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From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

More Specials

The Specials

1980

Buy At Rough Trade
More Specials
Album Summary

More Specials is the second album by English ska band the Specials, released by 2 Tone Records in October 1980. After the success of the band's self-titled debut, band member Jerry Dammers assumed the role as the band's leader and stirred them into expanding their 2 Tone sound into other genres of music, most prominently a lounge music and easy listening style inspired by Muzak. Several band members disagreed with Dammers' vision and brought their own influences to the album, including from northern soul and rockabilly, contributing to an eclectic sound palette. The relations between band members continued to sour into the album's accompanying tour and most of the band departed in 1981. The album features collaborations with the Go-Go's members Belinda Carlisle, Charlotte Caffey, and Jane Wiedlin; Rhoda Dakar from the Bodysnatchers; and Lee Thompson from Madness. The lyrics on the album, as with the band's debut album, are often intensely political. Upon its release, the album alienated some fans, but reached number 5 in the UK Albums Chart, while its singles reached the top 10 of the UK Singles Chart. The album also reached number 98 on the Billboard 200 albums chart. Critics greeted the album with praise, where journalists felt the album marked a bold step for the band. It has been since cited as an influence on the trip hop genre in the 1990s, and has been re-released several times.

Wikipedia

Rating

3

Votes

11286

Genres

  • Rock
  • Reggae

Reviews

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Sat Jun 26 2021
3

Feels like some elevator music, but an elevator in a weird fever dream that never really ends, but there is a fun dude dancing in the elevator with you so it’s okay.

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Thu Mar 03 2022
1

"guys you are pretty normal, you might wanna change your band name"

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Wed Apr 07 2021
2

The specials were my first album I got when we starting this adventure before we made the group. And let me tell you I did not need more specials

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

This album really surprised me. It's different from anything I usually listen to and very different from anything else I've heard from this list but it goes hard. A lot of it has a 50s or 60s vibe but you can tell that it's from the 80s which is very cool to hear in the 2020s. I also like how it goes from being very upbeat and happy to rather dark and morbid by the end of the album. Enjoy Yourself is rather upbeat for the dark theme and it's fantastic. Then Man at C&A has warnings of a nuclear attack but is still energetic. I love the saxophone on Hey, Little Rich Girl because of course I do. Do Nothing features a strange piano part that gives an otherwise upbeat song a minor sound and a TROMBONE SOLO! Pearl's Cafe continues the trend of depressing lyrics with a cheery musical background, this time complete with a cheesy glockenspiel. It almost feels like carnival music (a carnival with people singing "it's all a load of bollocks"). But I would say that Stereotype is when the album really loses its cheerful disguise. I Can't Stand It continues this and International Jet Set ends with a plane crash leading into a much darker version of Enjoy Yourself to close off the album. Favorite songs: Enjoy Yourself; Hey, Little Rich Girl; Pearl's Cafe; Sock It to 'Em, J.B.; I Can't Stand It Least favorite songs: None Strong 8/10

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Mon Aug 30 2021
1

Awful, serious ordeal to listen to the whole album.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

Impossible not to get moving to the Specials.

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Sun Mar 13 2022
2

Not 1 star bad but it's maybe a 1.5 for me so will lean on the generous side. Didn't click much at all.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
2

Some of the reggae/ska moments are chill and groovy, but then it hits moments where it feels like it's Happy Birthday To You level music.

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Wed Feb 24 2021
1

Not my style... but listening nonetheless Suffering through this Don't like Not my style "I can't stand it" is nearly unlistenable. The female harmony is f*cking awful.

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Tue Sep 21 2021
1

This is one of the worst bands I've ever heard. fuuuuuck it just sucks. This is the second album of theirs on this list so far, and neither of them is even worth wiping your arse with, let alone pretending it's "must hear before you die" material. 0/5.

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Thu Jun 17 2021
5

Never listened to this is full. Pretty solid all round album with some real classics in the mix

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

Wild time. Album was all over the place and just a lot of fun. Favorite tracks: “Man at C&A” and “Sock It To ‘Em”

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Sat Jun 26 2021
4

Diverse album, with just a solid set of tracks. Very fun, and I could see it growing on me for sure.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
4

Not quite up to the standard of the debut album, but a good album nonetheless. Diluted a little by the variety of styles but still an enjoyable listen.

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Mon May 10 2021
4

Almost done with the album. This was just a fun listen. It's a bit trippy but I like it. I'll rate either a 3 or 4.

