Terry and Jane Wiedlin and originally recorded by her group, The Go-Go’s.

“All of the Fun Boy Three stuff – on the first album especially – we didn’t have any idea what we were trying to do! It all just evolved, including the thing with Bananarama,” explains Lynval, with Neville adding: “The second album was a bit more thought out and you can hear the difference. But that was because we knew what we were doing – it wasn’t a case of wanting to be bigger. 

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“Nowadays, artists are begging for No. 1 albums but for us that meant nothing because we were thinking about the music. If you’re focussed on the music because that’s the part you love, you’re not worrying about where it ends up on the charts.”

Coinciding with the 40th anniversary of their final LP, work the band’s new release began prior to Terry’s death last year and, for Lynval and Neville, an opportunity to shine a spotlight on 

“We were never the sort of band that the tabloids went after, but now it’s important because, as far as I’m concerned, I have to make sure that the legacy of Terry Hall continues and people know his story,” Lynval shares. 

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“Two years ago I had spinal cord surgery and I still can’t use my hands, so I can’t play guitar, but I’ve already done my work. I’ve been blessed to be able to work with two amazing musicians in Jerry Dammers and Terry Hall – the best lyricist ever. So I feel like a winner, like I won the biggest jackpot ever!”

Read the full interview in the September 2023 edition of RETROPOP, out now. Order yours or subscribe via our Online Store, use our Store Finder to locate your nearest stockist, or get Digital Copies delivered direct to your devices.

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