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

The Specials

The Specials

1979

Wikipedia

The Specials

Rating

3.31

Votes

3663

Reviews

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2

Contrairement à ce qu'en a dit eltrapeze, cet album n'est pas nul, il est simplement mauvais.

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4

I was going to do a my one track mind episode with a woman originally from england about this album. Wish I had gotten to that one before I threw in the towel. I would have loved to hear her more firsthand account of this album's significance. Having an interest in punk music inevitably leads you to it's intertwining with reggae/ska/rocksteady. Jamaican music was sort of the equivalent of HipHop to a certain segment of British youth at the time. I'd also say reggae/dub is the most significant precursor to hiphop in many ways but that's a whole nother conversation. Anyway, The Specials are pretty much THE archetypal British ska/two tone band that set the pattern for so many others to follow in their wake. It might sound formulaic now, but at that time they were creating that formula. Anyway, I like this album but don't love it. I find it very enjoyable and it would probably have been a great live show back in the day. It's fun and has the right amount of punk attitude in flashes so as to not spoil the party.

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5

One of their great album. Not sure it's my favorite, but definitely really good. Also, if anyone can see them live, totally worth it (whenever we'll have live shows again, and hopefully they're not dead by then)

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4

It's incredible that a bunch of kids with learning difficulties can deliver music of this quality.

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3

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4KCB3-UZqM Favorite tracks: A Message to You Rudy, Blank Expression, Stupid Marriage. Album art: Really dig this layout, with the track list and everything framing the band photo. 3/5

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1

Je suis à deux doigts de devenir particulièrement vulgaire pour écrire cette review, comment peut on servir un album aussi minable, mais pire, comment peut on considerer cet album comme "à écouter avant de mourir"? Là Robert, permet moi de te dire que c'est la honte, et que tout le générateur est déçu de ce choix, on pensait que tu valais mieux que ça. Autant en emporte le vent donc.

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5

SKA (old school)

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5

Perfect ska day

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5

Ska is a part of me, and I will never turn my back on Ska!

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5

There is exactly 0 song I don't like on this album, and a lot I really like.

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5

I was listening to The Specials a day or so ago, they make me happy. I'm listening now with a giant grin on my face. As soon as I saw that chequered album cover appear on the page my grin began, and hasn't left since. I'm a kid again, with all the music that goes with that. I love it, these guys can really do no wrong in my eyes. Lovely stuff!

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5

Favourite so far. Enjoy ska and knew several songs.

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5

This was so great! I loved the vibe and the message.

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5

Pretty dope

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5

Just totes amazeballs, sets the feeling for the rest of the day. The gloom of the setting, offset by the bounce in the feet - noice.

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5

Absolutely love this. One of my favourites as a teenager, I loved this flavour of ska-punk, reminds me of skanking wildly to the local ska punk bands at gigs in dingy basements. Disillusion and hopelessness mixed with funky bass lines and upbeat horns. Deluxe version also has a live disc which is fun, wouldn't normally like live albums but you can feel their live energy. Favourites: A message to you rudy too much too young Monkey Man

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5

This album is awesome.

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5

Jay-Eff A message to you, Jay-Eff Pa pa ra pa ra paaaa

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5

da monKE MAAAN

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5

Ska AF

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5

Enjoyed this

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5

N2

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5

Genial, renovaron el ska haciendo que suene un poco más eléctrico pero sin que se pierdan esas ganas de bailar.

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5

Iconic album that offered more than the superb tracks it contains. Part of a force that was challenging endemic racism, acceptance of unemployment and community disintegration all done with musicality and energy that would blow your porkpie hat off!

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5

some cracking songs, lively, social commentary

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5

Classic. My last year in school. Timeless.

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5

Теперь я знаю, кто это

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5

Excellent album, good jamming and sunny vibes, songs stuck in my head for days

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5

Definitive Punk/SKA album of the time.

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5

Like it

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5

One of the great debut albums and still throbs with energy 40 odd years later.

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5

if the voting structure was out of 10 then most of my 5 star reviews would be 9s. this however would be a big fat 10. i fucking love this album almost as much as a SHACK loves lamb chops.

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5

Very good example of ska punk. 1979. Liked it.

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5

Absolutely magnificent album. Had the pleasure of seeing the Specials live in 1979 at Loughborough uni on the Two Tone tour with The Selecter and Dexy's. One of the best gigs of my life.

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5

Definitive ska album and set the (two) tone for so much to come

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5

Awesome mix of styles to create something unique. Crazy that Costello produced this between Armed Forces and Get Happy in 79. Fun to discover that little snippet of Bohemian Like You in Little Bitch. Will definitely listen again.

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5

Another undeniable classic. Two days running. Best thing to ever come out of Cov. It amuses me that a band so avowedly anti racist can be so misogynistic, but the same hatred gets turned inwards enough that you feel it may just be a general misanthropy from Terry Hall (that's borne out by him over the next 40 years!) But there is no fat in the 45 minutes here - every track is there and on point. That it is the last album on the list from the 70s is fitting, as it feels like a lot of the excess is culled here, with an urgency and excitement often missing in some of the leaden rawk stodge that pads out the decade.

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5

Love it! Fantastic album.

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5

Bursting with bangers - my favourite album in the list so far. Dammers deserved far more praise than he got.

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5

Hard to guess what this might sound like to fresh ears, but to my older ones it is a perfect balance of black, white and the shades of grey in between. Over time, the knees-up familiarity of the hits has drowned out the angst and anger of the rest. The dubby album version of Too Much Too Young came as the biggest surprise, but ultimately a welcome one: it takes the song to a more mournful place than the spikier no-future version we're used to.

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5

A perfect snapshot in time. Life, politics and race in Britain. The kitchen sink dramas. The bottled aggression. Desperate and beautiful.