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Tue Jul 13 2021
4

The Specials- More Specials (1980): 7/10 Starts off on a bouncy ska sorta tone and continues to fuse many different genres throughout the album, utilizing many different instruments. Really weird, but in a good way. Probably not something I’d listen to in my spare time, but definitely a fun and interesting one time listen.

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Thu Jan 25 2024
3

3.5 That was an interesting first listen. It started off with “Oh, ska. Nice!” and ended with “Wait wtf just happened?” It felt like a trip that started out all nice and fun and ended in a weirdly scary place. Can't say I didn't enjoy it though. I'm a sucker for horns.

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Fri Feb 26 2021
2

Meh. Maybe the extended version left a bunch of stuff that didn’t need to be there. Kinda lame. I thought I liked the specials though

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Wed Apr 07 2021
2

звучит хорошо, но немного нудно

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Sun Mar 26 2023
2

The only thing I like about the amount of times ska has been revived is that it has died so many times as well

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Wed Jan 31 2024
2

Early ska + Brit pop. Some fun beats but not my thing.

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Wed Feb 07 2024
2

Some fun sounding songs but overall too inconsistent

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Mon Feb 12 2024
2

there are plenty of bands that fit the Ska bill. The Specials definitely work but if I was to choose an album of theirs that is representative of the genre; introduces listeners to on of 1,001 albums to listen to and influential albums of their discography or the genre in particular - this is not it. 2.5/5

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Fri Feb 16 2024
2

Nr. 130/1001 Enjoy Yourself 2/5 Men At C&A 2/5 Hey Little Rich Girl 3/5 Do Nothing 3/5 Pearl's Cafe 3/5 Sock It To 'Em J. B. 2/5 Stereotype, Stereotype, Pt. 2 2/5 Holiday Fortnight 3/5 I Can't Stand It 3/5 International Jet Set 2/5 Enjoy Yourself (Reprise) NR Average: 2,4 This just didn't click with me at all.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
1

The styles on this album are a mish-mash of bleh. A lot of it has a ska feel, which has never been my favorite, and the rest was unappealing enough to make me almost turn it off. I finished it, and I like it slightly better than the Elvis album, but not enough to give it a 2-star rating.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
1

Didn't enjoy. The music superficial; out of step with the lyrics (social change)

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Wed Mar 02 2022
5

This was a favourite of my teenage years, as were all Specials albums. And I still love them

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Mon Apr 11 2022
5

Why has it taken me over 40 years to hear this gem? About half of the 21st century's music is influenced by this album. It's of its time, yet harkens strongly to the future. I thought Ghost Town was an outlier, but you can hear them building up to it. It's taken me nearly 50 years to realise what I need in an album - variety, but with an overarching connection. So many albums become boring, I'm thinking of famous ones like Exile On Main Street, and almost every electronic album. Then we have some that vary too much - psychedelic music springs to mind. This is why classic bands like Queen, Beatles, Led Zep, were able to release so many great albums: they instantly sound recognisable, but provide a dish of varied ingredients. Dammers nearly went too far - International Jet Set, but this is a great, skilful, sometimes funny, almost apocalyptic joy.

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Fri Mar 31 2023
5

Liked this way better than the debut.

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Mon Apr 17 2023
5

Love the Specials. Very sad when Terry hall died last year, massive talent. Didn't know this album, but knew a few tracks. Looks like I missed a few classics. Only complaint is that it was too short. Great lyrics and sounds, added to collection.

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Thu May 11 2023
5

On paper, this seemed like the kind of thing I wouldn't like at all but I took their advice from the first track and enjoyed myself throughout. Some impressive horns and saxophone and rockabilly guitar here and there highlight a fun variety of styles. It made me happy.

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Thu May 11 2023
5

I wasn't quite sure about this at first, but as I kept listening, it got more and more fun. There are so many ingredients in this recipe! Ska-punk-mariachi-lounge organ-music hall with themes of nuclear war, James Bond films, emotional alienation, and maybe plane crashes?

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Mon Jul 31 2023
5

There's never a time where the specials can't be played

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

Soundtrack to my youth. The beginning of Thatcher's disaffected, unemployed and miserable Britain mixed with cold war paranoia and all wrapped up in a perfect ska-pop soundtrack. And Terry Hall. What's not to like? Pretty much perfect archive of the era.

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Wed Aug 02 2023
5

What a band what an album cant be mess3d with

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Wed Aug 09 2023
5

An all-time classic. Very inventive, brave and absolutely of its time, yet also timeless.

