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The Specials (Remastered)

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iTunes Review

The Specials’ self-titled debut not only fueled the mod, skinhead and rude-boy revival during the late '70s/early '80s, but it also served (and continues to serve) as a gateway album by covering a handful of classic reggae tunes, helping introduce old-school ska to a young generation. It opens with an infectiously bouncy rendition of Lee “Scratch” Perry and Dandy Livingstone’s “A Message To You Rudy” before turning Rufus Thomas’ “Do The Dog” into a hyper Two Tone anthem. While they played Prince Buster’s “Too Hot” close to the original, Toots Hibbert’s “Monkey Man” gets energized with punk angst. The band’s disdain for club culture is further expanded on the hilarious “Nite Klub” where Elvis Costello’s production is most salient with Sir Horace Gentleman’s 16th notes on the bass and a pub-rock mix that’s aged wonderfully. Throughout the album Terry Hall’s snotty punk inflections contrast well with Lynval Golding’s cool Jamaican accent, though it was keyboard player Jerry Dammers and guitarist Roddy Radiation who penned instant classics like “Little B*tch” and “Concrete Jungle,” respectively.

Customer Reviews


Seriously da best! Don't know why they don't make music like the Specials anymore.

Unfortunately people still don't know what SKA is

I graduated in1980 and have been telling people about SKA for that long and yet,still....if Itunes and others are classifying it as Rock it saddens me that it seems it will remain unknown.This music has got to be one of the BEST dance music EVER.I'll tell you I was lucky enuf to see these guys live-at a Ska festival at the Greek theatre in Berkeley @ 1989,1990 and headlining at the the Fillmore,Ithink it was,years later,and these guys LIT UP THE STAGE ! I' ve never seen SO much energy and ANYONE dance this long in my life! And these guys had at least 10 years on me.I've loved SKA from the very first time I heard it and hope at least by Itunes having this album people will give a listen and poss. ck out other "originals" like these guys.I have to admit The Specials were always my favorite,but The English Beat are a close second and there are many others including Rancid who deftly mixed Ska and Punk - awesome.

All Grade A prime, no filler.

You want ska? You want this. One of those rare LP's where EVERY song is great. Pop this in, put the player on repeat playa, crank the system up, watch your party execute a buttery speed shift from R for race to D for drag. A real dancehall floor packer. Unwind your mind and rethread your head. It's the jam you're gonna dig for days and days. The Specials, not just fine threads, but the whole spool.


Formed: 1977 in Coventry, England

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

True innovators of the punk era, the Specials began the British ska revival craze, combining the highly danceable ska and rocksteady beat with punk's energy and attitude, and taking on a more focused and informed political and social stance than their predecessors and peers. The band was originally formed in Coventry, in 1977, as the Coventry Automatics and later the Special A.K.A. by songwriter/keyboardist Jerry Dammers, with Terry Hall (vocals), Lynval Golding (guitar, vocals), Neville Staples...
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