The Specials’ landmark, 14-track-strong debut album ‘Specials’ (UK No.4, 1979), produced by Elvis Costello, declared their intentions loud and clear with a rare blend of furious energy and no-nonsense, hard-hitting lyrics.
This album has been digitally remastered from the original analogue stereo masters and the new vinyl cuts have been made using those new masters. Careful comparison was made to the first pressed copies of the original albums throughout the process to maintain the sound as the band had originally envisaged.
In essence a studio recording of their live set, the album comprises mostly originals with a few covers of ska classics thrown in for good measure, including their fabulous take on Dandy Livingstone’s ‘A Message to You Rudy’, an equally stellar version of the Maytals’ ‘Monkey Man’, and a sizzling take on Prince Buster’s ‘Too Hot’.
Features: the vicious ‘Nite Klub’, with its unforgettable line, “All the girls are slags and the beer tastes just like piss”; ‘Blank Expression’, which extended the misery into unwelcoming pubs‘; ‘Concrete Jungle’, capturing the fear and violence that stalked the inner cities; the personal ‘It’s Up To You’, a message to those who disliked the group and its stance, and a rallying cry for supporters; ‘Too Much Too Young’, showing the Specials’ disdain for teen pregnancy and marriage; ‘It Doesn’t Make It Alright’, delivering a heartfelt plea against racism, and the rocksteady-esque yearning of ‘You’re Wondering Now’.