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Specials, The

Specials, The

40 articles


The Specials: More Specials

Review by Vivien Goldman, New Musical Express, 20 September 1980

YOU REMEMBER the scene from Hollywood: overnight the lovable brat grows up into the most compelling person in the room. Suddenly – you're beautiful! ...


The Clash/The Specials: Friar's, Aylesbury

Live Review by Garry Bushell, Sounds, 8 July 1978

FOR PEOPLE who like to put things in neat little pecking orders – and because of our conditioning there's a lot of them – the ...

The Specials: Rude Boys in the Jungle

Profile and Interview by Dave McCullough, Sounds, 7 April 1979


The Damned/UK Subs/The Specials: The Lyceum, London

Live Review by Peter Silverton, Sounds, 21 April 1979

WITH ENOUGH police grouped manacingly outside in coaches, in squad cars and standing around to supervise a couple of Manchester United away fixtures, I suppose ...

The Specials, Madness, The Selecter: Electric Ballroom, London

Live Review by Giovanni Dadomo, Sounds, 4 August 1979

In the heat of the night ...

A/K/A The Specials

Interview by Deanne Pearson, New York Rocker, October 1979

THE SPECIALS A.K.A., a.k.a. the Specials. They are contracted under both names, adding to the confusion already created by billings under one name or the ...

2-Tone: Ska Authentic And More.

Report by Garry Bushell, Sounds, 6 October 1979


The Specials: Specials (Two Tone)

Review by Tony Stewart, New Musical Express, 20 October 1979

YOU JUST can't shake the tunes out of your head, can't stop beating your feet to the heat as The Specials' unique excitement surges through ...

The Specials, The Selecter: Lyceum, London

Live Review by Paul Rambali, New Musical Express, 15 December 1979

TWO TOP FIVE two-tone bands in one night. The message comes through loud and clear: rude bwoy can't fail. ...

The Specials in Hit City

Profile by Van Gosse, Village Voice, The, January 1980

DADUHDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA/DAduhDA.... Triplets in two-four, the sound of the Specials: call it ska, call it punky reggae, it's a jumping groove, the group going up and ...

The Specials: Hurrah, New York NY

Live Review by Roy Trakin, Melody Maker, 2 February 1980

Up to you ...

The Specials Are Ska High

Profile and Interview by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, 3 February 1980

MADNESS PROVIDED the L.A. rock audience with its first tantalizing taste of the ska sound that has taken off in England in the past six ...

Live In NYC: The Specials

Live Review by Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker, March 1980

IF THE REACTION of the New York rock press is any indication (and it usually isn't), the Specials are going to be Very Big In ...

The Specials: The Specials (Chrysalis)

Review by Don Waller, New York Rocker, March 1980

BY THE END of side one, I found myself plastered spread-eagled to the ceiling, tongue and eyes bulging, my face frozen in a delirious grin. ...

The Specials: Stanford University, California

Live Review by Mark Cooper, Record Mirror, 1 March 1980

THE SPECIALS' mini-tour of California has, predictably enough, been full of incident. Three sold-out nights at the Whisky in LA, the club all decorated in ...

The Specials: The Whisky, Los Angeles

Live Review by Sylvie Simmons, Sounds, 1 March 1980

WE GOT to hear the second – the best – half of the show twice. The first time sardined in the long line outside the ...

The Specials: The Whisky, Los Angeles CA

Live Review by Mark Leviton, BAM, 7 March 1980

BEFORE THERE was reggae as we now know it, Jamaica had a ferociously happy, syncopated music variously called bluebeat, rock steady or ska. ...

The Specials: Rude Boys Can't Fail

Report by Garry Bushell, Sounds, 15 March 1980

THEY DON'T muck about, the Yanks. These buildings go all the way up like the architect was getting paid by the cubic foot although exactly ...

Specials: Rude Boys Spread Manure In Yank Bed Of Roses

Profile by Simon Frith, Creem, April 1980

THE SPECIALS are the first group I've followed from first gig to international stardom. Nobody else realizes this, but their first ever press mention was, ...

The Specials: Scam & Scandal In The Family

Report by Andy Schwartz, New York Rocker, May 1980

IN THE LAST issue of NY Rocker (#27/March '80), we printed an "Emergency Editorial" decrying the $10.00 price of tickets to the Specials' show presented on March ...

The Specials: Today Coventry, Tomorrow — Coventry

Interview by David Hepworth, Smash Hits, 29 May 1980

Terry Hall treats David Hepworth to a short course in TwoTonics and explains how to keep out of the Rat Race. ...

The Specials: Too Much Too Young

Report and Interview by Paolo Hewitt, Melody Maker, 21 June 1980

PAULO HEWITT joined the Specials Seaside Tour expecting fun and frolics. He found a band grappling with self-doubt and the 2-Tone monster. ...

