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

The Specials

The Specials

1979

The Specials

Album Summary

The Specials is the debut album by British ska revival band The Specials. Released on 19 October 1979 on Jerry Dammers' 2 Tone label, the album is seen by some as the defining moment in the UK ska scene. Produced by Elvis Costello, the album captures 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. The album features a mixture of original material and several covers of classic Jamaican ska tracks. A live version of "Too Much Too Young" was later released on a five-track EP, The Special AKA Live!, which went to number one on the UK charts. "'A Message to You, Rudy" was also released as a single. A digitally remastered edition also featuring promotional videos to "Gangsters" and "Too Much Too Young" as enhanced content was released by EMI in 2002. In 2013, NME ranked it at number 260 on its list of "The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time".

Wikipedia

Rating

3.33

Votes

4738

Genres

  • Rock
  • Reggae
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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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

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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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

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

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

Great band and great album, I listen to a lot of 90's ska revival and hard to argue the influence that this band had. Too bad they didn't last as this lineup for long.

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5

Ska y reggae. Vinilo.

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5

I loved it. This is a great ska album.

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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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5

The Specials 2 (more pop songs) will is more of a favourite, but their debut is almost just as good and the album style is -after relistening- not even that far away from the follow-up. I would put both in the list, together with the two Fun Boy Three albums (which are 5 star as well).

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5

Rarely has a band emerged with its first album with such a clear vision statement. The look, the sound, the politics and the voice of this band is clear and strong on this record. The Specials were an integrated band, with equal influences from black (ska, reggae, soul, r'n'b) and white (punk, rock) forms. Politically engaged in the new Thatcherite England, they were both protesting and ready to party. Elvis Costello did a great job of capturing the live feel of their performances (although some contemporaneous reviews bemoan how much slower the record is than their live shows). Smart, political, and above all fun, this is such a great record. It makes me wanna take to the streets in protest _and_ dance.

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5

Flawless debut.

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5

I had heard of The Specials for years and never gave them a try. Now I wish I gave them a chance sooner. Amazing album front to back. Felt ahead of its time. Not a single song on the whole record that I disliked. I know I'll be coming back to it in the future and it has me interested to check out the rest of their work. Amazing. Favorite Song: A Message To You Rudy

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5

The sheer joy and energy from this album still gets be buzzing off me tits more than 40 years later. SO many memories of youth club discos, especially with Nightklub. I could listen and dance to this every day.

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5

Amazing album, an all-time classic. I love the punk energy and the ska attitude working together. I find the whole thing very moving, reminiscent of a time when music tried to change things (if only peoples’ minds) and be a force for good. Hard to pick a standout track, but have always loved the closing time feel of You’re Wondering Now.

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5

Love it. Such a banger. I remember thinking Stupid Marriage was such a funny song when I was a kid

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5

Great stuff

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5

Хоккейная команда с берегов Невы И музыка которую играем мы

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5

Great album, full energy and holding up well. One of those albums that makes me grin.

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5

Adelantados a su época, álbum impecable y claramente influyente dentro del género. Nite Klub y Too Much Too Young son par de bombas.

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5

good

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5

Rating: 9/10 Best songs: A message to you Rudy, Do the dog, Concrete jungle, Monkey man, New era

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5

LP

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5

heard the songs, never listened to the whole thing. how is that possible. Now I understand why all ska bands sound the same (in a good way) they're trying to recreate this sound.

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5

Og ska

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5

Top album

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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

goofy ska and ridiculous ironic lyrics, but once you get the hang of it it's a nice time. talking heads energy. 3.5/5

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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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4

Enjoyable album, but not all songs are sufficiently gripping for full marks.

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4

Leading the Two-Tone Mod revival - fantastic stuff!

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4

I’ve never heard this one in full before. It’s just what I was expecting, influential, nicely produced and cool AF. Loved it

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4

I really enjoyed many of the songs on this album. It would be great to see The Specials live someday!

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4

Gotta love Monkey Man!

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4

Surprisingly fun listen

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4

Man I totally loved this and big up the Cov! Represent. This just puts me in a great mood, I love Monkey Man and You're Wondering Now most I think. And too much too young... ah they're all pretty much classics.

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4

I saw the Specials about 12 years ago for their 30th anniversary tour, man they were amazing. This album is patchy at times but anything that contains a stone-cold classic such as Rudy needs at least a 4 out of 5.

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4

Wow, this album absolutely slaps

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4

Great album. Alternates between ska and reggae. Enjoyed the faster tracks more than the slower. Standouts are "A Message to You Rudy", "Concrete Jungle", "Little Bitch,

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4

Makes me want to grab a skateboard and grind on Nelson's column

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4

Great OG Ska album. Long before 90s Ska / Punk bands would change the sound of ska, this album has all of the elements that were at the beginning of ska - Raggae, post-punk, etc. 4/5.

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4

Excellent debut that resonates with the shit going on today.

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4

Nice ska & reggae music band.

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4

I generally enjoy ska. But this one isn't quite to my taste although it did grow on me as the album wore on so relentlessly. Faves: A message to you Rudy, Too Much Too Young.

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4

stupid marriage är ej jäkla fin bit alltså.

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4

Some of the best Ska I've ever heard, not that that means much. A thouroughly enjoyable experience and one I may come back to in the future. A message to you Rudy is a huge highlight.

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4

Solid album, with some really good singles.

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4

The Specials have a great talent for combining bouncy rhythms with sarcastic, politically-tinged lyrics. Perhaps the best 2 Tone group.

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4

This was so much fun to listen to. It definitely wasn’t my usual genre or style but I had a blast listening to it. Stupid Marriage was my favorite track, but I will definitely be revisiting this album.

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4

I waffle on the Specials, because sometimes they come off as just a cover band for the "real" ska sound that came out of Kingston over half a century ago. But at the same time, they have some solid originals like "Too much too young" and did add a new dimension to the covers they do play. Also they have a fantastic message around combating racism and their origin story was based on including both black and white people.

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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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