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The Specials

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Coventry, England (1977 – 1984, 1994 – 2001, 2008 – present)

The Specials (sometimes called The Special AKA) are an English “2 Tone” revival band formed in 1977 in Coventry, England. Their music combines a danceable ska beat with punk’s energy, underpinned by an informed political and social stance. The group was formed by songwriter/keyboardist Jerry Dammers, with Terry Hall (vocals), Lynval Golding (guitar, vocals) and a rhythm section featuring Horace Panter (bass) and John Bradbury (drums). The band wore mod-style 1960s period “rude boy” outfits (pork pie hats, mohair suits, and loafers). In 1980, their song “Too Much Too Young”, the lead track on their The Special AKA Live! EP, reached number one in the UK. In 1981, the unemployment-themed single “Ghost Town” also hit number one in the UK Singles Chart. After seven consecutive UK Top 10 singles between 1979 and 1981, the band broke up in 1984. A version of the band reformed from 1994-2001. In 2008, the band reformed again and, in2009, embarked on a 30th anniversary tour. In 2010, they toured America and Europe. In 2011 they agained touring the UK.

In 1979, their debut LP hit the shelves and quickly soared into the UK Top Five. The album was produced by Elvis Costello and was released under founding member, Jerry Dammer’s record label 2 Tone Records.

Following the success of their debut album, Specials, their second and final album, More Specials was released. This expanded the group’s sound to include music and other influences.

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