The Specials: More Specials (2-Tone)*****

Review by Garry Bushell, Sounds, 20 September 1980

TO BET or not to bet, that is the question. Whether it be nobler to sit pretty with a winning formula or take a gamble ...

The Specials: Stop The Tour, I Want To Get Off

Report and Interview by Chris Salewicz, New Musical Express, 27 September 1980

IN ST AUSTELL, Cornwall, it is only a few minutes since the pubs have opened for Sunday lunchtime. The red-faced moustachioed police sergeant and the ...

The Specials: More Specials (Chrysalis)

Review by Don Snowden, Los Angeles Times, 20 November 1980

CAUTION: Anyone expecting More Specials to duplicate the ferocious wallop of the British ska band’s live performances or debut LP is in for a surprise. ...

The Specials: More Specials (Chrysalis CHRS1303); Madness: Absolutely (Sire SRK6094)

Review by Dave Schulps, Trouser Press, January 1981

THE MUSICAL trend of the year in Britain, a nation which obviously relishes its fads, was the emergence of the neo-ska bands. Buoyed by a ...

The Specials: More Specials (Chrysalis/2-Tone)

Review by Richard Riegel, Creem, March 1981

SO HOW would you like to be sitting on top of the Specials' 2-Tone global music empire right about now? You can bet it's a ...

The English Beat: Wha'ppen? (Sire); The Specials: 'Ghost Town' (EP)

Review by John Swenson, Musician, November 1981

TWO TONE is not merely the introduction of a black sensibility in British pop for the first time, it's a true melding of the interracial ...

The Special AKA: The Skars Have Healed

Interview by Tony Fletcher, Jamming!, March 1984

"WHO IS he anyway?" enquires one of the tastelessly coiffeured punkettes of Jerry Dammers as the main man poses for photos in Soho's Chinatown. Jerry ...

Special AKA: New Band, Old Cause

Profile and Interview by Michael Goldberg, Rolling Stone, November 1984

SAN FRANCISCO: Jerry Dammers, leader of the Special AKA, is a very idealistic man. He believes, for instance, that popular songs can change the way ...

The End of 2-Tone: Madness/The Specials/The Selecter

Report by Phil Sutcliffe, Q, November 1986

Farewell, Madness – the last of the 2-Tone tribe. Phil Sutcliffe follows the fate of the three groups that pioneered the ska revival. ...

The Specials: More Specials (2-Tone)

Review by Lloyd Bradley, Q, July 1989

GIVEN THE QUANTITY of ska compilations on the market at the moment, it's a good time to revive the ska revival of 10 years ago. ...

The Specials: Reissues

Review by Simon Reynolds, Uncut, May 2002

Digitally remastered and enhanced with two videos per disc, the Sound Of Young Coventry before The Streets ...

Jerry Dammers: A Ghost From The Past

Interview by Nick Hasted, Independent, The, 20 April 2007

THE MAN WHO created 2-Tone, Coventry's own Motown, and wrote Britain's most perfect fusing of politics and pop, the single 'Ghost Town' by his great ...

The Specials 2009. But Where's Jerry?

Report and Interview by Nick Hasted, Uncut, April 2009

SLIGHTLY DOWNWIND of Pentonville Prison in a north London photographer's studio, six Specials are posing for their first pictures since 1981. ...

The Specials: O2 Academy, Newcastle****

Live Review by Stephen Dalton, Times, The, 24 April 2009

THE PAST three decades seemed to fall away when the Specials began their comeback tour with this explosive and exciting performance in Newcastle upon Tyne. ...

The Specials: 02 Academy, Birmingham

Live Review by Simon Witter, Daily Telegraph, 27 April 2009

FROM AGING ROCKERS who won’t let it be to '80s ravers going to pilled-up, Facebook-coordinated reunions, everybody these days is raging against the dying of ...

Jerry Dammers: Booted Out of the Band I Founded

Report and Interview by Chris Salewicz, Daily Telegraph, 3 March 2010

Jerry Dammers talks about his exotic new project – and why he wasn't part of the Specials' reunion. ...

The Specials: Apollo, Manchester

Live Review by John Robb, Rock's Backpages, 16 October 2011

THE SPECIALS, of course, not only sound great, they look great. They hit the stage in matching suits. Razor stitched threads that are cut from ...

Richard Russell: Rich Pickings

Interview by Jamie Atkins, Record Collector, March 2018

As Richard Russell's collaborative album, Everything Is Recorded, is released, RC's Jamie Atkins meets him to talk about the recording and the music that led ...

see also Fun Boy Three

see also Terry Hall

see also Roddy Radiation & The Tearjerkers

see also Special AKA, The


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