The Specials' Self-Titled Debut

Time for The Album Of The Week. This is one of those ground breaking bands that came out in the very early 80's that gave us all a clue that there was a lot more going on out there in rock n roll than the stadium tour bands that we had all come accustomed to in the 70's�No offense to any these examples but bands like Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin, Styx, Ted Nugent and Kiss were filing up coliseums on a global scale.

This was one of those bands that made us all take notice of what was going on at the "ground level". This was never more evident in London, England when Punk, New Wave, Reggae and a new type music called "SKA" started to take a foot hold in all of the pubs in the south of England.

This band inspired a lot of bands in the 80's - one being a band called "Madness" who rode the MTV wave to the hilt. But even more so, bands from today like our very own No Doubt and Sublime latched on to this new music known as "SKA" and relished it to help mold their very successful careers. People started to take notice when The Specials released this album.

One thing I learned in my research on this album I thought was odd�Is Elvis Costello of all people produced this record and Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders does back-up vocals on a couple of different tracks.

The Specials didn't hit the Billboard 200 with this record or even got a Grammy nomination. But what this album did do is crack that door a little bit more for our eyes & ears to gaze into some of the great and new kinds of music we would all be introduced to in the 80's.

The Specials didn't disappear by any means - They put out another half-dozen or so albums in the next 11 years and had a very successful career. Definitely a band worth re-visiting if you can. My favorite's on this one are "Concrete Jungle" & "Doesn't Make It Alright".. So without further delay, released in November of 1979 on Two Tone Records. The Specials. And remember to keep one foot in the gutter and one fist in the gold.

Side one

1."A Message to You, Rudy" (Dandy Livingstone) - 2:53
2."Do the Dog" (Rufus Thomas, arr. by Jerry Dammers) - 2:09
3."It's Up to You" (Dammers, The Specials) - 3:25
4."Nite Klub" (Dammers, The Specials) - 3:22
5."Doesn't Make It Alright" (Dammers, Dave Goldberg) - 3:26
6."Concrete Jungle" (Byers) - 3:18
7."Too Hot" (Cecil Campbell) - 3:09

Side two
1."Monkey Man" (Toots Hibbert) - 2:45
2."(Dawning of A) New Era" (Dammers) - 2:24
3."Blank Expression" (Dammers, The Specials) - 2:43
4."Stupid Marriage" (Dammers, Mark Harrison, Neville Staple) - 3:49
5."Too Much Too Young" (Dammers, acknowledgment to Lloyd Charmers) - 6:06*
6."Little Bitch" (Dammers)� - 2:31
7."You're Wondering Now" (Seymour) - 2:36

Terry Hall - vocals
Neville Staple - vocals
Lynval Golding - rhythm guitar, vocals
Roddy Radiation - lead guitar, vocals on track six
Jerry Dammers - keyboards
Sir Horace Gentleman - bass guitar
John Bradbury - drums
Guest musiciansChrissie Hynde - vocals
Rico Rodriguez - trombone
Dick Cuthell - horns

Guest musiciansChrissie Hynde - vocals
Rico Rodriguez - trombone
Dick Cuthell - horns

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