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5

pure magic

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5

Fantastic from start to finish. I think SKA ran a bit off the rails in the 90's revival, resulting in the genre getting a bad wrap. Therefore, it's incredibly refreshing to go back to the roots with this album; to be reminded of just how fun the blend of influences are. The album starts out with the seminal \"A Message to You Rudy\", which introduces not only their fusion of reggae, punk, brass, funk and R&B, but also the bands socially minded lyrical leanings. And the whole album carries on as it starts, each track iterating on the same core spirit of house-party meets social commentary. And with that said, you'll need to excuse me. I'm going to immerse myself in The Specials' discography. Cheers!

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5

It’s ska. You take it or you leave it. This one though, this one I’ll take. Gladly.

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5

Easy 5 star. One of the best two-tone bands and albums released.

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5

Been listening to this since high school. Excellent.

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5

I am a ska fanatic and this is an absolute classic. YMMV if you don’t appreciate the genre of kings.

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5

10/10 album did they invent ska? it sure sounds like they did

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5

Kamalt El Hadra Loula Me Rbo3 Ethaleth. Barcha Bal8am Vocals Wack. Prooly Working On My First Televised Interview Ever

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5

An immensely satisfying album. Not a duff track on it, and still sounds as fresh in 2022 as it did in 1979. Political, humourous, sociological music but rollicking good tunes.

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5

I grew up listening compulsively to this album - so I am not even going to pretend to leave an objective review. Still sounds great!

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5

A perfect picture of Britain in 1979 - an album that absolutely stands the test of time.

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5

Ska y reggae. Vinilo.

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5

Geweldig ska album, heeft veel veranderd in het ska/reggae genre

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5

A cool mix of rock'n'roll and reggae tracks.

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4

Seminal two tone pioneers.... I really like this album

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4

Great album!

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4

The forefront of the new wave of pop punk that hoisted up The Ramones, The Clash, etc. fun ska

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4

Cool album lots of good variety and some catchy tracks

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4

Ska - all ska - lots of ska, great ska!

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4

Cool intro to ska, fun album

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4

I like it

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4

Lots of fond high school memories with this tape. I think I was listening to this concurrently with Camper Van Beethoven, which was the bulk of my ska knowledge at the time.

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4

Great debut album!

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4

Interesting combination of raggae and garage rock

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4

Pretty early origins of ska

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4

Really great stuff

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4

Pretty groovy, catchy, great vocals, instruments overall very upbeat 4.3

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4

Great early ska sound

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4

its alright not a big folk/psychedelic guy

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4

Te faz sentir dentro de um pub mesmo não sendo a música padrão nessas áreas.

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4

Nach der Mid-90er Skapunkwelle war das Thema bei mir erstmal durch. Ist auch nach wie vor nicht meine Szene, aber die Specials würde ich da mal anders einordnen. Richtig und wichtig als Impuls und als Zeichen, sehr fresh damals und bis heute eigentlich, und gute Laune machts ja auch. Immer noch nicht meine Lieblingsmusik, aber hier mal echte 4 Punkte für alles andere.

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4

Freue mich schon, wenn der Garten wieder startet und das da läuft. Ach und: ist der Sänger eigentlich mit Johnny Rotten verwandt?

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4

There's a great movie/documentary "Rudeboy: The Story of Trojan Records" which tells of the arrival of Ska (and songs like A Message To You Rudy) in the UK.

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4

Nice relaxing album. Kinda weird. lol

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4

Trafilo akurat na jedyny wyspiarski band ska jaki znam, czyli specialsow ktory zapoczatkowali reaktywacje tego wlasnie gatunku na wyspach swoim debiutanckim materialem, na ktorym mniej wiecej rowno jest klasycznych jamajskich piosenek hymnow z autorskimi kompozycjami bandy, pomino tego ze dziwnie troche brzmi polaczenie jamajskiego grania i krispi brytyjskich wokali, bo o ile backujace glosy sa po czesci czarne, to jednak glos lidera Terrego Halla jest brytyjsko brytyjski protsto z birmingham, a jednak nie brzmi to tragicznie, bo nie tylko czuc zgranie bandowane instrumentalnie czy chorkowo, ale motywy czarno bialej koperacji pojawiaja sie takze w liryce, wiec sa oni samo swiadomi tego jak taki mix moze brzmiec z boku, jako ze zbyt reggowym skowym headem nie jestem, to nie moge za bardzo rownac orginalow hymnow tutaj interpretowanych, bo sa one dla mnie "pierwszym" odsluchem danego tytulu, co mnie urzeklo w autorskich kompozycjach jest motyw troche punkerskiego buntu przez miastem i jego kultura, jak na traku concrete jungle, ciekawe sa tez wstawki bakujacych wokali tworzace mini skity, na poczatku czy koncu niektorych trakow, no i zabawa slowem, no bo przeciez przeplataja sie dwie kultury wiec wychodzi misz masz nie tylko stylow muzycznych, ale i gramatycznych, wiec sypia sie mony, night som nitami i tak dalej, plyta zdecydowanie broni sie swoim ukikalnym brzmieniem, na plejce juz mialem klasycznego message to you rudy, ale dodam jeszcze spomniany junglowy kawalek i too much too young

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4

Excellent. Maybe could've been 5 stars but just missed out.

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4

Loved the song “A Message to you Rudy” and “Concrete Jungle”. Very up beat and jazzy sound. I imagine hearing this at a soccer match or bar hopping across the pond. Or even farther across the pond in Nairobi Africa! Pretty cool lyrics in “Why” This album was saved. The Blum cover looks like a friend said “hey lemme take your photo for fun” which at first I thought was lame but as I look back, it fits the music perfectly- “Let’s play this Specials album for fun.”

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4

Top Ska

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4

Joe Jackson meets reggae = ska? Not bad.

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4

Like this album. 3 or 4 good songs. Style is good but couldn't listen to it all the time.

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4

Solid!

