Follow TV Tropes


Music / The Fun Boy Three

Go To

British new wave pop group formed in 1981 by Lynval Golding, Terry Hall and Neville Staple, who had broken away from The Specials over Creative Differences. They released only two albums, a self-titled debut album (1982) and Waiting (1983), before splitting up in 1983.

The tropers have taken over the asylum:

  • Album Intro Track: Both albums have them.
    • The Fun Boy Three has "Sanctuary", 1:22 of the Fun Boys and Bananarama doing Ominous Latin Chanting.
    • Waiting has the instrumental "Murder She Said", by way of introducing and showcasing their new backing band.
  • Anti-Love Song: "The Tunnel Of Love".
  • Cover Version:
    • "It Ain't What You Do (It's The Way That You Do It)", a jazz standard dating from the 1930s.
    • "Summertime" from Porgy and Bess.
    • "Murder She Said" is a cover of the theme from the 1950s Miss Marple films.
    • "Our Lips Are Sealed" is often thought to be one, but it was co-written by Terry Hall and Jane Wiedlin, so while The Go-Go's got their version out a lot sooner, both bands co-own it.
  • Advertisement:
  • Crapsack World: "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum" makes a case for the real world being this.
  • Dirty Cop: In "The Farmyard Connection", the cannabis farm is raided by a "policeman on the fiddle" who confiscates the weed, not for evidence but so that he can sell it on.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Waiting has its instrumental opener "Murder She Said" transition directly into "The More I See (The Less I Believe)". Bonus points for the Mood Whiplash.
  • Fake-Out Opening: "Murder She Said" is a pretty, jolly, ornate instrumental. The rest of the album is back to their miserable old selves.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: They did a version of "Our Lips Are Sealed" in Urdu, for no particular reason.
  • Lucky Charms Title: The 7" B-Side of "The More I See (The Less I Believe)" is a dub version of the A side listed simply as "?". The only words in the track are "question mark". On 12" it's listed more fully as "The More I See (The Less I Believe) Part Two (?)".
  • Advertisement:
  • Mood Whiplash: Waiting opens with the sprightly instrumental "Murder She Said", which segues straight into "The More I See (The Less I Believe)", a song about The Troubles which is dark even by their standards.
  • New Sound Album: Waiting, which had a full backing group and generally moved away from the minimalism of their debut.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Sanctuary", the Album Intro Track on The Fun Boy Three.
  • Perpetual Frowner: Hall was particularly known for it (and had been since his first appearances with The Specials) but all of them were pretty much this.
  • Protest Song: Their whole discography is more or less this, but "The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum" and "The More I See (The Less I Believe)" stand out.
  • Rearrange the Song:
    • The single version of "The Telephone Always Rings" has a horn section added, making it sound closer to the style of their former group The Specials.
    • "Funrama 2" on the self-titled album is previous B Side "The Funrama Theme" with cornet player Dick Cuthell improvising over the top.
  • Rock-Star Song: "The Telephone Always Rings".
  • Sarcastic Title: The name, The Fun Boy Three.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their debut.
  • Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Hung around the cynical end.
  • Shirtless Scene: Neville goes shirtless on the sleeve photo for "Summertime".
  • Special Guest: Bananarama on several tracks on The Fun Boy Three. The favour was returned when the Fun Boys themselves appeared as special guests on Bananarama's cover of "Really Saying Something".
  • Step Up to the Microphone:
    • Drummer June Miles-Kingston performs what amounts to a dual lead vocal with Hall on "Our Lips Are Sealed".
    • Backing vocalist Ingrid Schroeder sings lead on "Our Lips Are Sealed (Urdu version)".


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: