Ska Legends THE SPECIALS Released Self-Titled Stellar Debut LP 40 Years Ago…

Classics from the past

18 October 2019

40 years ago, on 19 October 1979, Coventry legends THE SPECIALS reworked 60s Jamaican ska music with their gloriously stimulating, self-titled, Elvis Costello produced debut album on Jerry Dammers‘s Two Tone Records label. Led by charismatic frontman Terry Hall the band injected the original genre with a high dose of punk vitality, politically and socially charged outspokenness and a series of amazeballs top tunes, including some covers of older Jamaican songs such as ‘Monkey Man‘ (by Toost And The Maytals), ‘Too
‘ (by Prince Buster) and hit single ‘A Message To You Rudy’ (by Dandy Livingstone).
The longplayer hit the UK albums top 5 and remained for 45 weeks on the charts.

NME wrote at the time: “Although the predominant musical influence is black (ska, bluebeat, reggae and soul), it’s wrapped in ferocious rock’n’roll: the kind of hybrid that so many other British bands have tried to contrive but, in comparison, failed to make convincing … This LP embraces two decades of black and white music, gives it perspective and then goes on to
reflect the modern rock’n’roll culture … It’s the kind of album that’s musically fathomless and
it will probably establish The Specials as true hopes for the ’80s. At the very least this debut is essential for anybody who wants to know what’s going on in rock’n’roll today”

Three of the many highlights



(live version)

Album in full…


Back sleeve

THE SPECIALS Released Classic Debut ‘GANGSTERS’ 40 Years Ago Today…

Knockouts from the past

4 May 2019

Coventry‘s Ska legends THE SPECIALS scored their first Top Ten hit in the UK
with their stand-alone debut single ‘GANGSTERS’. The stellar track came out
40 years ago today, on 4 May 1979 and reached #6 on the singles chart.

The song was actually issued already once, two months before as a part of
a limited double A-side single – which was pressed on 5000 copies – along with
an instrumental track by 2 Tone label mates The Selecter. Here’s the artwork
of that special issue…

And now, folks, time to jump forth and back…