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4

Not that long ago, I panned The Specials second album here because it was sloppy, unfocused, and had a drunken pub singalong vibe. I'm happy to report that the Specials debut is drastically better. The band is tight and energetic. Everything they try works, including interjections of rock 'n roll and even disco bass! Their covers (Monkey Man, Do The Dog, A Message To Rudy), while they won't erase anyone's memories of the originals, function as Brit fanboy versions, and they work just fine. Where The Specials really shine is their own compositions. They wear their ska and reggae influences like a second skin and fuse it with the anger and energy of punk. It's exhilarating stuff, just as I remembered from their performance on Saturday Night Live all those years ago. The lyrics are even intelligent, incisively taking on the vapid bar scene, racism, and teen pregnancy. This, plus the single \"Gangsters\" is all the Specials you will ever need.

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4

Conocía la primera canción pero no lo tenía identificado - me ha gustado

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4

1) A Message To You Rudy 4* 2) Do The Dog 4* 3) It's Up To You 3* 4) Nite Klub 4* 5) Doesn't Make It Alright 3* 6) Concrete Jungle 4* 7) Too Hot 3* 8) Monkey Man 5* 9) (Dawning Of A) New Era 4* 10) Blank Expression 3* 11) Stupid Marriage 3* 12) Too Much Too Young 3* 13) Little Bitch 4* 14) You're Wondering Now 3*

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4

Great album. I think I'd have been a superfan if It was my time.

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4

Already had this, and listened to it a few times. Some classic tracks here. But to be honest, I wasn't really looking forward to revisiting. I like first-wave and third-wave ska, but I always felt second-wave (2 Tone) ska was overrated, esp. by UK folks who were alive at the time and see the whole era nostalgically. Giving it a proper listen... I'm pleasantly surprised. More punk elements than I remembered. But most of it is insanely catchy and danceable at the same time. Really laid the blueprint for third-wave ska, more than I'd appreciated before. But it also stays closer to the Jamaican original. I love the unity ballad, "Doesn't Make It Alright" - Operation Ivy should have covered this. (Or did they??) There are a couple of throwaway tracks, and some puerile lyrics occasionally… but 4/5.

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4

Alright, so this was a very interesting listen. There's a very interesting mix of genres on this album. Definitely considerable whether it would work or not, but it does. I just found out that Elvis Costello produced this album - no wonder it sounds pretty good. 4/5 stars.

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4

Ska Revival? - yes please! We need another one soon.

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4

“Rudy” reminds me of my college years. We often danced to it in the new wave clubs of the era. This wave of ska was so much stronger and more authentic than later waves — it expanded on early Jamaican ska without copying it. There were a lot of other neo-ska bands in the late ‘70s and early 80s, but the Specials were the best of the lot. Later neo-ska movements (Sublime, No Doubt, and many rock en español bands) were not as successful. Highlights: “Rudy” — very authentic ska and good commentary about UK rude boys. “Do the Dog” — ska with an early rock ‘n roll sensibility and a touch of Clash-like punk vocals. "Concrete Jungle" — super-percussive; another nice blend of Clash-like punk with a ska shuffle. "You're Wondering Now" — beautiful downtempo cover of the mid-60s Andy and Joey ballad.

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4

Not fan of ska music, but this guys defintly influenced to The Clash

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4

I run a bit hot and cold on ska music. Horns make a lot of things better, but like most things, too much of a good thing... well, you know. In the 90s I loved No Doubt, but didn't really dig the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I didn't dig much deeper than that, so I needed a little ska education for context on The Specials. Third wave ska, largely ska punk from the US, is what I had the most familiarity with. The Specials are the forebears of the second wave, in the UK in the late 70s and early 80s, and build on the roots of Jamaican ska. So knowing that, what about "The Specials?" This is the hotter side of ska for me. Lots of great horns, but the guitar playing also stood out. Less punk influence, but I can hear hints of connection to rockabilly and surf rock in places. (Which got me thinking about the evolution of rock subgenres, much as The Chemical Brothers did yesterday for electronic music. Definitely one of the most interesting things for me about hearing all these albums.) "Concrete Jungle" was my favorite track - the only one written by and with lead vocals from lead guitarist Roddy Radiation (born Roddy Byers, but how great is "Roddy Radiation?"). This track connected the most to what seems to be the genesis of The Specials and second wave/two-tone ska - capturing "the disaffection and anger felt by the youth of the UK's 'concrete jungle'—a phrase borrowed from Bob Marley's 1973 album Catch a Fire—used to describe the grim, violent inner cities of 1970s Britain." There was a clear difference between the original Specials tracks and the covers of Jamaican ska classics, but I enjoyed both. I might have to check out more ska...

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4

A cool find of some old school ska/ funk. Enjoyed listening to it, but it did get a bit repetitive.

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4

Really enjoyed this one

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4

UB40 type vibes, laid back reggae sounds

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4

love me some specials, always upbeat

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4

Fun album. I really enjoyed it at the beginning but it did run a bit long. It definitely has me interested in ska and the history of that music.

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4

Still amazing. Definitely their best album.

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4

This is a lot of fun, an enjoyable listen. Maybe ignorant to say but I'm not sure how much substance there is to it, sounds like party music.

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4

Definitely The Specials

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4

I dig this. Feels like it’d be a perfect album for a summer cookout or something.

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4

Thanks for introducing me the two tone genre. As a punk fan, I absolutely love this fusion with ska. It's jazzy, danceable, and full of punk energy. Lots of diversity in these tracks, setting the standard for later ska bands to follow. They don't repeat the same trick twice; it's full of surprises. Although all the tracks are good, I feel like it fell short starting with "Too Hot", but picked up again with "Blank Expression." Favorite tracks: Gangsters, A Message to You Rudy, Doesn't Make It Alright, Stupid Marriage, Too Much Too Young, You're Wondering Now

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4

solid ska album, rock that chop

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4

listening to two tone always very aggressively makes me feel 16 but in a good way. do the dog and monkey man are forever fave feelgood tunes!

