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Erased Tapes Records


  • 5376970CD  £6.00

Chrysalis Records / Two Tone

The Specials


back in stock at mid price the remastered version of the debut specials album with the videos for 'gangsters' and 'too much too young' added on as a bonus the album arrived in shops in the middle of october 1979 and soared into the top five it was an utter revelation except for anyone who had seen the band onstage for the album was at its core a studio recording of their live set and at times even masquerades as a gig the album is 14 songs' strong mostly originals with a few covers of classics thrown in for good measure that includes their fabulous take on dandy livingstone's 'a message to you rudy' an equally stellar version of the maytals' 'monkey man' and the sizzling take on prince buster's 'too hot' if those were fabulous their own compositions were magnificent the specials managed to distill all the anger disenchantment and bitterness of the day straight into their music the vicious 'nite klub' perfectly skewered every bad night the members had ever spent out on the town 'blank expression' extended the misery into unwelcoming pubs while 'concrete jungle' moved the action onto the streets capturing the fear and violence that stalked the inner cities even though producer elvis costello gave the record a bright sound it doesn't lighten the dark currents that run through the group's songs if anything his production heightens them it's left to guests rico rodriguez and dick cuthell to provide a little caribbean sun to the specials' sound their brass sweetening the flashes of anger and disaffection that sweep across the record and so this was britain in late 1979 an unhappy island about to explode

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