The Specials - classic or dud?

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I had a girlfriend back in high school who was all about Two Tone and Selecter and shit, and eventually my punk rock heart warmed up to the Specials, especially "Gangsters" and "Ghost Town." Can a band so closely alligned with such a lame 'scene' be considered classic on their own merits?

roger adultery (roger adultery), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 15:31 (nineteen years ago) link

I think their first album, at least, is pretty classic in its way.

Sam J. (samjeff), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 15:34 (nineteen years ago) link

c or d: the specials

weasel diesel (K1l14n), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 15:37 (nineteen years ago) link

One of my colleagues' brother-in-law produced Ghost Town, believe it or not.

Jez (Jez), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 16:20 (nineteen years ago) link

Can a band so closely alligned with such a lame 'scene' be considered classic on their own merits?


donut bitch (donut), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 16:39 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic, Classic and thrice verily Classic.

And what was so "lame" about the scene which spawned them? The Beat? Madness? The Selector? These are great bands. Granted, Bad Manners were always kinda crap, but not everyone can be great. The Higsons weren't much to write home about either, for that matter.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 17:01 (nineteen years ago) link

I should also assert that the first Specials album is way superior to anything else that said scene spawned.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 17:01 (nineteen years ago) link

I actually like the first Beat record more, but the first record and the band itself are both classic all the way.

M Matos (M Matos), Wednesday, 27 August 2003 18:28 (nineteen years ago) link

Way classic. The first Specials disc and all of the subsequent singles... dunno, maybe the other 2-Tone acts were better suited to 7", but c'mon, the Specials alone produced at least an album and a half's worth of great, solid material. Plus there's really not a bad track on the first Beat disc, or, for that matter, the double-disc label round-up "2-Tone Collection."

Josh K., Wednesday, 27 August 2003 21:30 (nineteen years ago) link

the third Beat record is an awesome record! it has "save it for later" and "i confess" two of the best pop singles EVER. it's not really ska though there are echoes. but to my mind it's the best thing this scene produced. unless you count a few stray Fine Young Cannibals singles as well.

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 28 August 2003 03:48 (nineteen years ago) link

Classic band, classic 'scene'. A bunch of multi-racial bands playing a danceable pop/ska mix with a political edge while NF scum and Thatcher are on the rise - what the fuck was 'lame' about that?

The first two albums are brilliant in their different ways. Still sound great now.

James Ball (James Ball), Thursday, 28 August 2003 08:02 (nineteen years ago) link

cant believe that this question needs to be asked. as i have said to many people irl. 2-tone was my first true love. specials and madness especially. i was young and naive. but these bands woke me out of my slumber .. their songs on the radio were a breathe of fresh air. ok so madness trnascended the ska genre and delved into different territories but both bands still get very regular airplay round our house.
classic. in every sense.
omwards, m.e.

mark e (mark e), Thursday, 28 August 2003 09:35 (nineteen years ago) link

i saw neville staple live this saturday, and he played all the hits. even though i usually don't like this kind of nostalgic shows, i was really excited each time a new song started and it was 'rudy', 'enjoy yourself', 'too much too young'... you can definitely throw a great party with these songs.

joan vich (joan vich), Thursday, 28 August 2003 09:44 (nineteen years ago) link

The Higsons weren't much to write home about either, for that matter.

Good heavens! The Higsons were bluddy wonderful, especially live. Their final stuff was crap, granted, but apart from that...

Classic band, classic 'scene'. A bunch of multi-racial bands playing a danceable pop/ska mix with a political edge while NF scum and Thatcher are on the rise...

Even Smash Hits was on the ball. Call me nostalgic, but...

Jez (Jez), Thursday, 28 August 2003 09:51 (nineteen years ago) link

Ha! Cross post with Jez....

I agree with Mr In NYC's comments completely except as regards The Higsons - The Higsons were GREAT! Never really understood why they've ever been associated with that scene (apart from having 1 single released on 2-Tone IIRC) as they very clearly didn't look or sound anything like any of the ska bands!

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 28 August 2003 10:19 (nineteen years ago) link

Is one of the qualities of a 'good scene' the diversity of material bands in it produce when the initial burst of 'scenius' has died out, do you think?

Tom (Groke), Thursday, 28 August 2003 10:29 (nineteen years ago) link

My first reaction to that was to say surely that's a reflection of the quality of the individual bands within that scene rather than the scemne itself.... but then maybe the quality of the bands is in itself a reflection of the quality of the scene.


To complicate things further, if we consider The Specials and Madness in this context, should we consider them in the context of the ska scene, or in the context of the punk scene from which they both originally derived (as The Coventry Automatics and The Invaders respectively)?

Stewart Osborne (Stewart Osborne), Thursday, 28 August 2003 10:55 (nineteen years ago) link

Anybody responsible for such gems as "Ghost Town", "Free Nelson Mandela", "Stereotype" and "Rat Race" is easily classic in my book. Even if their debut album was slightly overrated, particularly when compared to their later, more sophisticated, output.

Geir Hongro (GeirHong), Thursday, 28 August 2003 23:56 (nineteen years ago) link

Totally classic. And the Beat and (most) Madness are great, as well.

I think the lame scene mr. adultery refers to might be the lame rehasehed American scene that still flourishes a bit and is rather pathetic, as opposed to the original UK scene which was fantastic and excellent. At least I hope so...

Hutlock (Hutlock), Friday, 29 August 2003 15:18 (nineteen years ago) link

the lame rehasehed American scene that still flourishes a bit and is rather pathetic


Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 29 August 2003 15:33 (nineteen years ago) link

there's a v.minor two-tone band i have been cudgelling my brane for the name of for the last few days: they were not ska really, but i think more in the vein of Specials 2

any ideas oh obsessed massive?

mark s (mark s), Friday, 29 August 2003 15:39 (nineteen years ago) link


strongo hulkington (dubplatestyle), Friday, 29 August 2003 15:40 (nineteen years ago) link

haha thx jess, but no

i think they never released anything but 7"s — possibly just one in fact

mark s (mark s), Friday, 29 August 2003 15:42 (nineteen years ago) link

mark are you thinking of the apollinaires?

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 29 August 2003 16:14 (nineteen years ago) link

hmmm, maybe

mark s (mark s), Friday, 29 August 2003 17:12 (nineteen years ago) link

four years pass...

The Specials, whose records highlighted rising unemployment and social problems in Britain 30 years ago, have confirmed they have reformed.

The Coventry ska outfit, whose hits include Ghost Town and Too Much Too Young, were hugely influential in the late 70s and early 80s.

Singer-songwriter Neville Staples said the group had recently been rehearsing.

Former lead singer Terry Hall is said to have rejoined the line up, after leaving because of a rift.

Speaking to BBC Radio 6 Music earlier this year, he said no tour dates had yet been confirmed.

"Well we're still trying to put dates together, but hopefully September or October time.

"We need to spend the summer rehearsing... I think it's taken me 30 years to realise we could do it really well."

Band members Terry Hall and Lynval Golding made surprise appearances at last year's Glastonbury Festival.

Herman G. Neuname, Monday, 7 April 2008 17:46 (fourteen years ago) link

I wish they would only write new stuff and play nothing from the glory days

J0hn D., Monday, 7 April 2008 18:54 (fourteen years ago) link

Is Jerry Dammers involved in this? Or is it going to be Fun Boy Three play the Hits of the Specials?

Peteski, Monday, 7 April 2008 19:44 (fourteen years ago) link

Not that I can see.

Herman G. Neuname, Monday, 7 April 2008 20:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Last time they did this there were Monkees songs.

kingkongvsgodzilla, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 01:44 (fourteen years ago) link

in re: the original post: the specials debut is a classic, but not as classic as the Toots and Prince Buster they remake. then again "Ghost Town" is one of the great songs of all time

outdoor_miner, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 04:01 (fourteen years ago) link

the specials debut is a classic, but not as classic as the Toots and Prince Buster they remake

I beg to differ. Songs like Gangsters and Stupid Marriage are brilliant, imaginative updates of the Jamaican originals.

Daniel Giraffe, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 05:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Specials def classic, and must agree with Daniel Giraffe that their covers are imaginative takes on the origs. Better? Can't say. But fucking good.

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 06:14 (fourteen years ago) link

What do you all think of the flawed third album? I tried to start a thread about it the other day, In The Studio, but it got nowhere!

Daniel Giraffe, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 07:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Much like the album itself.

Unfocused, and not helped by the fact that all its decent and half-decent tracks had already been released as singles. The first Fun Boy Three album seems to me a more logical follow-up to More Specials as well as preparing the ground for Tricky, Cypress Hill, Roots Manuva etc.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 09:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Also, the Fun Boy Three had already released both their albums - and already had their career - by the time In The Studio came out. So the whole project came across as decidely after-the-fact, and not to mention po-faced ('...Girlfriend' aside).

Daniel Giraffe, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:30 (fourteen years ago) link

Specials reunion? If it aint Dammmers...

Lame scene? It became lame, wasn't at the time.

Mark G, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:35 (fourteen years ago) link

big piece in Mojo this month and Dammers did seem to be making snidey remarks about the others in it. struck me as a bit odd, all these years after the fact, but in light of the reunion it makes more sense.

koogs, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 10:48 (fourteen years ago) link

How exactly has Jerry Dammers been making a living these last 20 years or so? Surely he can't be getting by on "Ghost Town" royalties alone?

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 11:42 (fourteen years ago) link

I know he does a lot of DJing and suchlike, but even so.

Dingbod Kesterson, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 11:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Well he did have a part to play in The Music Library, that project he did with Johnny Trunk. But I guess that doesn't tell us how he's been making ends meet in the intervening years.

Daniel Giraffe, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 12:50 (fourteen years ago) link

I saw Neville Staple (who has for some unknown reason dropped the final "s" from his name) playing live last month. He was unexpectedly fantastic, and his band were even more unexpectedly HOT HOT HOT. Best atmosphere of any gig I've been to this year.

mike t-diva, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 13:06 (fourteen years ago) link

Warning warning nuclear attack!

Daniel Giraffe, Tuesday, 8 April 2008 13:57 (fourteen years ago) link

Was Staple/s playing under his own name? He's been down here a couple of times in recent years as The Special Beat, I think once with Ranking Roger included and once without...

energy flash gordon, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 02:51 (fourteen years ago) link

(had a look at mojo interview again last night and couldn't find the bits of jerry dammers being snarky so i guess it was somewhere else (or someone else). the specific complaint was, i think, last year's lily allen glastonbury appearance (which was great btw))

koogs, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 11:02 (fourteen years ago) link

xpost: yes, under his own name, and supporting the Ranking Roger-led band that trades as The Beat (the drummer being the only other original member, with Roger's son "Ranking Junior" also on vocals).

The Staple band were so great that they really should have been headlining. The Beat were good, but they could only suffer by comparison.

mike t-diva, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 11:33 (fourteen years ago) link

the drummer being the only other original member

I thought Saxa was turning out for them these days (despite the fact that even back in the day he must have been at least 100 years old). Everett Moreton, by the way, is one of my favourite drummers ever ever ever. His style seemed to work so well with Cox and Steel's bass and guitar.

I saw Neville Staple and band a couple of times last year, and it was immense fun. I loved their ska version of The Lunatics

Daniel Giraffe, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 12:18 (fourteen years ago) link

two weeks pass...

I saw something on Teletext: Basically, Jerry Dammers isinvolved in the current Specials reunion. According to himself, he's had one reheasal so far, not with every member involved, so far so good, etc...

Mark G, Monday, 28 April 2008 08:18 (fourteen years ago) link

whoa. thats really good news .. and somewhat unexpected

mark e, Monday, 28 April 2008 08:37 (fourteen years ago) link

I got (cheap) an advance of the first 'Special aka' reunion, it was decidedly poor. No doubt dammers will have none of that 'synthydrums' virus.

Mark G, Monday, 28 April 2008 08:40 (fourteen years ago) link

OK, soz, 'Specials' reunion. The track listing looks um, alright. But it is not.


Mark G, Monday, 28 April 2008 08:42 (fourteen years ago) link

Just reading Horace 'Gentleman' Panter's Specials book "Ska'd for Life" and it's OK so far.

Mark G, Monday, 28 April 2008 08:46 (fourteen years ago) link

They are classic plus one.

Great band, and a pretty darn dapper one as well (see the video of their 1980 Montreux appearance).

As for the reunion, if Dammers is there, I'm there.

The Deacon, Monday, 28 April 2008 15:52 (fourteen years ago) link

nine months pass...

Dammers would appear not to be there and therefore there's no point (apart obviously from paying some recent tax bills).

Doesn't Terry Hall look more and more like Pete Townshend these days?

Bernard Braden Misreads Stephen Leacock (Marcello Carlin), Friday, 20 February 2009 11:13 (thirteen years ago) link

Brad looks like Bruce Foxton! (plus 10 years...)

Mark G, Friday, 20 February 2009 11:33 (thirteen years ago) link

three months pass...

Fever Pitch, Bitch (Bimble), Saturday, 13 June 2009 13:07 (thirteen years ago) link

One of my most favorite shows, Lynn Massachusetts, circa 1980-82.

janswers, Saturday, 13 June 2009 21:23 (thirteen years ago) link

theres a really nice fred perry shirt on the specials web site - its 60 quid though, but it is really really nice.

Sandy Blair, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 19:01 (thirteen years ago) link

Erm, I meant to have a paragraph before the shirt bit - sorry.

Anyway, what I said in that paragraph was that the reunion concerts were really really good - there was an feeling of they were meaning it (ironic in that a lot of the songs are about being young and not wasting it) - compared to say the magazine reunion which was a fine night of excellent music... this felt like it had a point to make(as well as a fine night of excellent music).

Did anyone else think the reunion shows were much better than they expected?

Sandy Blair, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 19:07 (thirteen years ago) link

five years pass...

Heads up, this is making the rounds:



On March 30th, 2 Tone Records/Warners Catalogue will release Special Editions of three exceptional, ground breaking albums by one of the most important British bands ever - The Specials. These reissues have been liaised and approved by the band’s founder and main songwriter Jerry Dammers.

Formed in Coventry in the mid-1970s, The Specials (formerly Coventry Automatics) was the idea of musician Jerry Dammers, who brought together an eclectic array of individuals to fulfill his vision of a multi-racial band, fusing the energy of punk with the legendary but, at the time, often overlooked, sound of Jamaican ska. This was a fusion which proved to be explosive. The seven individuals – Dammers (keyboards), Terry Hall (vocals), Neville Staples (vocals), Lynval Golding (rhythm guitar), Roddy ‘Radiation’ Byers (lead guitar), ‘Sir’ Horace ‘Gentleman’ Panter (bass) and John Bradbury (drums), along with legendary Jamaican ska trombonist Rico Rodriguez and trumpeter Dick Cuthell - not only fully realised Dammers’ vision, but their exuberant, uncompromising sound and ‘message’ music reached the top of the charts. Their third single, ‘Too Much Too Young’, was amongst a tiny handful of live recordings that have ever reached no 1 on the singles’ chart*, (an amazing achievement for such a new group, and testament to the phenomenal excitement and energy generated by their live shows). The resulting popularity of the band and its music was considered by many, to have a hugely positive influence on race relations in late ‘70s/early ‘80s Britain, helping to create unity amongst disaffected youth.