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4

A lot more varied and punky than I remember, good

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4

Never heard the album but knew quite a few songs. I thought it was great, even the album tracks were good

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4

Good ole ska, definitely an interesting blend of Jamaican Ska and British Punk, can really absorb the vibe of 1970s UK and what it was like. You can also pick up what would become staples of ska. Great album, definitely going in my collection. Personal favourites: A Message To You Rudy Nite Klub Concrete Jungle Doesn't Make It Alright (Dawning of a) New Era You're Wondering Now

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4

Muy bueno, muy agradable

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4

This is my first introduction to this music genre - ska. This album is a hybrid of reggae and rock'n'roll. It's pretty groovy and has great vocals and deep lyrics; a lot of tracks on here are very catchy. Favorite tracks: A Message to You Rudy, It's Up to You, Doesn't Make It Alright, Monkey Man, Too Much Too Young.

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4

Rough production and the songs are not anything spectacular, but its overall a fun vibe.

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4

Dig it, but I’d rather just listen to the clash

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4

Monkey man, message to you Rudy, note klub, stupid marriage. Great album

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4

If you don't like modern Ska, this album is kind of birthing that whole sound in a way, and personally, I think a lot of the best things about Ska are on display. Great playing, fun writing and performance, and a dash of rage & anti-establishmentarianism.

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4

Loved it. Couldnt listen to Ska non stop but it was a great change of pace.

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4

A unit of an album. It really takes you on a journey and paints pictures on the way. It’s a really tight album. Not usually a fan of ska, but the it really takes you on a journey and was thoroughly enjoyable. It was cool to hear about the social commentary on race relations of the time, the club scene and even getting married and having kids too young. Its all poignant throughout but not too heavy handed. 4/5 - I like it, but I don’t love it

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4

Had no idea about this one going in. It was awesome.

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4

Ska. Come on rude boy - get skankin'. The sounds of fighting in dance halls and looking down the barrel of Thatcher's Britain. The depressing thing is that like many of these albums, the politicians have changed but the general culture hasn't. Best Tracks: Message To Rudy; Too Much Too Young; Little Bitch

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4

Bouncy but angry. A polaroid of disaffected you in 1970s/80s urban Britain? It tails off a bit on side 2, but is still a ska classic. 3.5/5.

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4

Fun, upbeat music. Memories of the 80's.

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4

Not my genre of music but better than I expected.

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4

Great British Ska Album

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4

Haven't heard this album in forever. I forgot how much I liked it.

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4

Bardzo the clash, ale tylko reggae

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4

Great album, fun songs, just always found the production a bit thin :/

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4

Great album!!!

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4

I saw this band when they had just reunited in 2009 when I was in Scotland. This was at T in the Park (which I’m has now been reworked into a different festival apparently). First time I had seen someone skanking.

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4

Wow.. denna äger...

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4

Squams fr

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4

Great 2tone ska album...probably the best.

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4

Brilliant album.

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4

Still fresh as fuck today (and relevant).

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4

Awesome

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4

4.3 - Having suffered through the ska/swing resurgence of the late-90s, I had a PTSD-like reaction when I saw this early ska album pop up. Bands like "Cherry Poppin Daddies" and "Reel Big Fish" did a serious disservice to the Specials' legacy. Or, perhaps the Specials did themselves a disservice in later albums? In any case, I love this debut album! It's a blend of ska and reggae, with punk sensibilities that keep the arrangements lean and loose. The songs' messages vary from political to complaining about nightlife. "Doesn't Make It Alright" rails against race-based violence, while "Monkey Man" ridicules nightclub bouncers.

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4

I love ska! A few classics, some extra bops I had never heard before, and a few meh songs. Overall a great listen!

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4

p446, 1979. 4 stars Ska meets disillusioned angry young men at the start of Thatcher's Britain. I don't usually like ska or reggae, but this is good - a rare example of the soundtrack to a moment in time that still sounds fresh today. Having said that... I like it, but don't love it. Just my taste in music.

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4

STOP YOUR MESSIN' AROUND! The drums sound like they were recorded in an alley for Do The Dog. Nite Klub has that party ska sound that just took over the world. Much of this album is like a single speed bike. This is not an album for range but its very fun for a pleasure cruise. Stupid Marriage is good. Too Much Too Young. I didn't know Little Bitch was a Specials song!

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4

much better than expected. Not huge into Ska, but this rules and paved the way for all the good (and the many bad) ska revival bands to come. 4 Musically, 4.5+ influentially.

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3

3.5! good background music! i liked it a lot!

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3

Anyone that’s able to spearhead a genre revival like this is ok in my book

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3

Very similar to mighty mighty bosstones

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3

It was okay... for a ska album

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3

I loved this album but I also couldn't wait for it to end.

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3

Like sublime on cocaine

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3

I think I have heard of this band, part of the first wave of ska revival I think? Never heard any of their songs though. Oh, I guess I have "Little Bitch", It had to look it up, but it was in DDR haha! Might have been a cover though. Also heard "Ghost Town" from another of their albums. I do like ska though, I think it's fun. Not something I necessarily go out of my way to listen to, but if it comes on through the radio or online, I usually enjoy it. Some really dumb songs in here though, like "Too Hot" and "Stupid Marriage". But, I guess it's all in fun. Apparently they even have a song called "Rat Race" haha. Overall, the album is good but doesn't really blow me away, so 3.5 rounded down to 3.

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3

Ska again not a big factor in my musical lexicon but it's a fine album and some standout songs I've long appreciated.

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3

Pretty good. I know all the songs.

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3

It was just okay

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3

is this ska

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3

At least it's not *all* white guys making reggae. The album cover still reminds me of Snatch for some reason. This band is very much a Clash lookalike. I just wish Ghost Town was on this album

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3

Ska is too repetitive for me

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3

Ska came before reggae

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3

Very fun album. Reggae inspired songs, so not quite what I'm interested in but there are a few really good songs in here.

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3

This is pretty good. I'm sure they are/were a great live bad, just not sure how well that translates to their recorded music. 2.5 stars, rounding up to 3.

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3

i felt like i was in lazytown, but if lazytown was in britain in the 70s. high 3

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3

Bon album de ska classique, moins mon vibe mais discours très amusants.

