20th Anniversary: 1 Love w/ ‘Ghost Town’

20 years ago, 14th October 2002 1Love compilation was released, which included an exclusive cover of The Specials’ Ghost Town produced by Liam H.

NME In Association With War Child Presents 1 Love (2002, CD) - Discogs


Not everyone knows though that this cover version was produced way earlier, back in 1995, but was not released until 2002 because Tricky released his own cover version in ’95. Nevertheless, Liam’s version was played live at Reading ’98. But at that time it was a beta version that sounded different from the ’02 official release. For instance, the part with some aggressive synths which starts at around 1:55 into the track has a different length in both versions: in the ’02 version, it ends at 2:20 and the classic ‘Ghost Town’ starts playing, whereas in the ’98 beta version it plays longer. The part with a fast pace is a bit longer in the beta version. It means that Liam had made several changes in the arrangement before the track was released in ’02.

Ghost Town @ Reading, UK 1998

Ghost Town from ‘1Love’ 2002

The most interesting thing is that in 2008 the Reading ’98 beta version of ‘Ghost Town’ was released on the ‘Independents Day ID08′ compilation. It’s not clear why they’ve chosen to release the beta version on this compilation. The fact is that the audio quality was relatively poor – the track had a prominent cut at 16kHz. Such deliberate worsening of the quality is often seen on various promos not intended for release. There’s a possibility that the authors of ‘Independents Day ID08′ released the beta version by mistake.

There’s another fun and weird fact: the same beta version was released a year later in 2009 on the ‘Uncovered: A Unique Collection Of Cool Covers’ compilation, but it was edited and shortened. Actually, two different versions of the ’09 compilation were released. Each version had a slightly different edit of ‘Ghost Town’. Why was it done and were these versions officially made by Liam? Unknown.

So, 3 different versions were released:

Headmasters: SIXSHOT
Additional thanks to: Canyon Hill, Refeedzy Epxerts


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