Dammers’ vision also included a record label, 2 Tone Records, which took its blueprint from such disparate elements as anarcho punk band Crass, Berry Gordy’s Motown label, Jamaican ska and the Buzzcocks’ independently pressed Spiral Scratch EP. The label would release not only The Special AKA’s debut single ‘Gangsters’ (UK Top 10) and The Specials’ debut album ‘Specials’ (November 1979 , reaching no.4 in the album charts), but also singles by bands who shared 2 Tone’s musical ethos, including: Madness, The Selecter and The Beat. With a striking aesthetic based on a chessboard logo, designed by Dammers, which incorporated a cartoon mascot based on Peter Tosh from the Wailing Wailers album sleeve, christened Walt Jabsco after a vintage bowling shirt, 2 Tone spawned a musical and cultural movement that defined a generation and still resonates around the world to this day.

Following the success of their debut aIbum, the band released the non-album single, Rod Byers’ class war polemic ‘Rat Race’, which reached the Top 5 in May 1980. This was followed in September by the groundbreaking ‘Stereotypes’, which mixed dark lounge core, spaghetti western themes and dub reggae, and reached the Top 10. The song was the first hint of what was to come on the band’s second album.

Less than a year after their debut, Dammers was determined to make their follow up an equally musically innovative album. ‘More Specials’ (October 1980) was to be ambitious and totally unique, expanding the group’s musical palette into areas never previously explored in ‘rock’ music. As well as the aforementioned genres, it also encompassed muzak, nightmare exotica, bossa nova, northern soul, and calypso. It was a commercial success, hitting the UK Top 5, and, as well as ‘Stereotypes’, the single ‘Do Nothing’ was also a Top 10 hit.

In early 1981, the group re-entered the studio to record another non-album single, one that would eerily soundtrack that summer’s widespread rioting and assure the group’s place in music history. ‘Ghost Town’, (B/W ‘Friday Night, Saturday Morning’ and ‘Why?’) influenced the dystopian sounds which were to dominate the Bristol “trip hop” scene, and in turn pass into much British music since, up to and including dubstep. Capturing a mood of inner city anger and alienation in an uneasy amalgam of Eastern melody, skank reggae and heavy dub bass, with an inimitable and mournful trombone solo by Rico Rodriguez, the song reached no.1 in the charts, but sadly, after what should have been an occasion for celebration, Hall, Golding and Staple left to form the Fun Boy Three and Byers left to tour with his band the Tearjerkers.

The remaining members, Dammers, Bradbury and Panter, briefly toured backing Rico in Germany, then Dammers recruited guitarist John Shipley from The Swinging Cats, ex-Bodysnatcher Rhoda Dakar (who’d guested on ‘More Specials’) and lead vocalist Stan Campbell. The new line up set to work on the ‘In The Studio’ album, reverting to the band’s original name of The Special AKA. Released in 1984, the album was a brave mix of bold and challenging music, with a strong political, social and moral conscience. The album made it into the Top 40, and while it might not have been a huge commercial success, it was, and still is, an astonishingly unique work: a haunting, claustrophobic mix of lounge, soul, reggae, jazz (foreseeing what would later in the decade become known as ‘acid jazz’) and Arabic rhythms, with uncompromising subject matter. It featured two brilliant singles: the joyous, yet serious rallying anthem for the then imprisoned South African ANC leader, ‘Free Nelson Mandela’, and ‘What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend’, a rare outing for Dammers on vocals (later covered by the band’s debut album producer, Elvis Costello). As time has gone by, the status of ‘In The Studio’ has grown, and today it is rightly viewed as a genuine lost classic.

Parts of the above press release are based on the extensive sleevenotes written by Mojo’s Lois Wilson, available on request.