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3

Love 'A message to you Rudy', nearly fell of my chair on 'Monkey Man' - I know that song from a Wiggles video with Kylie Minogue! I like ska, so enjoyed this but dont think it will be everyones cup of tea

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3

1979, Ska, reggae, 2 Tone, punk rock, geht

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3

Nice hearing the originals,

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3

Se parecen a Toreros Muertos, pero en inglés. Más british, aunque no sé de dónde son.

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3

love the energy

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3

I was not expecting this. When I saw the album cover my eyes rolled so far into the back of my head that I thought I was in the UK. In all serious, I’ve just been burnt out with these 70’s and 80’s UK bands and their mediocrity, especially this week. But this album is…Special. I can almost sense the beginnings of Ska in their music and wonder if bands like Reel Big Fish were inspired by these blokes. Now this doesn’t mean I love the album, I certainly enjoyed it but a lot of it fell into the background. I will say that Monkey Man was a stand out because monkee. The reggae tones as well really sets this album apart from a lot of the other rubbish that has been put on our list this week. I still stand by my opinion of the album cover, looks like something that would be on a menu at a diner. Actually, I am just now getting that it is a menu of specials.

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3

The hits hit. The album tracks are naffin mind blowing like

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3

Great singles, let down by the rest of the songs, swings between a 2 and a 5, more of a 3.5 score

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3

Funky. Kind of reggae-ish vibes with an arch british twist.

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3

Wasn’t my thing first time around but I quite enjoyed hearing it this time.

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3

This was a reasonably enjoyable album. I wouldn't listen to it on my own again, but if it was in the background I'd tap my foot.

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3

The Specials are the best of the trumpet tooting wanky ska bands and this album was more enjoyable than I was expecting

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3

Enjoyed listening to this on Friday. Good album.

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3

Ska heeft zeker zijn plek in de geschiedenis. Of die plek 2021 is weet ik niet.

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3

I like ska, but this album wasn't that great to be honest

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3

De bakermat van de Britse Ska. Hier en daar wel een minder nummertje.

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3

Wat standaard ska, maar ik vind het wel leuk om luisteren

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3

Saved Prior: A Message To You Rudy Saved Off Rip: None Cutting Edge: a couple man idk which ones Overall Notes: not terrible, not amazing, I'll probably end up saving a couple. Similar to marvin gaye i'd say

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3

The music is very enjoyable, but I think a full album of ska is a bit much for me. 2.5 and I'll round up to a 3 Saved: A Message to You Rudy

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3

didnt save any songs but it was p decent

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3

Like orginal ska punk. Reggae beats. Really decent, can tell it influenced a lot of stuff that followed it. Couple of famous tracks in there too, like Too Much Too Young. Prob wouldbt go out of my way to listen to it again, but can appreciate its significance. 3/5

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3

It's a shame that the main issues raised on the album (racism and violence) are still prevalent today. In 42 years no one has got close to managing a change to the cultural narrative around what it is to be British - a depressing thought for the day. Solid album but the thumping tempo is let down by slower numbers.

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3

Gutta koser seg, og tekstene er vittige, tørre og politiske på en henslengt måte. Albumet er på sitt beste når de drar opp tempoet i de mer ska-aktige låtene, særlig Nite Klub, Concrete Jungle og Little Bitch syns jeg var kule. Men mye av resten av plata er treg reggae jeg ikke har så veldig sansen for.

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3

Yupp, det var ganske digg album. Likte de fleste sangene, gøy med noen som var litt forskjellige, spesielt den derre rettsak tingen, lite avbrekk fra det vanlige, men ikke for mye heller. Den Too Much Too Young ble i motsettning alt for repeterende.

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3

Mye forskjellige moods på det albumet her. Hopper mye mellom 60-talls radiorock, rå punk-rock og 2000-talls radioska / -reggae. Digga visse sanger som Do The Dog, Message To You Rudy og Little Bitch, men de mer trege reggae-sangene gjorde det litt tråkig til tider. Albumet var litt for langt, og følte det var noen litt rare, unødvendige digresjoner her og der. Tror jeg likevel kunne nytt dette albumet på en god sommerdag, tror det kunne passa vibbene bra.

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3

A friend introduced me to this band in my college years. I enjoyed it, but I haven't really listened to them since then. Still nice to listen to, and I notice the skill of the musicians more now than I did then. Looking back with the benefit of over 30 years' hindsight, I can hear how they (or at least them and similar bands of that time) influenced later bands.

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3

Shaka Zulu origin story

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3

I wasn't sure if I had heard of the Specials before or not. I am familiar with the first track, "A Message to You, Rudy", which i rated as the track I like the most from the album. "You're Wondering Now" was in second place. The album is good, but I'm not sure I'd listen to the whole thing again.

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3

Enjoyed it more than I thought I would

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3

My first ska album in this. Almost sounds like a live recording. Message to you Rudy sounds like a classic movie song idk why.

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3

I like the specials so I was excited for this one. I feel like their genre is some sort of reggae punk mix and I love it. Message to you Rudy was the first song I found from them and ghost town next. I love ghost town. Im three songs in and so far I really like it. Actually I take it back it’s definitely ska. I wanna dance to all these songs on the beach or something. The baseline in nite klub is fantastic. It’s like a bass solo whoa.

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3

Some fun Ska.

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3

Good album. Not sure I'd listen to the whole album again, but enjoyed this listen. Definitely can hear how this influenced later ska or semi-ska bands like Sublime.

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3

Good album and very fun!

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3

The Ska style is ok for me. I know some are big fans. This is my first time hearing the band or the album. I think the album cover is cool. I listened a couple of times today. The sound just didn't grow on me today. But, I think with more listens it will just get better. For now I'll give it a low 3/5.

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3

Classic feelgood tunes. Interesting combo of bratty punk vocal and Afro-beat style vocals. Opening track is a banger and Monkey Man kicks ass too.

