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Best of the Specials (Bonus Dvd) (Pal0)
Specials
Best of the Specials (Bonus Dvd) (Pal0)
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #1

The Specials began ska revival in Britain, putting ska and rocksteady beats together with a level of energy and attitude taken from the punk movement. They also formed a more focused and informed political and social stanc...  more »

     
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CD Details

All Artists: Specials
Title: Best of the Specials (Bonus Dvd) (Pal0)
Members Wishing: 5
Total Copies: 0
Label: Emd Int'l
Release Date: 4/22/2008
Album Type: Import
Genres: Alternative Rock, World Music, Pop, Rock
Styles: Hardcore & Punk, Ska, New Wave & Post-Punk, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPCs: 5099952039829, 5099952039850

Synopsis

Album Description
The Specials began ska revival in Britain, putting ska and rocksteady beats together with a level of energy and attitude taken from the punk movement. They also formed a more focused and informed political and social stance than their predecessors and peers. The band was originally formed in Coventry, in 1977, as the Coventry Automatics and later the Special A.K.A. by Jerry Dammers (songwriter/keyboardist), with Terry Hall (vocals), Lynval Golding (guitar, vocals), Neville Staples (vocals, percussion), Roddy Radiation (guitar), Sir Horace Gentleman (bass), and John Bradbury (drums). Dammers started his own label, '2-Tone' on which the Specials albums and singles were released it was named for it's multiracial outlook and also after the two-tone suits worn by the rude-boys. This CD/DVD 'Best Of' features all of the hits & videos from their first hit single 'Gangsters', 'Too Much Too Young' (a pro-contraception song which was banned by the BBC but still hit the no. 1 spot), 'Ghost Town' (released amid race-related unemployment riots), to the latter singles of 'Racist Friend' and 'Free Nelson Mandela'.
 

CD Reviews

Absolutely the one-stop for your Specials - classic compilat
Winthrop T. Harrison | 08/01/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD captures all of the highlights to the real Specials career, and I cannot reccommend it highly enough. I am certainly not a fan of the many spin-off bands from the British Ska movement, but I will always have respect for the origin. Which would be this lot - the movement began with them, and for my money, ended with them as well. "Concrete Jungle" is an amazingly terse diary of the risk of wanting to go out on a Saturday night to have fun, but not wanting a broken bottle in your face on a dark street. Was it too much to ask in 1979 Coventry, UK? "Doesn't Make it Alright" is a (dare I say?) tender ballad for peace between black and white. A creepy rhythmic "Ghost Town" captures an England that has been robbed by the cruelty of the Margaret Thatcher era. The refrain "do you remember the good old days before the Ghost Town" speaks to us now, as those Americans old enough to know remember the pre-Reaganite/George W Bush era. This is powerful lasting stuff. When the lyric warns "...the people getting angry" - it all seems very 2009, and very unfolding in August of this year. So, the music has stood up to the times.

This CD also has a razor-sharp superior version of "Too Much Too Young." To my ears, the studio version dragged noticeably, but the live version will lift you. Highlights abound - "Ghost Town", "Why", "Friday Night, Saturday Morning" & "Gangsters" were not available on the original records, but they are certainly available here. They are all wonderful.

The Specials did not last long - and while singer Terry Hall disembarked to form the Fun Boy 3, keyboardist Jerry Dammers started the Special AKA, which while thoroughly glum and un-ska-like, recorded some incredible songs. "Nelson Mandela" calls for Mandela to be freed - 7 years later it happened. Which is certainly not Dammers doing, but his actions surely helped, and it's a glorious musical trip in any case. "Racist Friend" is rather polemic - I would argue that if you have a racist friend, you try to encourage and teach them rather then abandon them - but it is musically smooth. "The Boiler" was recorded in this period - it is shocking - but not available here. But keep it in your mind and seek it out, as it seems central to what Dammer was trying to achieve, smooth music with dark lyrics that you can not forget.

It is a shame that through a combination of legal maneuvers, obscurity and god-knows-what, that so many compilations and in fact "Specials" studio albums in the last 10 years have been sheer ripoffs. A true shame that could destroy the legacy of a powerful band. All you really need are "The Specials" debut CD, the ambitious and delightful "More Specials" follow-up, and this compilation. I would also recommend the over-packed but important "Stereo-Typical: A's, B's and Rarities" to add any songs that you - a dedicated Specials fan - might want. Try "The Boiler", "Maggie's Farm" (a canny and exciting cover of Bob Dylan aimed explicitly at Maggy Thatcher...), "Skinhead Melody", "Racquel." It's a worthy trip.

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spoiler: "I walk into a bar and immediately - I sense danger." You thought that was Massive Attack. Wrong - they were listening to the Specials' "Blank Expression.""