The 2015 Special Editions have been remastered by Tim Debney at Fluid. As well as the original albums, they include all the band’s EPs, non-album singles and b-sides, the ‘Too Much Too Young EP’, ‘Rat Race’, ‘Ghost Town’ (full version), ‘Friday Night, Saturday Morning’ and ‘Why?’ (extended version); a rare, previously unreleased on CD, frenetic concert recorded for the BBC at the Paris Theatre in December 1979 plus John Peel BBC radio sessions and instrumentals of six tracks from ‘In The Studio’ mixed at the time, (which perfectly demonstrate the album’s groundbreaking experimentation). All three Special Editions include new and extensive sleevenotes by Lois Wilson, as well as rare and previously unseen Chalkie Davies’ photos of the band, some of which have been used to create variations on the albums’ original cover photos.


SPECIALS (2 CD Special Edition)
CD 1 :
The debut single and original album by The Specials:
1. Gangsters
2. A Message To You, Rudy
3. Do The Dog
4. It’s Up To You
5. Nite Klub
6. Doesn’t Make It Alright
7. Concrete Jungle
8. Too Hot
9. Monkey Man
10. (Dawning Of A) New Era
11. Blank Expression
12. Stupid Marriage
13. Too Much Too Young
14. Little Bitch
15. You’re Wondering Now


Too Much Too Young EP (live) by The Special AKA:
1. Too Much Too Young
2. Guns Of Navarone
3. Skinhead Symphony
a) Long Shot Kick The Bucket
b) Liquidator
c) Skinhead Moon Stomp

BBC In Concert At the Paris Theatre (15/12/79) by The Specials:
1. (Dawning Of A) New Era
2. Do The Dog
3. Rat Race
4. Blank Expression
5. Rude Buoys Outa Jail
6. Concrete Jungle
7. Too Much Too Young
8. Guns Of Navarone
9. Nite Klub
10. Gangsters
11. Medley:
a) Long Shot Kick The Bucket
b) Skinhead Moonstomp

MORE SPECIALS (2 CD Special Edition)

CD 1: The original album by The Specials:
1. Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)
2. Man At C&A
3. Hey, Little Rich Girl
4. Do Nothing
5. Pearl’s Café
6. Sock It To ‘Em J.B.
7. Stereotypes/Stereotypes - Pt. 2
8. Holiday Fortnight
9. I Can’t Stand It
10.International Jet Set
11.Enjoy Yourself (Reprise)


Singles, b-sides and rarities by The Specials:
1. Rat Race
2. Rude Buoys Outa Jail
3. Stereotypes Pts.1 & 2 (John Peel session)
4. International Jet Set (single version)
5. Rude Boys Outa Jail (version) (featuring Neville Staples aka Judge Roughneck)
6. - Do Nothing (single version) (featuring Rico with the Ice Rink String Sounds)
7. Maggie’s Farm
8. Raquel
9. Why? (extended version)
10. Friday Night, Saturday Morning
11. Ghost Town (full version)
12. Sea Cruise (John Peel session) (featuring Rico)
13. You’re Wondering Now (Kid Jensen session)

IN THE STUDIO (2 CD Special Edition)

The original album by The Special AKA:
1. Bright Lights
2. Lonely Crowd
3. What I Like Most About You Is Your Girlfriend
4. House Bound
5. Night On The Tiles
6. Nelson Mandela
7. War Crimes
8. Racist Friend
9. Alcohol
10. Break Down The Door

Rarities by The Special AKA:
1. The Boiler ( Rhoda and The Special AKA )
2. You Just Can’t Get A Break
3. Jungle Music ( Rico and The Special AKA )

BBC Peel Session 12/09/83 by The Special AKA:
4. Lonely Crowd
5. Alcohol
6. Bright Lights

Instrumentals by The Special AKA:
7. Break Down The Door
8. Racist Friend
9. War Crimes
10. Theme From The Boiler
11. Bright Lights
12. Nelson Mandela

*NB Trivia: Along with The Specials’ Live EP, Chuck Berry’s ‘My Ding-A-Ling’ is another of the tiny handful of UK number one singles recorded live. Bizarrely, it was recorded at the same Coventry venue as the second side of The Specials live EP and Jerry Dammers was present at both gigs!