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3

I liked Little Bitch - give another listen

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3

This is an ok album. A few good songs on it, but this kind of ska sound gets a little too repetitive for my taste. Still, not bad overall.

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3

Good ska, but a little varied in terms of quality. Best to cherry pick Specials and Terry's music.

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3

👍

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3

-Nice bassline in "Nite Klub." It's definitely higher energy than a lot of the other songs. -I like the pickup in speed of "Stupid Marriage" -Generally cool basslines relatively high in the mix throughout the album -Perfectly fine ska music, but nothing in particular is making me want to listen again

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3

Probably wouldn't go out of my way to listen to The Specials, but I do really enjoy them when I do. Solid meshing of genres, and hugely influential. Strong messages, and despite the often bleak lyrical themes the actual music relays joy and positivity. And I like the fact that it sounds like a band playing together, rather than an amalgamation if individually recorded parts. (3.1)

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3

Good, perhaps oversold by critics? It feels far less essential than singles comps. 3.5.

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3

Fair

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3

Really cheesy lyrics. I've certainly heard worse ska albums though

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3

Ritmos ska. Con coherencia.

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3

70s with reggae influence

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3

I feel like I would have liked this more if I was still on that side of the 90s. It seems like primitive ska, and while it’s good, I would do better with in very very small doses. I suspect it’s on the list for influencing future artists.

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3

Lots to like about this. All about the voices

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3

Has some energy but pretty much every song sounds the same.

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3

Never listened to this before. Foot-tapping fun. Little Bitch is a nice detachment from a fairly similar-sounding album.

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3

Groovy, upbeat music that literally screams "the 80s". Fun lyrics and good sounds for background work. Definitely gives the feeling of doing too much too young.

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3

Not my kind of ska. Good but my tastes long for other jams

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3

So...I'm going to have to (at least slightly) revise my opinion on Elvis Costello, given that he produced this album. It is a period piece, true, but a fairly good one. Odd thing about this is that it is easy to be pessimistic about the state of the nation etc. But even it its pessimism, stuff like ska actually pointed out other viable possibilities, an organic reorganisation of the order of the day. The point is to remember this, and not what the naysayers have to say. They always have something to say. Most of it is useless.

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3

Ouais ça fait changement un ska reaggea.j'ai bien aimé. Ça date en plus mais ça a un bon son 3.75

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3

Alternative/reggae band. Fav song is “doesn’t make it alright”

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3

Fundamental album for....ska. Ska is a weird genre. It originates out of Jamaica which is considered the "first wave" of ska in the 60s and 70s. It's very calypso-inspired, if you know about that. Heavy on the brass section, emphasis on the off-beats, and so on. Then, in the late 70s and into the 80s, it was picked up in England and thus began that "second wave", more commonly known as 2 Tone. The Specials embody 2 Tone. You hear more guitar, along with elements of new wave and early punk rock in 2 Tone compared to the original Jamaican Ska, but it's still unmistakably ska (just pick any track and give it a listen). This was then picked up in North America during the late 80s and was expanded upon as Ska Punk. Leaning more into hardcore punk, you had a heavy focus on faster and dirtier riffs, more aggressive vocals, while still retaining the brass section and off-beat rhythms. This was the most commercially successful iteration of ska, with The Mighty Might Bosstones being a standout of the genre. Gamers will be quick to recognize this flavor of ska in Tony Hawk games, with Goldfinger being a favorite. Pop Punk enthusiasts will know of Jeff Rosenstock, former member of ska punk bands "The Arrogant Sons of Bitches" and "Bomb the Music Industry!", along with his more recent solo release "Ska Dream", which features all flavors of Ska, not just Ska Punk. So what does this say about The Specials? Well for one thing, they aren't in one place for the album's runtime, no. They tend to move back and forth between the more energetic punk-rock influence distinct to 2 Tone, and the more laid back original sounds of Jamaican Ska. This represents largely the "importing" of ska to England, brining a fresh and more local sound. This mirrors the very real migration of Jamaicans coming to England in the 50s after World War 2. Children of Jamaican parents growing up in England during this time would be adults by the 70s and 80s, and some would be musicians! So the blend of Jamaicans Ska along with punk-rock and new wave would be the natural conclusion of Jamaican immigration. Specials members Neville Staple and Rico Rodriguez are both from Jamaican and contribute largely on this album. Worth noting that this album was out in 1979, too early for new wave, so we got mostly punk rock influence. This put The Specials on the leading edge of the genre, with none others like it. This, however, becomes a double-edged sword for 2 Tone. On one side, The Specials were doing something very unique and notable at the time, indicative of real-life current events at the time. On the other edge, few could meet the same level of quality of The Specials (Madness was the closest), as a result of Ska being kind of...hokey. Almost like a cheap imitation of the more "genuine" ska music of Jamaica, as leaning too much into international music can sort of cheapen the experience. This leaves The Specials being special and important, but not really all that good. It's a hard thing to swallow, but 2 Tone deserves to be clowned on. Jamaican Ska and Ska Punk can hang though, they're cool.

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3

Pretty good Ska album. Favorites: A Message to You Rudy, Nite Klub, Too Much Too Young

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3

Interesting combo, did mind the punkish singing but enjoyed the catchy rythmsnof the ska

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3

decent british ska like, not sure who came first but i get some strong iggy pop vibes from parts of the album

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3

Loved the Ska. Some interesting and very catchy tunes.

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3

‘I once heard Ska described as "what plays in a 13-year-old kid's head when he gets extra mozzarella sticks" and nothing in this world is more accurate’ - @NeverOnBrand I would’ve thought it would make this list a sheepish spectacle, but I didn’t mind its cheekiness.

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3

Ska. 6/10

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3

More focused and fun than their sophomore album, I think this is a cool but inconsistent debut.

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3

Lepposaa menoa vaikka muutama hutkin osui mukaan. Taidan kuunnella uudelleen kun saan jonon kurottua umpeen.