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Fri Aug 18 2023
5

Love it. Such a sound, such a band. and thanks to Grace's review I learnt that the cover image was taken in the Regent's Hotel in Leamington Spa :)

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Fri Aug 18 2023
5

LOVE the specials love that they're from Coventry, love the album cover (photo from Leamington Spa), love the lyrics and themes, love the reggae sections, love the jazz sections, love the vocals, love the up-beat dance vibes, love the messages, love the power of music overall!

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Thu Sep 07 2023
5

Super cool! I really liked it - what a versatile band! It felt like the band had a blast making this music & that makes the music itself so much more fun.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

The transition from ska revivalists to something a little more meaningful runs throughout More Specials. This isn't the sound of a pastiche tribute; it's the sound of The Specials. They deserve their own genre. Enjoy Yourself sums up the entire album, both in spirit and sound. It's tremendous fun. The gang mentality comes across on each track, even though they were about to fall apart. It's a time capsule for the in-between period of post-punk and pre-80's pop. Do Nothing is just perfect.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

One of the greatest albums ever made. And the reason no Specials 'reunion' without Dammers was ever going to be anything more than a heritage tribute act. The musical sophistication and progression from the first album is impressive. Great arrangements, insightful lyrics and a fair dash of lighter touches too, even if they are somewhat sardonic. No treading water for this band. The songs flow seamlessly but are not one-dimensional. The adoption of easy listening stylings was way ahead of its time, and songs like Stereotype seem both of their time and timeless. An absolute classic.

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Thu Sep 14 2023
5

One of my favourite albums ever, quite a bit better and more varied than their debut (also 5-star) for a big part due to Jerry Dammers, but song contributions of other band members are also great. Favourite song: the 7.5 minute extended version of Stereotypes.

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Thu Oct 19 2023
5

Not as immediate as some of their other work, but really interesting and enjoyable. Roughly the same age as me, from the same island, and with a similar wide range of musical influences - of course I love it. Fully deserves its place on this list, and fully deserves 5 big stars!

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Fri Dec 08 2023
5

One of my favorite albums. Second wave Ska was my lead in to third wave which defined my teenage years. It's fun, loud, and catchy. Love the sound and feeling you get while listening.

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Wed Dec 13 2023
5

it's hard to follow up a debut album as good as theirs but this does a pretty decent effort.

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Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Digging this, feels like drinking with buds. I enjoyed the entire thing. I actually listened to it twice, it's amazing. It will always now remind me of dancing in the kitchen with my daughter.

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Fri Jan 05 2024
5

Skimmed the album, got caught up in the wonderful feel of it, will definately re-listen

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Mon Jan 08 2024
5

excellent stuff. a bit long but very worth it. very "london calling", has a bit of everything but none of it clashes (ehehe) and it all complements well. ska rock reggae punk it does it all. "enjoy yourself" really grows on you. "i cant stand it" and "stereotype" stand out.

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Thu Feb 29 2024
5

The Specials are legends for a reason. A fantastic blend of ska, punk, and social commentary.

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Thu Mar 14 2024
5

giving this one a 5, i dont care about anything else in the world right now other than letting go

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Sat Apr 20 2024
5

I don’t know how to describe it, it’s like lounge, meets ska, meets reggae, meets funk, meets elevator muzak. It’s really interesting and different compared to much of the stuff the generator spits out on the daily. Still, I’m going through the exercise of trying to find reasons not to like this and coming up short. An album about how shit everything in life is, ‘More Specials’ is bleak, but darkly humorous and catchy as fuck.

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Wed May 01 2024
5

wut? wut is this? I like this. It's a bit peculiar in the right ways for me. favorites: Enjoy Yourself, Man at C&A, Do Nothing, Holiday Fortnight, I Can't Stand It, International Jet Set, and the Enjoy yourself reprisal was a great way to end the album. I would be into Sock It to Em more if I was a James Bond fan. This is a special kind of ska.

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Sat May 11 2024
5

I just love their execution of the SKA theme. Makes me want to listen to more songs. It's a rather refreshing album, with a bit of a christmasy theme?

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Sun May 12 2024
5

Defining album of 2nd wave ska and definitely deserves a spot on this list. So good. I played this record to death as a high school kid. Still have the vinyl.

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Mon Oct 05 2020
4

Great album, lots of great groovy tracks. Standout Tracks: Man at C&A, Hey Little Rich Girl, Stereotype / Stereotype Pt. 2, I Can't Stand It, International Jet Set

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Fri Feb 05 2021
4

This was a fun listen. I liked it a lot.

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Thu Feb 04 2021
4

Lovely. Love steady rock steady be steady.

