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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Classic album made even better with this special edition release. Live show is awesome.Published 2 months ago by B. James
A most glorious album to satisfy my early 80's Mod and Ska days.....Timeless!Published 2 months ago by Jonathan m Dibble
I used to have the original vinyl album when this was first released. I don't exactly remember 15 tracks being on that album, they may have been on the original cd when that was... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joe Eastlack
Just to add my voice to the chorus of praise for this excellent re-release. Like a lot of people here, I remember when the original came out (on vinyl, of course) and how electric... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Sid Nuncius
A classic sound from my time in high school. It was different from any other bands at the time.Published 11 months ago by Dedication62
*** A Review For The 2015 Special Edition 2CD Version ***
There are some albums that just put a smile on your face - and a lot of them are debuts from British bands... Read more
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