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3

First half > second half. Like, I had a very fun time listening to the first half. I wish I felt the same about the whole album, but it was still a pleasant enough listen. I can't quite give it a 4, but it's a 3.75 in my mind so it's VERY close!

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3

Genre: 2 Tone 3/5 Another brief piece of history album. The Specials was one of the UK’s most successful ska groups to come out of the country’s collective attempt to keep up with the musical times. The music here is inoffensive (except for Little Bitch), fun to listen to and jig to, but doesn’t really offer much more than your standard reggae/ska offering may provide. An interesting look into 2 Tone as a genre, and may lead some down a rabbit hole.

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3

Gott ska. Fínasta partý. Riffið úr Little Bitch er ækonik.

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3

3. You know, I went into this expecting to be annoyed. I know, I like ska, I should like The Specials. But turns out I don't like older pure ska that's much more reggae based and tend to roll my eyes when the Specials come on. But you know what, once we got the way overplayed Message to You Rudy out of the way, I enjoyed the rest!

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3

I'm a casual ska fan. Definitely like this album and appreciate its history in the genre. Not my favorite but we wouldn't have ska as we know it without it.

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3

vibes 'beach boys' e a faixa dois é engraçada com o voice over. já to vendo ali o nome da penultima faixa e tô fazendo cara de eca, mas bora ver né? milagres e tal.

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3

Familiar, never really been my lane, but not terrible by any means

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3

Fun

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3

Barb says each song sounds the same. I agree, but I do like the sound, Barb not so much.

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3

head thoughts no empty

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3

Very fun sound and attitude… high 3

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3

Fell like I'm giving out too many fours so I'll give it 3.5/5

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3

Early, unrefined ska revival. I think that the album is good, but there are better ska albums out there, so I don't know that I'd listen to this one again.

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3

Bom.

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3

Like many a pop-rock crossover, The Specials straddle a line that, not being a fence, doesn't really need straddling. Still, there's more good than bad and ska is pretty great. Strangely lacking in energy at many points and that makes the sentiment of Too Much Too Young come off really poorly.

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3

It's a band I didn't know but the first song sounds to me from having heard it on the radio. Not bad.

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3

kinda boring, would rather listen to either the beatles, 100 gecs, or real reggae. started to vibe with this around "Nite Klub"! Realizing that I like the idea of ska more than I actually like ska. Very mixed as this album goes progresses, some of the songs I get annoyed of, but some of them I am vibin' and bobbin' along to, feeling like a rude boy. I think that the album gets better towards the end, or maybe I just got used to their sound.

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3

Se parecen a Toreros Muertos, pero en inglés. Más british, aunque no sé de dónde son.

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3

This was fine. Kind of weird, but in a boring and not interesting kind of way.

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3

Didn’t latch onto any song in particular but found it all decently listenable.

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3

5/10. Kinda blah

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3

Wanted to write "flat", have corrected it to "thin", and in doing do so have made appraising them a lot harder. The former epithet's invariably bad, but the latter's far more ambiguous. Their jauntiness is a dead cert, which in the long run is likely to make this a winner.

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3

specials, hm

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3

More blasts from the past. Ska beats are ok. Kind of repetitive and simplistic - there were a few good guitar riffs. I will not intentionally listen to this again. 2.5 and rounding up for the retro memories.

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2

Ska

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2

Not a Ska fan but it did lead to good conversation about what the Mighty Mighty Bosstones are up to now.

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2

Nope...must have been quite a thing around that time...just not my style.

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2

It's Ska. It's upbeat and happy, but not in a good way. Not my favorite, but I can see why people listen to it.

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2

I have tried to get into ska in the past to no avail, and this album is not changing my mind. I find it kind of exhausting. I did find myself a little bit charmed by a couple of the songs, but those moments were rare.

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2

ska meininki ei ole mun juttu..

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Nja. Inte så kul. Första låten är rätt bra.

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Der coolste Style einer Subkultur, eine politisch/ethisch saubere Haltung, Stilmix als Ausdruck einer postmodernen Zeit, das alles könnte mir so gut gefallen und doch gehört das Genre Ska nebst Reggae und vor allem Funk (ugh!) zu all dem, was mir nicht viel sagt. Irgendwie wirkt alles so flach und eingängig/eintönig, dass ich bei „Too Hot“ zunächst dachte, die Platte wäre auf „Rudy“ zurück gesprungen. Extra Punkte für den Anti-Rassismus, ansonsten schau ich mir das slicke Cover an, ohne Ton. 1.7

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2

Ska is meh. Never enjoy it much. Quality of the album seems OK though

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2

once again i just simply do not know

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2

Sounded like a garage band. Not great.

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2

Can't do ska

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Inače Ska kao žanr ne shvaćam nešta previše ozbiljno, to mi je žanr razbibrige nekada, ali rijetko kada si uopće puštam nešta od toga. Ovaj album kao i ostali su došli random i vrijeme je da se posluša. / / Prva stvar sa albuma je čak i poznata, imam u glavi kao da sam ju već čuo, sasvim dobra stvar. Općenito album nije zadovoljio moje kriterije, previše ide na reggae, a manje ritmičnije u drugom dijelu albuma. Pjesme poput A Massage to you Rudy, Concrete Jungle i Little Bitch, da ih je više, možda bih album bio i bolje ocijenjen. Ako bi se mene pitalo, drugi dio albuma mi ni ne treba.

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2

Some good songs but not much variety within the album

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2

Fun album, I'd listen again. Track list is inconsistent in quality.

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Ska in 1979. Surprising, I thought it was a 90s thing. Kudos for that. I could leave the album though.

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2

Meh

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A strong ska album that melds ska and rock in a rather interesting way. Nothing too groundbreaking otherwise, though.

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Struggled to finish this, not for me

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2

Thats not for me, I feel ill.

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Man have been having a rough time of it the last few albums

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better idea than execution

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Ska Ska Ska. I wonder if this is THE Ska album. Like, okay, I guess? Also Rudeboy.

