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Joe Cocker, The SpecialsAudio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)

Price: $17.98 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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Specials + More Specials (180 Gram LP + Single) + The Singles Collection
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000003JAH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (64 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #219,337 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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

Editorial Reviews

The beat that got a generation dancing and brought ska back into the public eye. Produced by Elvis Costello, then still a boy wonder himself, the album built on the sound of the Specials' first two singles, and gave the world its first extended look at Two Tone. Inspired writing and arranging (much of it down to founder Jerry Dammers) with Terry Hall as the laconic front man made for a perfect combination, the riddim of ska and the speed of punk. As a testament to its power, two decades haven't lessened its impact. --Chris Nickson

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Still the Heavyweight Champions of the Ska Revival February 25, 2005
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The Specials are still the heavyweight champions of both waves of ska revivals (in the UK and later in the USA). I saw the Specials just before this album was released in 1979 at a Rock Against Racism concert in London's Hyde Park. I was warned by my two British hosts that the Specials would "blow my mind."... but nothing could have prepared me for the inspired anarchy of this young racially mixed Brits playing music that sounded like reggae on steroids. The two manic singers Terry Hall and Neville Staples bounced around the stage and banged their heads together in time to the music. The entire band had buzz cut hairdos and dressed like thrift shop refugees complete with Sinatra type fedoras, skinny ties and ill fitting suits. By the end of the show the entire stage was filled with frantically pogoing audience members and the Specials played on, as if the audience and the band were the same thing. Everything I learned about ska music started with that Specials concert in 1979.

The reason why the Specials were so...errr...special was that they were first rate musicians who not dilletantes when it came to knowledge of the early Jamaican ska and rocksteady music. Jerry Dammers was raised on the music of Prince Buster, the Skatalites, Desmond Dekker, Byron Lee and the stable of ska musicians that were part of Duke Reid's venerable British label, Trojan Records. In the UK, Trojan Records had a steady stream of bestselling ska records in the UK in the mid-Sixties. Even the godfather of punk, John Lydon, who was notorious for ridiculing any kind of popular music once professed that reggae and ska were the only music he cared about. Meanwhile, in the USA, our only knowledge of ska was 1965's infectious hit by Millie Small, "My Boy Lollipop.
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52 of 63 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time Classic July 14, 2000
Format:Audio CD
This is clearly the best Ska record ever made. Their debut album (the BBC had just aired The Specials John Peel Sessions, but it was not yet for sale. Also, their true debut was a 45rpm single of Gangsters whose B-side was titled The Selector and credited to The Selector, but in reality, The Selector was Jerry Dammers, John Bradbury, both from The Specials, and two of their roommates. I think it is the best song The Selector ever did).
If you listen to earlier versions of these songs available elsewhere, you can see how much they honed everything. The Specials had toured the U.K. supporting The Clash, and as a result you can hear more Clash-like-Grit on this album, and you can also see The Specials influence on Clash songs like Pressure Drop, very Ska.
I like everything about this album, every song. I still remember my high school English tutor in the 9th grade (I was really bad in school) who was more interested in shaping my musical tastes, and my sister, English was third on his list. He made me a tape of this album with the This Are Two Tone compilation on the second side. I listened to that tape for years, before they had tape-players that would flip the tape for you. I remember one time I accidentally hit "Record", so to this day I am surprised there is no gap at the beginning of "Concrete Jungle".
Not too long ago, I was invited to several Specials shows. My friend had gone to school with Mark Addams (keyboards) in Coventry and whenever they'd come to San Francisco my friend rob would arrange to have us on the list. They have altered the band since 1980 (when this album came out), a few new members, but they still have Neville Staples(who looks even cooler today), Horace Panter, Roddy Radiation, and Lynval Golding.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
When this album came out most punx I knew were totally into it. I know I was. There'd been that music scene of the B 52's, BLONDIE, ELVIS COSTELLO, JOE JACKSON and TALKING HEADS. Punk had exploded onto the scene as well, of course, The SEX PISTOLS, The CLASH, The DEAD KENNEDYS, BLACK FLAG, CIRCLE JERKS, BAD BRAINS. Punk had always had some sorta connection to reggae, BAD BRAINS being the quintessinal creator of sublime punk as well as non-sleepy reggae songs.

A whole new form of music came smashing into existance, that nutty Two-Tone sound. MADNESS, The SELECTOR, The SPECIALS and The ENGLISH BEAT. There was no equivilent in the U.S. It was a pure UK import. In the UK there'd been musical movements in modern rock including Mods and other stuff that never fully translated to the U.S. But the SPECIALS' first album here sure did. It hit us smack in the face. This is one of those albums that's perfect. There's no weak song. You could listen to a MADNESS album and find maybe 2 great songs. i was never particularly fond of The SELECTOR. The ENGLISH BEAT's first album was also a pure delight. However, this SPECIALS' album was a stunner. It was so good that it immediately took its place as the premier Two-Tone release, as far as everybody I knew in the punk scene was concerned. We could tell this wasn't New Wave, it wasn't some big music business over produced musical Frankenstein meant to appeal to the masses. This was honest, high energy cousin of reggae and we knew it when we saw/heard it.

That two tone piece of having black guys and white guys in the band was just another delight.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ska founding fathers
The Specials were one of the founding fathers of the ska movement. If you like ska music this is a must have CD to bring you to it's roots.
Published 1 month ago by ClubChaos
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great album
Published 2 months ago by samuel serrato
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars It's their best. Every song from start to finish is fantastic
It's their best. Every song from start to finish is fantastic. This is the one to get. Also, look into some of their live albums, they really seem to come alive in their... Read more
Published 2 months ago by James Sewell
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 3 months ago by Ana
5.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl the way it should be...
Great album, and great reissue.
Published 3 months ago by Richard J Lynn
5.0 out of 5 stars Only the lonely!!!
I consulted a specilist before placing this special order. They told me only special people could specially listen to this special music. Boy was it special. Yeah.
Published 9 months ago by Eric Zuckero
4.0 out of 5 stars Special live; this studio recording does not lash acoss the distance
The Specials were something else live in their early years. You were never quite sure what audience or band would deliver on the night. Read more
Published 17 months ago by "Belgo Geordie"
5.0 out of 5 stars happy
Came in a timely manor and was just as described. . . . . . . . . . .
Published 22 months ago by Sam
5.0 out of 5 stars Specials from the Capitol vaults
This is a review of the 2009 180 gram vinyl Capitol vaults version of the specials eponomous debut. Phew! Now that's out of the way let's get to the music. Read more
Published on August 21, 2012 by Lee Wrecker
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