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Tue Jun 08 2021
4

No le encontré mucho lo especial (*duh*), pero es un disco chistosón hasta cierto punto. De repente hay sonidos que se lucen, pero sobre todo lo sentí así, ligero, entretenido. Como música para no tomarse en serio, pero hecha por gente que sabe de música. Al principio pensé que iba a ser todo con vibras un poco de reggae, pero luego se fue diluyendo. Me divirtieron "Stereotype/Stereotype, Pt. 2" y "International Jet Set". Le doy 7.5/10.

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Thu Feb 18 2021
4

Good refresher and enjoyable Ska.

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Fri Jan 22 2021
4

Hey, you are using my project.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

Really interesting. The first few tracks I thought really sounded muddy and like they were recorded in a garage or something. The later tracks seemed better. Not sure I love it, but it wasn't bad overall.

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Wed Apr 07 2021
4

four star album! fun poppy rasta

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Sun Jun 27 2021
4

Love it. Funky dancehall and ska that’s aged perfectly

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Mon May 24 2021
4

I've heard of the Specials before but hadn't ever actually listened in. I really dig this. Before listening I was thinking they were Reggae and was surprised but not surprised to find out that it was Ska! I know of the roots of Ska but had never done my homework enough to actually listen in. Very much helped me place other Reggae inspired bands like the Slits in the London scene. So many jams on this record with a fun spectrum of influences. I look forward to tuning into their first album. All are good but top tracks go to Hey Little Rich Girl, Stereotype, and Sock it to 'em JB. Only last note is that I'd like to do more research on the politics of the lyrics!

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Mon Apr 26 2021
4

Ska Klassiker und fast schon genre begründend.

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Wed May 19 2021
4

Good vibes. Almost reggae pop?

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Mon May 24 2021
4

First forray into ska music. Interesting and not bad.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
4

Like Belle & Sebastian if they weren’t the whitest band in the world

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Mon Aug 23 2021
4

The Specials are so fun, I love their sound. I hear lots of what inspired Gorillaz phase 1 in this one.

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Fri Sep 17 2021
4

Super ska album met onbekende nummers voor mij

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Wed Oct 06 2021
4

Some fantasic songs. Some throwaways. I feel like I've lost the grasp of my own scoring system....

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Thu Oct 07 2021
4

I enjoyed it more than I thought I would its a really good album with some ace tracks, some fade a bit into the background which is why its not 5

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Wed Oct 13 2021
4

Enjoyed this, not the right weather or time of year for casual ska but still a great album

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Wed Nov 03 2021
4

I don't know if The Specials had as much to say on this album as they did on their debut. But it opens with one of my favourite songs about death - Enjoy Yourself so that's a start. Man in C&A is a much dubbier song than anything they did before, and Hey, Little Rich Girl feels like a much poppier update to Too Much, Too Young (nowhere near as good, but TMTY is near perfect). Do Nothing is class. Where the first album was urgent, this feels much more resigned. The play between the cheery ska and the defeatism of a lot of the lyrics is divine. Pearl's Cafe starts like a week track, but a cheeky refrain halfway through makes it work! It then has a possibly pointless, but spot on and joyful James Brown tribute - I AM NEVER SAYING NO TO THIS! Then they just start listing James Bond films. The back end of the album is very genre agnostic. There's easy listening, dub, pop, and a Casio version of the opener. It's a very good album, but not the terrifying propulsion of the first. It's still the Specials, but you can see that Specials AKA and Fun Boy 3 are on the horizon, sadly.

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Sun Jan 16 2022
4

4.5/5. Shit had variety and energy, I like

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Thu Jan 27 2022
4

Pretty good. Difficult to make ska music which ages well in my opinion, this album is probably as good as it gets.

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Wed Feb 02 2022
4

Enjoyable album but not a genre I’m very familiar with.

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Thu Feb 10 2022
4

The Specials are surely one of the best ska bands to grace the planet. That being said this is a very good album. Not 5 stars but if you like ska you will almost certainly like this.

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Sun Feb 13 2022
4

God, The Specials are great! I only heard their debut in full for the first time last year but was blown away. I don't think this quite lives up to its heights, but the opening song kicks things off with so much energy, and the wider range of instrumentation with some more ambitious songwriting (Stereotype, namely) is a really nice contrast to the more direct debut. Also the song where they just list off a load of James Bond titles was bizarre but a lot of fun

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Wed Feb 16 2022
4

I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Good early ska sound. Maybe I’m a Specials fan?

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