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2

This album got a little annoying after a few songs. Some sort of catchy melodies and beats but it got old pretty quick. 4/10

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Kevyttä skatako tää oli? En muista, mut ei se ainakaan vituttanu

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2

Some bangers

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2

Haven't heard of The Specials before. I get the concept. It's British Ska, but what they're singing about seems so dated now that I can't make a good connection. I'm not a teenager hungering for freedom in 70's Britain. So, not for me.

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2

Best Song: A Message to You Rudy. Just a classic. Worst Song: Too Much Too Young. Overall: A weird album for me. The whole thing feels too sleepy and laid back. There's nothing unpleasant about it, nor is there anything exciting.

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A message to you Rudy vraiment sympa Tout le reste c'est du Specials, sympa 3 mn :)

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2

Well, of course, mixing reggae with other genres is already popular at more than forty years ago. I don't know about other countries (but I remember Magic's reggae fusion banger in 2014, "Rude"), but reggae plus x music is still a fairly big thing today here in my country especially among young people. Unsurprisingly, reggae hip-hop is the most popular. Those songs are pretty decent, but the older local reggae folk songs (yes, folk, my least favorite genre) are my favorites. And this? This... sucks. Why would they combine the feel-good energy of reggae and the angsty power of punk? This album is such a mess. Which is a shame as I'm interested in the riffs and beats of some of the songs. Is this what ska is all about? I'm not sure. But it makes sense, I guess. Punk is a big genre during the '70s, so it's no surprise this album got so popular, especially among the British youth.

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2

sounds almost twee nowadays.

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Reggae/Ska. Not awful, but not really my thing either. 2/5.

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2,5; kinda weird sounds for me, I feel like something doesnt fit here, but the music wasn't bad and had unique vibe

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The thing with ska is that it tries to have all the energy of punk but with none of the self-reflection. What's left is sugar-coated but meaningless and empty. The Specials exemplify this emptiness perfectly. Even the covers of once meaningful Jamaican songs are so dumbed down that they become meaningless, whitewashed noise. A lot of that comes down to Elvis Costello being an absolute hack. By all reports, The Specials were aggressive and angry on stage... until Hack Costello got his hands on them and produced an utterly milquetoast album. Overall, it was a painfully lame listening experience and one that I don't wish to repeat any time soon.

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2

The unique, quirky ska energy manages to keep things fresh for about 3-4 songs before the bit gets stale. Little variation in rythms, instrumentation, or arrangements means everything starts to blend together into 40 or so minutes of British whining and vaguely reggae-ish beats.

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2

Fine, but I didn’t love the music.

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2

Only few songs

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2

In my opinion, Madness took the ska sound too much better places. Not that this album is bad, but other than Rudy the tracks are not that special (ha!) to contemporary ears.

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2

04/18/22 It all sounds the same.

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There are some good tunes, but its all a bit basic and requires some genre investment that I dont have.

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I think I'm just not a big fan of ska, because this isn't doing very much for me.

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2

Just can't get into ska

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i dont know if its technically bad but its not for me

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Ska's not really my thing. I think this is the OG British ska band, but man did I have to force myself to listen to it.

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sounds like the clash was forced to make music for a game show found it annoying idk it made me dance around a bit without noticing so there’s that

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holy shit this was a struggle to listen to, like a mix of reggae and early-ish punk. dated, ridiculously cliche lyrics, nothing I ever want to hear again. 1/5.

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Das 6. Album meines Projektes und ich bin kurz davor, aufzuhören. Nach dem Erstling von The Clash nun also diese beinahe ebenso unerträgliche Ska-Platte. Schon der 1. Song verheißt NICHTS gutes...('Message to Rudy', enthält keinerlei Message). Nur weil ich es instrumentell und kompositorisch besser als The Clash finde (und im Gegensatz dazu sogar durchhören konnte), kann ich trotzdem nur einen Stern vergeben. Nie wieder.

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Nope

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Couldn't get on board with this one. It's like a messy mix of ska and punk and it sounds incredibly dated.

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Highlight - Little Bitch I just don't like Ska or Reggae.

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Made it a few tracks in before having to stop... I dont know what mood I'd have to be in to enjoy this

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If you love spending time after work down at your local drinking lagers with the lads, or chanting club songs in a group on your way to the weekend football match...then this albums for you. I don’t particularly see the enjoyment in either of those activities, hence I didn’t get much out of listening to this music. It’s dated yobbo English reggae and it’s ugly. The whole album reminded me of the tv show Minder and the song from the same era ‘Ullo John! Got New Motor?’ by (I think) Alexei Sayle...both of which should never be allowed out of the late 70s/early 80’s and definitely be kept there under lock and key. I found listening to these tracks utterly annoying and would describe them as sloppy, crass & an insult to my senses. 1 Star

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Not a fan

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Nope. Nope nope nope. During the first two songs I thought it's OK-ish. Maybe a 2. But songs three and four were sooo bad that I had to stop. I also hated the really weird mix. It somehow sounds like the singing and the instrumentation were recorded simultaneously but pretty far away from each other. Really weird mixing.

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1

No. Just no. It sounds like this research that was conducted about the most unlikeable song.

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No thanks, I can 100% say this will never get listened to again

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Typical liberals - bitching about the system while profiting off it. would give this album a zero if i could

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The Specials by The Specials (1979) Revival Ska is an acquired taste. Accents on the offbeats dominate, spiced by horn flashes, and driven by walking bass lines and rapid, steely percussion fills; it’s music that makes you dance, but not feel or think. The Specials pull off this self-mockingly comic mood without monotony (quite an accomplishment), chiefly because of the excellence of Horace Panter’s bass playing, and very good performances by John Bradbury on drums and Rico Rodriguez (underutilized) on trombone. Having Elvis Costello producing certainly helps. But two things kill this album: horrible singing and idiosyncratic, anti-redemptive preachiness. The less said about this, the better. This not an album for the ages. I’m sure in 1979 is was very cool. 1/5

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not a fan

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Highlight - Little Bitch I just don't like Ska or Reggae.

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