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 21 January 2015 11:57 (eight years ago) link

Hmm, wonder why "Braggin' and trying not to lie" been missed?

I mean, it was Roddy's song and all that...

Mark G, Wednesday, 21 January 2015 12:36 (eight years ago) link

regardless, I couldn't be more excited for this.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 21 January 2015 14:13 (eight years ago) link

eleven months pass...


contact points coming closer...

meisenfek, Tuesday, 29 December 2015 22:38 (seven years ago) link

The 'Young Ones' curse

BlackIronPrison, Tuesday, 29 December 2015 22:40 (seven years ago) link

eight months pass...

Just saw them live Saturday night. They're down to 3 longtime members (Terry Hall, Horace Panter, Lynval Golding) with the rest new and they did the fan faves well, and Hall got grumpy between songs whining about the History channel, and the candidates for US president.

curmudgeon, Monday, 12 September 2016 15:22 (six years ago) link

Whoa no Neville? Why isn't he in the band anymore?

Never thought we'd see the day when it was Terry Hall leading a road warrior illegitimate version of the band

Evan R, Monday, 12 September 2016 15:32 (six years ago) link

Because that would make them 'The Fun Boy Three Plus One'

Mark G, Monday, 12 September 2016 17:27 (six years ago) link

I think Neville's health might be an issue as he toured with them in the recent past.

What does Jerry Damners do these days? I mean he said he would only be part of the band if they did new songs. I guess he's not writing any new ones with others?

curmudgeon, Monday, 12 September 2016 17:32 (six years ago) link

Actually I think Neville Staple is just touring with his own band now

curmudgeon, Monday, 12 September 2016 17:34 (six years ago) link

one year passes...
three months pass...

In addition to Terry Hall, the new album features a line-up that includes two other original members, bassist Horace Panter and guitarist Lynval Golding.

Just going to leave that there..

Mark G, Friday, 26 October 2018 11:39 (four years ago) link

three months pass...

Any thoughts on the new album "Encore"?
I really like what I've heard so far. The band appear to have grown up and taken risks.

Daniel Giraffe, Monday, 4 February 2019 09:50 (four years ago) link

I mean 'grown up with elegance and grace'.

Daniel Giraffe, Monday, 4 February 2019 09:51 (four years ago) link

it's alright. it's not 'necessary' but it's hardly embarrassing. sounds like another good Specials album.

akm, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 04:25 (four years ago) link

the bit of gangsters that i heard on lamacq the other week sounded like terry hall had given up singing for lent. and the new single has more than a touch of ghost town about it.

the glastonbury set from some years ago was solid gold though, hit after hit.

koogs, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 11:57 (four years ago) link

Something about "Vote for Me" gave me "Racist Friend" associations; I'd guess not deliberate, but well played if it is.

anatol_merklich, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 13:44 (four years ago) link

Saw some version of the Specials touring behind some version of a new Specials album several years back and they were awesome. Saw a different, more intact lineup version of the Specials more recently and they were also awesome.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 14:27 (four years ago) link

Anatol, the intro is an echo of Ghost Town but it definitely moves into Racist Friend.

akm, it might not be strictly necessary, as you put it, but as a fan I feel really proud that it's as good as it is.

Daniel Giraffe, Wednesday, 6 February 2019 16:58 (four years ago) link

three years pass...

Don’t call me Scarface!

Cry for a Shadowgraph (James Redd and the Blecchs), Wednesday, 25 January 2023 12:37 (one week ago) link

You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.