The Specials

The Best Of The Specials

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The Specials are one of the defining bands of the late 70’s/early 80’s along with Jerry Dammers iconic label Two Tone Records. Originally formed in 1977, as The Coventry Automatics, The Specials combined Jamaican ska and Rocksteady, mixed with the energy of punk they launched a whole Ska Revival. They also helped fellow likeminded bands such as Madness, The Beat, The Selecter to release their first singles. The Specials released ‘Gangsters’ as their first single in the summer of ’79, quickly releasing the classic singles A Message To You Rudy, Do Nothing and Rat Race. They released their debut album ‘Specials’ in 1979, followed by ‘More Specials’ in 1980. During this time, the band has two UK Number One singles, a live version of ‘Too Much Too Young’ from ‘The Special AKA Live EP’ and the unforgettable ‘Ghost Town’ in the summer of 1981. Jerry Dammers continued as The Special AKA following the departure of band members in late 1981, releasing their third album ‘In The Studio’ which included the iconic single ‘Nelson Mandela’. 


Laura says: Along with Madness, The Selecter and The Beat, The Specials were at the forefront of the ska revival which injected a much needed energy into the bleakness of the late 70s / early 80s. They wrote about growing up in a city with all that entailed at the time. Listening to this compilation some 30-odd years on, and the songs still stand up, both musically and lyrically: much of the subject matter is as relevant now is it was back then.


Side 1
1 Gangsters
2 A Message To You Rudy
3 Nite Klub (Album Version)
4 Concrete Jungle
5 Too Much Too Young

Side 2
1 Blank Expression
2 Doesn't Make It Alright
3 Rude Bouys Outa Jail
4 Rat Race
5 Man At C&A

Side 3
1 Do Nothing (Single Version)
2 Stereotypes
3 International Jet Set (Album Version)
4 Friday Night, Saturday Morning
5 Why?

Side 4
1 Ghost Town (Full Version)
2 What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend (Album Version)
3 Racist Friend (Single Version)
4 War Crimes (Single Version)
5 Nelson Mandela (Album Version)

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