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The Hour Of Two Lights

Terry Hall Audio CD
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
Price: 18.88
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Frequently Bought Together

The Hour Of Two Lights + Laugh + Home (1994)
Price For All Three: 37.66

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  • Laugh 4.79
  • Home (1994) 13.99

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Product details

  • Audio CD (21 July 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Honest Jon's
  • ASIN: B00009YFVD
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 134,443 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Grow 5:530.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. A Gathering Storm 5:050.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Ten Eleven 4:590.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Sticks And Stones 4:130.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. The Silent Wail 7:080.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. A Tale Of Woe 4:220.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. The Hour Of Two Lights 5:550.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. This And That 4:340.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. They Gotta Quit Kicking My Dog Around 5:060.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. Stand Together 4:460.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Epilogue 5:100.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description


When label co-founder Damon Albarn asked Terry Hall to make a solo album, The Hour of Two Lights was set to be produced by former Fun-Da-Mental member Mushtaq. However, it soon became apparent that this pair had an instant musical rapport, so the project rapidly became a joint effort. All manner of musicians and styles are jumbled into the mix, but Hall and Mushtaq keep these disparate elements under control, shaping a unique sound. They suggest "contemporary nomadic" as a possible filing category, with numerous guests combining various Eastern European, North African and Middle Eastern backgrounds to create a hybrid music that makes Hall's disenchanted, slow-coach delivery even more unnerving than it was on his work with the Specials and Fun Boy Three.

Strings swoop in directly from Cairo, supporting silvery oud, trilling ney flute and rattling goblet-drums, all laid down on a humping bed of traditional drum breaks. Most of the tracks find Hall duetting with a succession of guest vocalists, but where comparable projects would feature various pop star pals, this outing's collaborators are mostly complete unknowns, swapping lines in Arabic, Hebrew or Romany. Hall keeps his own morose couplets simple and abstract, avoiding any specific references, even though there's an implicit political content to these sessions. It's a shame, though, that the sleeve doesn't feature more detailed credits, broken down into song-by-song listings, particularly when there's such an impressive roster of guest musicians on board. --Martin Longley

BBC Review

On seeing the line up on this recording you might expect a world music album founded on acoustic improvisation, an underground dj album or a pop album. After all it involves music from three continents, one of the hottest dj producers around and a successful pop musician fronting it. In fact it's none of these. It's a political and musical recording of racial minorities and cultures by two of today's pioneers of modern popular music.

Terry Hall found fame in the eighties leading pop bands like The Specials and Fun Boy Three. Mushtaq is much newer to the scene and has gone solo since leaving the British-Asian band Fun-Da-Mental, deeply immersed in beats, breaks and turntablism. Together they have assembled a vast diaspora of Asian, Arabic, Hebrew and Gypsy musicians.

"Grow" opens the set with what sounds like a call to prayer (or to listen), the vocals of a 12 year old Lebanese girl and radio samples of people going about their lives in a far off place. The penultimate song is called "Stand Together". The message is clear. The result is tight and interesting, amusing and menacing.

Immediate tracks like"A Tale Of Woe", "Stand Together" and "Ten Eleven" feature Terry Hall singing over a heavy mix of folk rhythms and hip-hop beats. Singers ranging from Romany gypsies to an Algerian rapper join him. Terry's sparse vocals, pop nature and cynical tone may not be to everyone's taste but he does not allow his voice to dominate the set.

Producer Mushtaq maintains equality between the different musical cultures which he mixes into a global soundscape. Although many of the tunes have a pop hook this doesn't detract from the point of this recording. There are numerous nods to the wider impact of folk music. The gypsy beat in the haunting title track is straight out of Bizet's Carmen. "They Gotta Quit Kicking My Dog Around" is given over entirely to the Polish gypsy group Romany Rad.

In other hands this project might have over-reached itself. The Hour Of Two Lights is a powerful and brave piece of music that benefits these multi-cultural times. --Ollie Davies

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
The 3rd solo album from Tery Hall is released on Damon Albarn's Honest John label,who released Albarn's world music album 'Mali Music' last year. Long time friend Albarn encouraged Hall to make another solo album and it was Hall¿s own growing interest in Jewish and Arabic music that led him to produce this multicultural diverse album that is very different to his previous solo albums,although not a million miles away from the sound of 'The Specials'. He probably did not have enough expertise in this area of music to produce the album himself,and so he eventually teamed up with former Fun-Da-Mental star Mushtaq, and brought in many Arabic, Jewish and Gypsy musicians to create a dazzling work in which Hall takes a back seat for much of the album, in much the same way Albarn did on Mali Music.His whispering Marc Almond-esque voice suits the hypnotic Middle Eastern sounds perfectly, and while Hall is obvious on the record it is almost perfect.The only times the quality drops is when Hall is absent,as the Arabic sounds and wailing become repetitive without Hall's fine voice present. It¿s great to have one of Britain¿s most distinctive singers back on what is his best work for many years.Lets all hope he can produce an official website as it is very difficult to find out what Hall is up to.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't Care What Others Say 28 Jan 2004
Format:Audio CD
Utter tosh?? Not at all. This CD needs to be viewed seperately to any Terry Hall release. It is simply music of the world played with no pretense & a lot of fun & gusto. Every song captures the smiles I'm sure the musicians had while recording them. My only quibble would be that the beat programming is a little limited & reminds me a little of The Gorillaz, who I didn't really want to hear in this recording. But, apart from that a wonderful feel-good piece of musical unity.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry Hall & Mushtaq 3 Oct 2005
By gillimd
Format:Audio CD
This album is the best thing I have listened to all year. It has been a long time since I felt as moved by music as I did by listening to this collection. The range of instuments is fascinating, the quality of the vocals is magnificent and the flow of tracks makes you feel you are on a musical tour. The more I listen to it the more I get from it - a truly spiritual and uplifting event. All I can say is - buy this CD - you won't be disappointed.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terry Hall Makes a Spectacular Comeback Album 22 July 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
We all knew he could do it and here is the proof! Terry Hall has used all his talent and ingenuity (with a help from former Fun-da-Mental member Mushtaq and others) to produce an album that has everything. It's got the trademark Hall lyrics together with a mixture of some very interesting instrumental styles that make this album 'pop music' for a new generation. It's not World Music but music for the world. Buy it and see where it takes you.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Hour of Two Highlights 1 May 2008
Format:Audio CD
My musical christening was granted to me by Terry Hall as the deadpan singer in The Specials and although it took some time for me to forgive him for breaking up the band the second Fun Boy Three album and first Colourfield album convinced me to put my trust in Terry and allow him to take me on whatever musical journey he saw fit. The second Colourfield LP shock my resolve but `Ultra Modern Nursery Rhymes' and `Vegas' steadied the ship and after `Home' and the fantastic `Laugh' I would have followed him anywhere.

This collaboration with Mushtaq on Damon Albarn's Honest Jon's world music record label seemed like a very interesting place to visit and after reading a number of favourable reviews I jumped on board. I hate to admit it but it seems my taste is more conservative than I thought and the traditional Jewish, Arabic and Gypsy musicians jar against my sensibilities and I do find it difficult to listen to this album. Although a very interesting place to visit I would hate to live here. Sorry.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic 5 Nov 2006
Format:Audio CD
This is such a fantastic album it HAS to be listened to. Be prepared for something a little different, open your ears and experience a totally new sound. Never mind the reviews complaining that it doesn't sound like Terry Hall blah blah... I came to this album with no preconceived ideas and it has barely been out of my cd player in months.
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