The Specials - The Specials
The Specials were formed in Coventry in 1977 as The Coventry Automatics. True innovators of the punk era, the band began the British ska revival craze, combining the highly danceable ska and rocksteadybeat with punk's energy and attitude. The Specials had seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, including the number 1 hits Too Much Too Young and Ghost Town. The Specials' landmark, 14-track-strong debut album The Specials (UK No.4, 1979), produced by Elvis Costello, declared their intentions loud and clear with a rare blend of furious energy and no-nonsense, hard-hitting lyrics. In essence a studio recording of their live set, the album comprises mostly originals with a few covers of ska classics thrown in for good measure, including their fabulous take on Dandy Livingstone's A Message to You Rudy, an equally stellar version of the Maytals' Monkey Man, and a sizzling take on Prince Buster's Too Hot. Features: the vicious Nite Klub, with its unforgettable line, "All the girls are slags and the beer tastes just like piss"; Blank Expression, which extended the misery into unwelcoming pubs'; Concrete Jungle, capturing the fear and violence that stalked the inner cities; the personal It's Up To You, a message to those who disliked the group and its stance, and a rallying cry for supporters; Too Much Too Young, showing the Specials' disdain for teen pregnancy and marriage; It Doesn't Make It Alright, delivering a heartfelt plea against racism, and the rocksteady-esque yearning of You're Wondering Now.