#957: 1979, The Specials, Gangsters

by Ray_North on November 17, 2014

Another great debut single from a great band.

The Specials appeared in the very first week of this blog – and since then, have only appeared on one more occasion (though Terry Hall has featured in The Colourfield) – this though, is their amazing debut single.

It’s a classic Ska track, wonderfully remastered with added enthusiasm and energy from the brilliant Gerry Dammers and equally brilliant (and massively underrated in my opinion), Terry Hall.

I remember clearly my sister Renee playing me the 7 inch single and saying, ‘why do you think this band are called The Specials,’ and I, being 9 years old, shrugged my shoulders. ‘It’s because the band is made up of black people and white people working together,’ she replied. It seems like an incredibly twee statement now, over 30 years on, but in the late 1970s when racism was more overt, and to the ears of a boy living in an area where almost everyone was white – this seemed important, it seemed I suppose special.

Try to listen to it without dancing. Go on. I dare you. See. I told you.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Geoff Elliott November 19, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Mrs E, myself, and a group of similarly aged individuals were dancing to this on Saturday night at the good old Roundhouse in Chalk Farm. They were great.

I’ve not seen so many Fred Perry t-shirts and Harington jackets for years.

Top night out!


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