Practically defining bleakness, in the summer of 1981 “Ghost Town” catalogued a disaffected and angry youth amid depressing and thoroughly depressed surrounds (in the words of Michael Bracewell: “the doomed youth of a doomed town”). It reached number 1 to a backdrop of riots across UK cities, music meeting reality just as it would 26 years later, when Rihanna’s Umbrella dominated the chart during the UK’s wettest July for over 100 years.
B-sides “Why?” and “Friday Night, Saturday Morning” dealt with racism and the mediocrity of another night out in the doomed town. In 1981, however, the maudlin of “Friday Night, Saturday Morning”, and the power of “Ghost Town” entirely passed me by. And in January 1982, when unemployment reached a record three million, with one in every eight adults in the UK out of work, I was decidedly ambivalent towards the impending collapse of society as we knew it. But then, I was only 6 when “Ghost Town” was released, so its not really my fault I had to discover it retrospectively. No, at this time, I had jauntier, jollier tastes, which I won’t go into today. Maybe tomorrow…*
- This is not a clue.